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Feb. 12, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (8-18-2, 5-11-2 WCHA) plays host to Minnesota State (9-16-3, 2-13-3 WCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 14 and 4:05 p.m. Feb. 15 at OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The Buckeyes are returning home for a three-week home stretch to close the 2002-03 regular season. OSU has not competed on its home ice since Jan. 25 against Mercyhurst.

IMPORTANT SERIES
Ohio State faces Minnesota State for the WCHA Final Five positioning. The Buckeyes sit five points ahead of the Mavericks with six games remaining for both schools. A sweep by OSU would assure itself a spot in the playoffs, while a Maverick sweep would pull MSU within a point of the final spot.

SIZING UP OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are 8-18-2 overall and 5-11-2 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes have tallied 64 goals and 99 assists, averaging 2.3 goals per game. OSU has allowed 82 goals this season, averaging 2.9 goals against per contest. They have had 167 penalties totaling 383 minutes in the box, averaging 6.0 penalties per outing.

LAST TIME OUT – BRIEF VERSION
Ohio State lost 5-3, Feb. 7 and 2-1, Feb. 8 to No. 3 Minnesota. The Buckeyes came back from being down 3-1 in the first period, scoring two goals in the third Feb. 7. OSU held Minnesota to two goals and 17 shots in the loss Feb. 8.

HOME ICE
Ohio State returns to its home ice this weekend. The Buckeyes are 3-8-0 at home, defeating Connecticut and St. Cloud State twice.

THE BROADCAST
The game Saturday will be broadcast live by The Underground: The Ohio State University’s only student run radio station.

The game can be heard on UNITS cable channel 4 or at www.underground.fm.

THE PROMOTION
On Friday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the Ohio State Women’s Ice Hockey team will be fighting for two causes. The team will take on Minnesota State on the ice and off the ice fans can help the team support Breast Cancer Research by making a donation to the James Cancer Hospital.

The first 200 people to make donations will receive a commemorative pink Ohio State puck.

BUCKEYES VS. MAVERICKS
The Buckeyes are 13-0-1 against the Mavericks in the all-time series and OSU has won the last eight games. The teams will be meeting for the 15th time Friday.

Ohio State swept Minnesota State in the first series this season at Minnesota State, 6-1, Oct. 11 and, 3-1, Oct. 12.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA STATE
The Mavericks are 9-16-3 overall and 2-13-3 in the WCHA. MSU’s conference victories came early in the season against Bemidji State and St. Cloud State.

Minnesota State’s penalty-killing unit is 120-for-148, a .811 average. Its power-play team has scored on 17 of 148 opportunities, a .115 average.

Leading the Mavericks with 21 points is junior Amanda Osborn. She has recorded 10 goals and 11 assists this season.

Three Mavericks, Katie Hainrich, Melanie Salatino and Tristin Stephenson, each have tallied 15 points, 7 goals and eight assists, this season.

In the net for MSU is junior Shari Vogt. She has played in 21 games and recorded 785 saves, a .919 saves percentage. Vogt has allowed 69 goals this season and has a goals-against average percentage of 3.27.

MAVERICKS HEAD COACH
Jeff Vizenor named the new Minnesota State, Mankato head coach this season. Vizenor previously served as the assistant coach of the Wisconsin women’s ice hockey team for one season. Prior to Wisconsin, Vizenor recorded a 34-13-5 record in two years at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
MINNESOTA STATE – GAME 2
Ohio State defeated Minnesota State, Mankato, 6-1, Oct. 11 in its season opener in Mankato, Minn.

Sophomore Jeni Creary started the Buckeyes off with a power-play goal at 8:46 from Emma Laaksonen and Emily Hudak. Then, OSU stopped Mankato on a crucial power play, 11:11 in the first period. Ohio State took the lead with a power-play goal by Jeanne Chapple 14:14 into the game. Chapple was assisted by Creary and Laaksonen.

Creary scored her second goal of the game from a pass by Laaksonen, 3:52 in the second period. Freshman Jana Harrigan recorded her first collegiate goal assisted by Chapple and Meaghan Mulvaney. Shana Frost scored her first goal of year on an assistant from Heather Farrell and Hudak, 16:01 into the second period.

OSU’s sixth goal of the game came 6:31 in the third period. Chapple tallied her second goal of the game and second for the season. Chapple was assisted by Creary and Laaksonen.

The Buckeyes were 5-for-7 on the power play. They held the Mavericks on seven of their eight power-play chances.

OSU finished the game with 27 shots and nine penalties. Mankato had 21 shots and eight penalties.

Senior April Stojak recorded her first win of the season. Stojak played all 60:00 recording 20 saves.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
MINNESOTA – GAME 2
Ohio State defeated Minnesota State, 3-1, Oct. 12 in the second game of the two-game series.

MSU’s Melanie Salatino scored the first goal of the game 5:24 in the first period. At the end of the first period, Emily Hudak and Emma Laaksonen set Jeni Creary up for an open shot into the right corner of the net.

Creary recorded her second goal of the game late in the period (19:57) on an assist by Laaksonen.

Freshman Jana Harrigan scored Ohio State’s third goal of the game and her third career goal on the power play 7:24 in the period. Creary and Laaksonen assisted on the goal. MSU pulled its goalie with 40 seconds to go in the third period.

Freshman Natalie Lamme played the full 60:00 in the net for the Buckeyes, recording 28 saves. Lamme started her first collegiate game in the net.

The Buckeyes were 2-for-5 on the power play. They shut out MSU on all eight of its power-play chances.

OSU finished the game with 32 shots and nine penalties. Mankato had 29 shots and six penalties.

WCHA STANDINGS
The Buckeyes remain stead at fifth in the WCHA with 12 points. They are four points ahead of St. Cloud State in sixth and five points ahead of Minnesota State in seventh.

Minnesota-Duluth leads the league with 37 points, six points ahead of second-place Minnesota. With three weeks left in league action, the fight to secure a spot in the 2003 WCHA Women’s Final Five is getting close and vicious.

WCHA MATCHUPS
In what may be the most important week of the 2002-03 WCHA season, all seven teams compete with conference title and playoff berths on the line.

Second-place Minnesota visits league-leader Minnesota-Duluth in a battle for first place.

Ohio State faces Minnesota State; a sweep by the Buckeyes would assure them a spot in the playoffs, while a Maverick sweep would pull MSU within a point of the final spot.

Wisconsin may have a voice in which teams earn the final two berths as the Badgers face St. Cloud State and Ohio State in the next two weeks, respectively.

WCHA LEADERS
Ohio State players rank among the top in the WCHA in league games.

Frosh Scoring: GP PPG G-A-P 4. Natalie Lamme 18 0.61 7-4-11

Goals Against Average: Min. GA GAA 4. Natalie Lamme 383:11 15 2.35

Save Percentage: Saves GA Pct. T2. Natalie Lamme 165 15 .917

Scoring Offense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 38 2.11

Scoring Defense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 57 3.17

Penalty Minutes: PIM PIM/G 2. Ohio State 287 15.9

Power Play: Totals SHA PCT 5. Ohio State 13/94 2 13.8

Penalty Kill: Totals SHF PCT 4. Ohio State 81/99 1 81.8

WCHA PIM
Ohio State is second in the WCHA with 287 penalty minutes. It is averaging 15.9 minutes per game. Minnesota-Duluth is leading the WCHA with 348 penalty minutes, averaging 17.4.

SHUTOUTS
Ohio State has recorded three shutouts this season. The first was against St. Cloud State, 6-0, Nov. 30 in Columbus. The second was a 4-0 shutout over Princeton on the road Dec. 14. The Buckeyes shut out St. Cloud State again, 1-0, Jan. 18 in St. Cloud, Minn.

THE SWEEP
The squad has swept two two-game series this season. The first weekend out it swept Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn (Oct. 11-12). OSU’s second sweep was against St. Cloud State (Nov. 30-Dec. 1).

SEASON ATTENDANCE HIGH
Ohio State recorded its highest home attendance of the season Jan. 25 against Mercyhurst in the OSU Ice Arena. The Buckeyes’ all-time highest home attendance was 1,127 set Feb. 16 vs. Minnesota State in the OSU Ice Arena.

SOPHOMORES LEADING IN POINTS
The sophomore class is leading the Buckeye squad with 59 points this season. Jeni Creary (27), Jennifer Desson (17), Meaghan Mulvaney (13) and Jaclyn Haines (2) all have tallied points. The juniors are next in line with 38 points, the seniors 28 points and the freshmen with 26.

PIM SEASON-HIGH
The Buckeyes recorded a season-high 15 penalties for 57 minutes Jan. 31 and tallied an additional 10 penalties for 20 minutes Feb. 1.

TEAM RECORD SET
Ohio State set the team record for penalty minutes in a game with 57 Jan. 31. The previous record of 40 PIM was Oct. 8, 1999 vs. Northeastern.

CREARY SET GAME RECORD
Jeni Creary set an OSU individual all-time game record of 27 penalty minutes Jan. 31. Emily Hudak held the previous record of 17 penalty minutes in a game, set Nov. 8 against Minnesota-Duluth.

40 SAVES SEASON-HIGH
Goalies Natalie Lamme and April Stojak each tallied a season-high 40 saves Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, respectively, breaking Stojak’s previous high of 29 saves set Oct. 26 against Minnesota.

APPROACHING 100 CAREER POINTS
Shana Frost and Emily Hudak are OSU’s all-time leaders in career points. They are approaching the 100-point mark. Frost has 93 points (44-49) and Hudak, the all-time assist leader, has 83 points (15-67).

HUDDY LEADING PENALTIES
Senior Emily Hudak is making her presence known to the opponents this season. She leads the Buckeyes with 61 minutes in the penalty box. She has 25 penalties and is averaging 0.926 penalties per game. Hudak’s career high is 45 penalties and 90 PIM (1999-00).

100 SHOTS THIS SEASON
Sophomore Jeni Creary reached 100 shots this season against Minnesota-Duluth Feb. 1. She has 107 shots in 27 games, averaging 3.96 shots per game.

ROOKIE
Jana Harrigan recorded a goal and an assist against the No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers Feb. 7-8. Harrigan is second on the Buckeye squad with 22 points (10-12) and leads the freshman class in points this season.

FROSTY
Senior Shana Frost led the Buckeyes with two goals against No. 3 Minnesota Feb. 7-8. Frost scored a power-play goal for the Buckeyes Feb. 7 and recorded the Buckeyes’ lone goal Feb. 8. Frost has recorded 10 points (6-4) this season. She ranks first in OSU’s history with 93 career points, on 44 goals and 49 assists.

TALLYING POINTS FOR OSU
Nine Buckeyes recorded points against Minnesota Feb. 7 and 8. Goals were scored by Jana Harrigan, Meaghan Mulvaney and Shana Frost. Tallying assists were Harrigan, Emily Hudak, Erin O’Grady, Jeni Creary, Jennifer Desson, Katie Frohreich and Jeanne Chapple.

LAST TIME OUT –
MINNESOTA – GAME 3
Ohio State suffered a defeat to the No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 5-3, Feb. 7 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Minnesota’s Krissy Wendell put the first mark on the scoreboard at 7:28. UM’s Wendell scored a short-handed goal at 10:00 for Minnesota’s second goal of the game. Immediately following the goal, Ohio State’s Lindsey Steblen received a penalty for high-sticking and 15 seconds later OSU’s Emily Hudak obtained a penalty for interference, causing a 4-on-3 Minnesota power play. The Gophers’ Natalie Darwitz took advantage of the opportunity, scoring at 11:13. Ohio State’s Hudak and Erin O’Grady set up freshman Jana Harrigan for a power play goal at 17:18, marking Harrigan’s 10th goal of the season.

Minnesota’s Allie Sanchez started the second period off with a goal 51 seconds into the action. The Gophers’ Winny Brodt scored Minnesota’s fifth goal of the game at 2:05.

The Buckeyes stepped up their pace in the third period, recording nine shots and only allowing Minnesota four. Ohio State’s Meaghan Mulvaney scored her fifth goal of the season off Jeni Creary’s rebounded shot at 7:00. OSU cut Minnesota’s lead to two, when Shana Frost tipped in her fifth goal of the season from a shot by Jennifer Desson. Katie Frohreich also assisted on the goal.

The Buckeyes outshot the Gophers, 25-22. The Buckeyes were 2-for-5 on the power play. Ohio State held Minnesota on three of its four power-play opportunities.

Ohio State’s goalkeeper April Stojak saved 17 shots in 60:00 minutes of play. Minnesota’s Horak recorded 22 saves in 60:00 minutes.

LAST TIME OUT –
MINNESOTA – GAME 4
Ohio State was defeated by the No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gophers , 2-1, Saturday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Ohio State started the first period out strong. The Buckeye power-play unit had two scoring opportunities, but were unable to capitalize on the chances. The first goal of the game was not scored until 11:48, when Minnesota’s Natalie Darwitz scored.

Two Buckeyes, Lindsey Steblen and Jaclyn Haines, received penalties early in the second period, but the OSU penalty-killing unit and goalie April Stojak stopped both Gopher chances. Ohio State senior Shana Frost scored her sixth goal of the season off a rebound assisted by Jeanne Chapple and Jana Harrigan at 17:59. OSU tallied 13 shots to Minnesota’s seven.

In the third period, Ohio State’s Emily Hudak received a penalty for holding at 18:05 prompting Minnesota to call a timeout. The Gophers’ Krissy Wendell scored on the power play at 18:35. Immediately following Ohio State called a timeout. The Buckeyes then pulled Stojak with 1:01 remaining but came up shorthanded.

The Buckeyes outshot the Gophers 26-17. The Buckeyes were 0-for-4 on the power play. Ohio State held Minnesota on three of its four power-play opportunities.

Ohio State’s goalkeeper Stojak saved 15 shots in 58:59 minutes of play. Minnesota’s Horak recorded 25 saves in 60 minutes.

FIRST SIGNEE
Jackie Barto announced the first recruit of the 2003-04 freshmen class. Tessa Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend The Ohio State University and play hockey beginning with the 2003-04 season.

Bonhomme is a 5-foot-7-inch defenseman from Sudbury, Ontario. She is a member of the Sudbury Midget “AA” Wolves under head coach Rod Schutt. She has played for the Lasalle Secondary School team since 1999 under head coach Peter Kallio.

DEFENSEMAN IN EUROPEAN CUP
Emma Laaksonen missed the Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth series Jan. 31-Feb. 1 because she was competing in the European Challenge Cup, three games between Finland and Sweden. Laaksonen teamed up with Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Satu Kiipeli to play for Team Finland.

LAAKSONEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The WCHA announced Ohio State junior Emma Laaksonen was named the conference defensive player of the week for the week ending Dec. 15.

Laaksonen scored two goals in the 4-0 shutout against No. 8 Princeton Dec. 13. She aided the Buckeye penalty-killing unit, which held Princeton scoreless on all seven power plays during the series. Laaksonen was named the No. 1 star of the game Dec. 14.

Laaksonen is averaging 1.00 points per game, seventh in the nation among defensemen. She ranks second in points on the Buckeye squad with 16 overall.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The WCHA announced Ohio State senior captain Emily Hudak was named the conference defensive player of the week for the week ending Dec. 1.

Hudak led the Buckeyes to a 6-0, 6-4, sweep of St. Cloud State with a team-high five points. She recorded three assists and tallied a team-best +3 in OSU’s shutout Nov. 30. She anchored a defense that allowed St. Cloud State 18 shots on goal, including four in each the first and second periods. Hudak tallied another two helpers in the Buckeyes’ victory Dec. 1.

“Emily had a solid weekend against St. Cloud State,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said. “She played well on both the defensive and offensive sides of the puck. Emily was also a key part of our transition game.”

OHIO STATE REPRESENTED AT FOUR NATIONS CUP
Ohio State junior defenseman Emma Laaksonen competed for Team Finland in the 2002 Four Nations Cup, Nov. 6-10 in Kitchener, Ontario.

Laaksonen participated in all four games for Team Finland.

Laaksonen has competed in the prestigious tournament as a member of Team Finland since 1997. In the 2001 Four Nations Cup, Laaksonen recorded two assists.

The Four Nations Cup, previously known as the Three Nations Cup, is a round-robin tournament that has been held the last six years (1996-2001). Canada, Finland and the United States competed until 2000, when Sweden was added to the field.

She has been a member of the Finnish Team since 1997, competing in 72 games, recording seven goals and 11 assists.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ohio State sophomore Jeni Creary was named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for the conference for the week ending Oct. 13.

Creary recorded one goal and three assists in the Buckeyes’ 6-1 victory against Minnesota State, Mankato in the season opener Friday. She led the Buckeyes with two goals, including the game-winning score, and one assist Saturday in the 3-1 win against MSU. She completed the weekend with 16 shots and a +1 rating.

“Jeni had a very solid weekend and generated a lot of scoring opportunities, particularly in our power plays,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said regarding Jeni’s accomplishments. “Jeni capitalized on her many scoring opportunities.”

COMMUNITY SERVICE ORIENTED
The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team and coaches recently participated in the first Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO) Buddy Walk Oct. 27 at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus.

The Buddy Walk raised funds to help support DSACO’s mission “to insure all persons with Down syndrome are given the opportunity to achieve their potential.” In addition, funds will go to support the National Down syndrome Society (NDSS)’s research, education and advocacy efforts.

THE INAUGURAL CLASS
The first women’s ice hockey team at Ohio State played their first game Oct. 8, 1999, against Northeastern. The Buckeyes finished 8-26-3 overall and 6-15-3 WCHA. Nine players remain on the team – Katie Frohreich, Shana Frost, Carrie Gill, Emily Hudak, Lindsey Ogren, Christine Patno, Melissa Pirie, Lindsey Steblen and April Stojak.

The nine returning seniors bring a lot to the hockey program this season, since they have seen the program grow and mature from the beginning of its inaugural season in 1999-00.

“This year marks the graduation of our inaugural class of student-athletes in our program,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said. “They will always be an important part of the history of our program. They have helped develop a strong foundation for our program that will continue to grow in the future. What they have accomplished here in their careers will be a part of our history forever. This years senior class will bring an intangible element as they lead us through an extremely competitive schedule.”

THE ROAD TO DULUTH
Only five of the seven teams in the WCHA advance to the 2003 Women’s WCHA Final Five Championships.

The championship will be held March 6-8 in Engelstad Arena at the University of North Dakota.

FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES ONLINE
Information on the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is available online at the official website of Ohio State Athletics, ohiostatebuckeyes.com. For up-to-the-minute women’s ice hockey scores, statistics and standings around the league and the nation, check out www.collegehockeystats.com. The official website of the WCHA is www.wcha.com.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
The women’s ice hockey trading cards will be given away Friday, February 21st. The game will also feature a CAHA scrimmage during the first intermission.

Saturday, February 22nd is the post game team autograph session and discounted food night at the concession stand.

UP NEXT
Ohio State plays host to the No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.