vs No. 11 Michigan State
Friday, Nov. 7 – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 8 – 7:05 p.m.
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
2007-08 Series – Michigan State won 2-0-0
Michigan State 4, at Ohio State 1 (Jan. 18, 2008)
Michigan State 4, at Ohio State 0 (Jan. 19, 2008)
Series History – Michigan State leads 75-20-7
In Columbus – Michigan State leads 28-12-5
In East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State leads 41-6-2
Neutral Site – Michigan State leads 6-2-0
CCHA Regular Season – Michigan State leads 59-16-6
Postseason – Michigan State leads 6-2-0
Overtime – Michigan State leads 5-1-7
Last 10 – Michigan State leads 6-4-0
The Buckeyes’ 1997-98 squad will be honored Saturday. The group was the first Ohio State team to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Frozen Four after an overtime win vs. Michigan State in Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
The series vs. Michigan State marks the Buckeyes’ only home games in November until Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-29) when the team will host Nebraska-Omaha. The squad will play Robert Morris in Pittsburgh next weekend before making the trek to Marquette, Mich., for two games with Northern Michigan Nov. 21-22.
Ohio State has opened the year with a series against a Top 11 team in four of its first five outings. The squad faced No. 8 Miami to open the year and followed with series at No. 2 Denver and No. 8 Michigan before hosting the No. 11 Spartans this weekend.
The Buckeyes have at least one power-play goal in 5-of-6 games on the year. Sophomore Peter Boyd and freshman Zac Dalpe each have two power-play tallies to lead the team.
The Ohio State men’s hockey team (2-5-1, 1-4-1-1 CCHA) returns home to host No. 11 Michigan State (4-2-2, 2-0-2-2 CCHA) this weekend. The Buckeyes
and Spartans will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
Follow the Buckeyes
Live statistics from the games this weekend can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
A live video stream of the games will be available on Buckeye Vision. Click on the Buckeye Vision link on OhioStateBuckeyes.com for details on how to order annual or monthly subscriptions to the service.
WOSU Radio will carry both games (820 AM Columbus/wosu.org and OhioStateBuckeyes.com). Herb Howenstine and John Mowat will call the action for the squad.
The series vs. Michigan State marks Alumni Weekend for the men’s hockey program. The group will gather for a game Saturday and will attend both Buckeye games this weekend, in addition to other group activities.
The 1998 team that advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four, marking the first appearance in program history, will be honored in a pregame ceremony Saturday. The group set the program record for wins in a season with 27, including two over then-No. 1 ranked Michigan State, and was one of the hottest teams in the nation in the second part of the season, going 18-3-1 over the final 22 games.
The Fun Stuff
The Buckeyes and Spartans will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus. At the game Friday, the OSU Athletic Band will perform Script Ohio on Ice and thundersticks will be handed out to the first 2,000 fans. It is Zoo at OSU Night, with animals from the Columbus Zoo at the arena pregame. There will be a postgame skate on the VCA ice for fans who bring their own skates.
Saturday is Military Appreciation Night and free mini American flags will be handed out to the first 2,500 fans courtesy of Operation Military Kids Program. It will be a celebration of the Buckeyes’ 1998 NCAA Frozen Four team and there will be a Meet the Buckeyes postgame autograph session.
Last Time Out
In the 4-3 loss at Michigan last Friday night, the Buckeyes rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 3 late in the end of the second period, but the Wolverines’ Tim Miller tallied at 13:38 of the third to put Michigan ahead again.
Michigan led 1-0 after the first on Louis Caporusso’s power-play goal and Brandon Naurato made the score 2-0 at 8:48 of the second. Todd Rudasill answered for the Buckeyes just over a minute later (9:54) but Michigan’s Aaron Palushaj scored 40 seconds after that to regain the UM two-goal lead. Rudasill added his second goal of the period at 12:48 and Mathieu Picard tied the score at 17:52. Ian Boots and Sergio Somma each had two assists for the Buckeyes, who outshot Michigan, 37-24.
Saturday, Michigan led 2-0 after the first and 5-0 after the second. Zac Dalpe broke the shutout in the third, but Michigan added another goal for the 6-1 final.
The Buckeyes are 2-5-1 on the year and 1-4-1-1 in the CCHA, including a shootout win over Miami to open conference play. The squad is averaging 2.8 goals a game, while allowing 4.4. On the power play, the Buckeyes have converted 8-of-52 chances (.154) and have stopped 41-of-56 opponent opportunities (.732).
Sophomore John Albert and senior Corey Elkins have a team-best seven points each. Albert and classmate Sergio Somma are first with five assists each, with Elkins and freshman Zac Dalpe leading the way with four goals each.
In net, three goalies have started for the team. Sophomore Dustin Carlson has played in six games, starting three, with a 3.80 goals-against average and .863 save percentage. Freshman Cal Heeter has two starts and has played in three games, with a 4.43 goals-against and .879 save percentage. Joseph Palmer has started three games, with a 5.40 goals-against average and .836 save percentage.
Three for Two
Sophomore forward Todd Rudasill tied his career best with two goals at Michigan last Friday, first set Nov. 4, 2007 vs. Ferris State. It was the second two-goal game of the season for the Buckeyes, joining Zac Dalpe’s performance Oct. 18 vs. Lake Superior State.
Freshman forward Ian Boots had the first multiple-point game of his Buckeye career at Michigan last Friday with two assists. He now has three assists and points as a Buckeye.
Sophomore Sergio Somma’s two assists at Michigan in the series opener were a career best and he recorded his fourth two-point game of his Buckeye career.
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Michigan State, 20-75-7, with the Spartans leading in the last 10 meetings, 6-4. The squads have split three of the last four series.
In Columbus a year ago, Michigan State swept the Buckeyes with 4-1 and 4-0 wins Jan. 18-19. The Spartans have a three-game winning streak on the Buckeyes’ home ice. In games played in Columbus, the Spartans lead, 28-12-5.
See You Soon
Ohio State and Michigan State are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster this season, joined by Miami and Michigan. The teams are in the same cluster for the first time since 2003-04. That year, the four squads finished in the Top 4 spots in the CCHA.
Ohio State and Michigan State will face off at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich., Feb. 13-14 to close out the regular-season series.
Michigan State is 4-2-2 on the year and is undefeated in CCHA play with a 2-0-2-2 ledger, along with two shootout wins. The squad had a win and a shootout win against both Northern Michigan and Western Michigan to open league play. In a home-and-home series last weekend, the Spartans downed the Broncos, 3-1, in East Lansing before prevailing in a shootout in Kalamazoo after a 2-2 tie.
The Spartans are averaging 1.88 goals a game, while allowing 1.50. The squad has converted 12.5 percent of its power-play chances and has stopped 91.5 percent of its opponents’ opportunities.
Freshman Daultan Leveille has a team-best five points and three goals on the year. Seniors Tim Crowder and Matt Schepke are next with four points, on two goals and two assists, each. Sophomore Jeff Pettry has a team-high three assists and also has four points.
In net, senior Jeff Lerg has a 1.48 goals-against average and .950 save percentage, along with a 3-2-1 record. Freshman Drew Palmisano has played in two games, with a 1.44 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and 1-0-1 ledger.
Rick Comley, a 1972 graduate of Lake Superior State, is in his seventh year at the helm of the Spartans. Comley, who guided the Spartans to the 2007 NCAA title, has a school ledger of 146-87-26 and is 743-562-97 in his 36th year as a collegiate head coach.
A Buckeye Connection
Michigan State senior goalie Jeff Lerg’s father, Ken, was a three-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 1970-72. He was on the squad’s 1972 CCHA championship team and played in 84 games as a Buckeye, with 32 goals and 61 points.
A Tough Road
The Buckeyes wrapped up a stretch of four-consecutive road games vs. Top 10 teams with the series vs. the Wolverines last week. The team’s schedule to open the year includes Top 15 ranked teams in four of the first five series, including No. 11-ranked Michigan State this weekend. The team has faced No. 8 Miami, No. 2 Denver and No. 8 Michigan before the series with the Spartans.
Man Advantage Memo
The Buckeyes have at least one power-play goal in all but one game this season and in each of the last six games. Peter Boyd and Zac Dalpe lead the Buckeyes with two power-play tallies this season. Senior Corey Elkins has a team-best four power-play points this year, and Elkins and John Albert lead the team with three power-play helpers each.
Sophomore defenseman Chris Reed has a point in 5-of-8 games, with a goal and four assists. He has not gone more than one game without a point this season. He had six assists while playing in 40 games a season ago.
Reed scored his first career goal at Denver Oct. 25 in the 46th game of his career.
First in a While
Against Michigan Saturday night, the Buckeyes gave up a shorthanded goal for the first time since Feb. 1, 2008 vs. Bowling Green. The Buckeyes scored a shorty of their own in the season-opener vs. Miami Oct. 10 when Patrick Schafer had the first shg of his collegiate career.
Senior Corey Elkins had his career-best scoring streak ended at five Friday vs. Michigan, with four goals and two assists for six points in the stretch. He rebounded with a helper on the Buckeyes’ lone goal vs. the Wolverines Saturday.
Ohio State has scored at least three goals in 6-of-8 games this season and is averaging 2.75 goals a game. The team averaged 2.4 goals a game in 2007-08.
Lighting the Lamp
Junior Mathieu Picard’s goal at Michigan last Friday was his first since Jan. 25 at Lake Superior State.
Putting it on Net
The Buckeyes put 37 shots on net Friday vs. the Wolverines, the sixth time this season the team had at least 31 shots on goal. The team is averaging 33.1 shots a contest.
The Buckeyes’ freshman class of 2009 was ranked seventh in the InsideCollegeHockey.com recruiting rankings. Zac Dalpe was rated third in the ranking of the Top 20 forwards, with Taylor Stefishen ranked 12th. Matt Bartkowski was ranked 11th in the Top 20 defensemen ranking. Dalpe also was named to INCH’s preseason all-rookie team.
A Look Ahead
The Buckeyes will hit the road for a game against Robert Morris. The squads will meet at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14 in Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
The team will then head to Marquette, Mich., for a two-game CCHA series at Northern Michigan Nov. 28-29. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. both nights at the Berry Events Center.
He’s a Winner
At Denver Oct. 25, sophomore Peter Boyd scored the gamewinner unassisted at 17:37 of the third after stripping the puck from a Pioneer defender. Boyd has five gamewinning goals in his career, with each coming in the third period or overtime and all coming in come-from-behind wins.
New this Year
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association has added a shootout for league games this season. If a game remains tied after regulation and a 5-minute overtime, a three-player shootout will be held. The team that wins the shootout will earn two points in the league standings, while the losing team receives one. The games will be recorded as ties for NCAA purposes.
The Buckeyes and Miami went to a shootout in the first league game of the year, with Ohio State prevailing, 3-1. Michigan State has a league-high two shootout wins, with Western Michigan winning one.
Freshman forward Zac Dalpe, from Paris, Ontario, was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week Oct. 20, the first Buckeye to be honored this season. Dalpe, a second-round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, led the Buckeyes to a series split with Lake Superior State, posting a team-best four points in the two games combined.
In the Buckeyes’ come-from-behind win Oct. 18 vs. the Lakers, Dalpe was named the first star of the game after posting a team season-high two goals and three points. He tied the game at 1 in the second period with his first career goal and set up Corey Elkins’ game-tying power-play goal in the third. Dalpe sealed the win with an empty-net goal from center ice with 47 seconds left. Friday against the Lakers, Dalpe had his first career point when he set up Hunter Bishop’s goal 14 seconds into the contest.
Ohio State freshmen won back-to-back CCHA Rookie of the Week accolades, as Matt Bartkowski was the winner Oct. 27 following the Denver series. Zac Dalpe earned the honor the week before after the series with Lake Superior State.
Bartkowski had three points in the Buckeyes’ series split at No. 2-ranked Denver to share the team scoring lead.
Oct. 24, he scored his first collegiate goal in the Buckeyes’ 3-1 loss to the Pioneers. Saturday, he recorded his first assists as a Buckeye, as Ohio State rallied from a two-goal deficit to win, 4-3. He had an assist on Zac Dalpe’s late second-period goal to cut the DU lead to one and then had the only assist on Corey Elkins’ tally that tied the game early in the third. Bartkowski was on the ice for just one even-strength goal against in the series.
He is the first Buckeye defenseman to be named CCHA rookie of the week since Johann Kroll Jan. 2, 2005.
The Buckeyes rallied from a goal down to score three unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 win over Lake Superior State Oct. 18. The Buckeyes tied the game at 8:24 on Corey Elkins’ power-play tally and went ahead just 24 seconds later when John Albert scored.
Last season, the squad had seven come-from-behind victories.
Making the Show
Three former Ohio State men’s hockey players were on opening-day rosters of National Hockey League teams to begin the 2008-09 season. R.J. Umberger (2001-03), who was acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the off season, is the first former Buckeye to play for the hometown Blue Jackets. Dave Steckel (2001-03) is with the Washington Capitals, while Ryan Kesler (2003) is in his fifth season with the Vancouver Canucks.
Umberger has played 228 games in the NHL, all with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 49 goals, 67 assists and 116 points. Last season with the Flyers, Umberger had a career-high 37 assists.
Steckel is beginning his fourth season with the Capitals and is coming off his most productive year. In 67 games, Steckel had five goals, seven assists and 12 points. He played in all seven of the Capitals post season games, scoring a goal and recording an assist.
Kesler, who turned pro prior to the 2003-04 season, posted 21 goals and 16 assists in 80 games last season with the Canucks. He has played in 239 NHL games, all with Vancouver, and has 39 goals, 44 assists and 83 points.
Other Pro Players
Seven former Buckeyes currently are playing in the American Hockey League, one step below the NHL. The players currently in the AHL are Rod Pelley (Lowell Devils), Nate Guenin (Philadelphia Phantoms), Dave Caruso (Lowell Devils), Tyson Strachan (Peoria Rivermen), Sean Collins (Hershey Bears), Jason DeSantis (Philadelphia Phantoms), Mathieu Beaudoin (San Antonio) and Tom Fritsche (Lake Erie Monsters).
Buckeyes also are in the ECHL – Kenny Bernard (Fresno Falcons), Ian Keserich (Johnstown Chiefs), Johann Kroll (South Carolina Stingrays) and Tommy Goebel (Wheeling Nailers). Former Buckeyes Daymen (Bencharski) Rycroft (Rocky Mountain Rage), Paul Caponigri (Amarillo Gorillaz) and Kyle Hood (Arizona Sundogs) are playing in the Central Hockey League.
A number of Buckeyes are continuing their hockey careers in Europe. Hugo Boisvert, Eric Meloche and Matt McIlvane are in the DEL in Germany. Doug Andress and Scott May are playing in 2.Bundesliga in Germany, with Mike McCormick and Andrew Schembri in Germany Obl. Jeff Maund and Jason Selleke are skating in Italy, Jean-Francois Dufour is in France, Matt Waddell is in Sweden and Andre Signoretti and Chris Richards are in Denmark.
Wearing the C
Senior Zach Pelletier and sophomore Peter Boyd are serving as captains for the Ohio State men’s hockey team in 2008-09.
Pelletier, from China Village, Maine, is in his fifth year with the squad after receiving a redshirt in 2007-08 because of a leg injury. He has played in 50 games as a Buckeye, including 24 in 2006-07. Pelletier earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology in Spring 2008.
Boyd, a native of Cambridge-Narrows, New Brunswick, is just the third sophomore to wear a “C” for the Buckeyes, joining current assistant coach Steve Brent (1994-95) and John Israel (1973-74). Boyd was voted the George Burke Most Valuable Freshman by his teammates last year after finishing the campaign second on the team with 24 points and 10 goals. He played in all 41 games and had a team-best four gamewinning goals, along with four power-play tallies.
Three new faces are on the Ohio State hockey staff this year, although two are familiar to Buckeye players and fans alike. Steve Brent, a four-time letterwinner and three-time captain, returns to the bench as an assistant coach again after two years in the business world. Two-time captain JB Bittner, also a four-year letterwinner, now is the team’s video coordinator. Jeff Salajko, who spent three years with the Columbus Chill in the ECHL, is the team’s volunteer goalie coach.
A Young Group
The 27-player Ohio State roster is dominated by underclassmen in 2008-09. The squad includes just three seniors and two juniors, who are joined by 13 sophomores and nine freshmen. Last year, at least nine freshmen were regularly in the Ohio State lineup each game.
Seven NHL draft picks are on the Buckeye roster this season. Freshman forward Zac Dalpe was the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 draft, the highest Buckeye draft pick since Tom Fritsche went 47th in 2005. Rookie forward Taylor Stefishen (Nashville 2008) and defenseman Matt Bartkowski (Florida 2008) join returning NHL draft picks – junior goalie Joseph Palmer (Chicago 2006), sophomore defenseman Shane Sims (New York Islanders 2006) and sophomore forwards John Albert (Atlanta 2007) and C.J. Severyn (Calgary 2007).
Sophomore Hunter Bishop has joined his sister, Teal, a sophomore on the Buckeye women’s hockey team, at Ohio State this season. The siblings from Fairbanks, Alaska, have not lived and played in the same city in more than six years.
Buckeye sophomore Peter Boyd and freshman Cory Schneider played together at Northwood Prep for two years (2005-06, 2006-07).
Schneider spent last year skating with fellow Buckeye rookie Zac Dalpe for the Penticton Vees, helping lead the squad to the BCHL title. Assistant coach Steve Brent played for Penticton as well.
Sophomores Patrick Schafer and Corey Toy played together with the Omaha Lancers for two years before coming to Ohio State.
Schafer, sophomore Chris Reed and senior Nick Biondo all played with the Cleveland Barons youth and Junior A teams.
Sophomore Todd Rudasill and Schafer both are central Ohio natives but played for just one common team, an all-star team, when they were young.