Oct. 23, 2002

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The Ohio State men’s hockey team (1-1-1, 1-0-1 CCHA) faces off against non-conference opponent Clarkson (0-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 3:05 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are coming off a 1-0-1 weekend on the road against Alaska Fairbanks, while the Golden Knights are playing in their regular-season opener.

The games this weekend will be broadcast live on WOSU (820 AM) and online at with Herb Howenstine (p-b-p) and former Buckeye John Mowat (color) on the call. The games also will be broadcast online by Ohio State student radio at Live stats from the game will be available at

The Buckeyes are 2-0-1 in their regular-season home openers in Value City Arena. The squad also won its first game in the rink, posting a 1-0 victory over Michigan Jan. 3, 1999.

In their all-time regular-season home openers, the Buckeyes are 30-7-2. Under head coach John Markell, the Buckeyes are 5-1-1 in their first home games of the regular season.

The last time Ohio State lost a home opener was Oct. 18, 1996. Ironically, the squad that topped the Buckeyes that year was Clarkson, OSU’s opponent this weekend. The Golden Knights won that contest, 7-4, in the OSU Ice Arena. HONORED ALREADY
Freshman Dan Knapp was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week for the week ending Oct. 20 after his outstanding performance against Alaska Fairbanks. He had two goals in the series opener, including the gamewinner. He scored the lone squad for the Buckeyes in their 1-1 tie in the series finale. Knapp also was +3 on the weekend and scored three goals on three shots.

Season tickets for the Ohio State 2002-03 season can be purchased by calling the OSU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GO BUCKS. Seven-game split season packages also are available. Single-game tickets, which also are available online at, are $11 for adults and $6 for students and children. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $4 each.

This season Ohio State fans can use The Ohio State University Go Bucks Cards to enter men’s hockey and women’s basketball games at Value City Arena. The cards provide the holder free admission to all 2002-03 regular-season games for all general admission sports, such as men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s volleyball, wrestling and baseball. The price for the cards is $30 for adults and $25 for students.

At the game Sunday, Go Bucks cards will be given away to the first 200 Ohio State students, faculty or staff members (combined). Students, faculty and staff will need to show their university ID to receive the free card.

Ohio State trails the all-time series with Clarkson, 4-6-1. In Columbus, the series is tied at two wins each. OSU is 1-3-1 in the last five meetings. The series this weekend marks the first games between the squads in Columbus since 1996, a series sweep for the Golden Knights.

OSU and Clarkson last met Dec. 28, 2000 in the consolation game of the Everblades College Classic at TECO Arena in Estero, Fla. The Golden Knights posted a 7-6 win, as Clarkson rebounded from two two-goal defecits for the victory.

Thee Buckeyes – Daymen Bencharski, Paul Caponigri and Scott May – each posted a goal and an assist for two points in OSU’s last meeting with the Golden Knights.

In the last two games between Ohio State and Clarkson, the Buckeyes have combined for 12 goals, scoring six times in each contest. OSU won 6-2 in Potsdam, N.Y., Nov. 1, 1997, but lost, 7-6, in the consolation game of the 2000 Everblades College Classic in Estero, Fla.

The games this weekend mark the first regular-season action for Clarkson. The squad played two exhibition games, topping the Toronto Varsity Blues, 8-2, Oct. 12 and coming from behind to beat the U.S. National Under-18 Team, 2-1, Oct. 19.

The team was 17-15-6 last season and finished second in the ECAC with a record of 11-6-5. The team returns 19 letterwinners. Among the top returnees are senior forward Kevin O’Flaherty, who posted 14-19-33 totals last year, and sophomore forward Jay Latulippe (8-17-25). Goalie Mike Walsh, who was 16-14-6 a year ago with a 2.39 goals-against average, also is back.

Mark Morris, Clarkson’s all-time winningest coach, is in his 15th season at the helm of the Golden Knights. He enters the series with a mark of 306-153-42 overall. He has spent his entire coaching career at Clarkson.

Ohio State associate head coach Casey Jones spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Clarkson under current Golden Knight head coach Mark Morris. Jones was with the squad in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. During those seasons, the squad posted a mark of 52-15-4, won an ECAC title and advanced to two NCAA tournament.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference is comprised of 12 schools: Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union, Vermont and Yale. The Buckeyes will face four ECAC schools this season – Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell and Princeton. OSU is 23-17-6 all-time vs. ECAC teams.

Clarkson, with an enrollment of 2,600 undergraduates and 350 graduate students, was founded in 1896 as a memorial to Thomas S. Clarkson, a pioneering businessman of northern New York. The school is located in Potsdam, N.Y., in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains near the St. Lawrence River. Ottawa and Montreal are within a two hour drive and Syracuse is 142 miles southwest.

Clarkson has an all-time record of 1,174-583-88 in 80 years as a varsity program. The squad’s .660 winning percentage is the best in college hockey. The team has had 27 consecutive winning seasons and 66 overall.

The Buckeyes’ win over UAF Oct. 18 was the 600th in program history. OSU is 600-644-87 all-time.

Ohio State went undefeated on the road at Alaska Fairbanks last weekend, posting a win and a tie in its first league action of the year. The Buckeyes scored six consecutive goals, including five in the third period, to come back from a two-goal deficit and defeat the Nanooks, 6-3, Friday (Oct. 18). Ten Buckeyes scored at least a point in the game, led by Daymen Bencharski and Ryan Kesler with three points each and Dan Knapp with two goals. The next night (Oct. 19), OSU and UAF tied, 1-1. Knapp scored a goal with less than a minute remaining in the first period and the Nanooks tied the game with less than five minutes remaining. The Buckeyes had a number of scoring chances in the game, outshooting the Nanooks 43-30 and 3-0 in overtime, but were unable to convert.

The Buckeyes went 1-0-1 on the road at Alaska Fairbanks last weekend. The last time the squad was undefeated in a two-game regular-season road series was Jan. 4-5, 2002 at western Michigan. The buckeyes swept the broncos in that series, winning 3-1 and 4-3 in overtime.

Buckeye freshmen Ryan Kesler and Dan Knapp combined for six points in the two-game series against Alaska Fairbanks. Kesler had a game-high three points in the first game. Knapp had two goals, including the gamewinner, in the opener and then scored the Buckeyes’ lone goal in the finale.

Junior Scott May posted two assists in the opener against UAF, giving him 50 points in his Buckeye career. He is one of four Buckeyes (R.J. Umberger, 79 points; Paul Caponigri, 62, and Dave Steckel, 58, are the others) with 50 or more career points entering the weekend. May’s two assists tied his career high for helpers in a game, a mark he had set three times before.

Daymen Bencharski’s two goals in the opening game against Alaska Fairbanks marked the fourth two-goal game of his OSU career. Bencharski added an assist in the game to tie his career-best with three points. He also had a helper in the series finale and now leads the Buckeyes in scoring with four points.

Junior defenseman Doug Andress tied his career high (set five times before) with two assists in the opener against UAF. He also was a career-best +3 in the game.

TOP 10
Mike Betz moved into 10th place in the OSU record book for career saves with 57 stops in the two games combined at against Alaska Fairbanks. In his career, he has 1,975 saves. Dan Stergiou (1973-76) holds the all-time OSU record with 3,261 saves in his career.

The series this weekend marks OSU’s first home games of the year. The squad is 35-24-7 all-time in Value City Arena, including a mark of 8-4-0 against non-conference foes. The team has scored 205 goals in the arena, an average of 3.11 a game, and allowed 157, for an average 2.38 goals against per game.

The Buckeyes were an outstanding 11-3-4 at home in Value City Arena last season. The team was undefeated in its last five games at home, posting a mark of 3-0-2.

After two CCHA games, the Buckeyes are among the Top 10 in the league in a number of categories. Daymen Bencharski is tied for fifth in scoring with four points and tied for first with two power-play goals. Dan Knapp is tied for fourth with three goals, while Ryan Kesler is tied for fourth with three assists. Mike Betz is third in goals-against average (1.92) and save percentage (.933). Knapp, Kesler, Doug Andress and Eric Skaug are tied for sixth with a +6 rating.

Sophomore forward John Toffey has elected to withdraw from Ohio State and no longer is a member of the Buckeye hockey and baseball teams.

In The Hockey News (Oct. 11 edition), the Buckeyes were picked to finish third in the CCHA. In addition, junior R.J. Umberger was predicted second as the league MVP and Mike Betz was No. 3 among the league’s top goalies. Buckeye freshman Ryan Kesler was selected as the No. 1 2003 NHL draft prospect in the league. Umberger was tied for second among the top NHL drafted players.

Senior defenseman Scott Titus will serve as the captain for the Buckeyes this season. Senior defenseman Eric Skaug and junior center R.J. Umberger are the alternate captains for the squad.

The Buckeyes had a season-high 43 shots on goal in the finale against Alaska Fairbanks. The squad now is averaging 31.7 shots on goal per game this season.

2 X 2 X 2 X 2 …
The Buckeyes have gone 77 regular-season games without a hat trick. Last year, a Buckeye scored two goals in a game 17 times and in the first game against UAF two Buckeyes – Dan Knapp and Daymen Bencharski – tallied twice. The last Buckeye hat trick was Oct. 21, 2000.

The Buckeyes were picked fourth in both the CCHA preseason coaches and media polls. The polls, which were identical, had Michigan first.

The complete polls:
1. Michigan
2. Michigan State
3. Northern Michigan
4. Ohio State
5. Nebraska-Omaha
6. Alaska Fairbanks
7. Notre Dame
8. Western Michigan
9. Ferris State
10. Miami
11. Bowling Green
12. Lake Superior State

After allowing five power-play goals against Minnesota in their season opener, the Buckeyes held the Nanooks scoreless on 11-of-12 chances in the two games combined, including killing all four UAF power play chances in the second game.

The Buckeyes continue their homestand with two games against non-conference opponents next weekend. OSU plays host to Cornell at 7:05 p.m. Friday (Nov. 1) and Colgate at 2:05 pm. Sunday (Nov. 3).