Dec. 11, 2001
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The Ohio State men’s hockey team returns to action with a two-game series at Ferris State. The Buckeyes (9-4-1, 6-3-1 CCHA) and Bulldogs (7-7-1, 5-7-1 CCHA) will face off at 7:35 p.m. Friday (Dec. 14) and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 15) in Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The games this weekend will be broadcast live by WOSU (820 AM) and on the Internet at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Paul Barnes (p-by-p) and former Buckeye and NHL goalie Bill McKenzie (color) will call the action.
Buckeye sophomores Dave Steckel and R.J. Umberger were named to the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championships. This marks the second time the tandem, the first Buckeyes ever named to the squad, will represent the United States in the tournament. The 10-team tournament, which includes the top players under 20 in the world, will be held Dec. 25, 2001-Jan. 5, 2002 in the cities of Hradac Kralove/Pardubice in the Czech Republic. The U.S. team will assemble in Ann Arbor, Mich., Dec. 16 to prepare for the tourney. On Dec. 19, the squad will travel to Switzerland for exhibition games vs. Switzerland (Dec. 21) and Sweden (Dec. 22).
Congratulations! Part II
Assistant coach Casey Jones and his wife, Kimberlee, welcomed the newest member of the Ohio State hockey program. The couple’s daughter, Gabrielle Ann, was born Friday, Dec. 7. She weighed in at 6 pounds 14 ounces and was 19 inches long.
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 46-28-10. The series is tied, 18-18-3, in Big Rapids. Ohio State is 12-3-1 against Ferris in the last 16 meetings, including a mark of 1-0-1 last season. In the last eight meetings in Big Rapids, the Buckeyes are 4-3-1.
The 2000-01 Series
Last season, the Buckeyes went 1-0-1 in a two-game series at Ferris State. In the first game, Paul Caponigri recorded a goal and two assists to lead Ohio State to a 6-1 victory. In the finale, Doug Andress scored with just over 10 minutes remaining to give the Buckeyes and Bulldogs a 1-1 tie.
Leaders vs. the Bulldogs
Paul Caponigri leads Ohio State with four points, on two goals and two assists, in two games vs. Ferris State. Dave Steckel (3a) and Scott Titus (3a) are tied for second with three points each.
The games this weekend mark the second series against a cluster opponent for the Buckeyes this weekend. Last weekend, Ohio State and Miami split a two-game home-and-home series in the opener of cluster play for both teams. Michigan State is the fourth team in the cluster. The Buckeyes and Bulldogs will face off Feb. 15-16 in Columbus and Ohio State and the Spartans will meet in two consecutive weekends, playing in East Lansing, Mich., Jan. 25-26 and in Columbus Feb. 1-2. Miami and Ohio State end the regular season with a two-game home-and-home series Feb. 25 and March 2.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Ferris State enters the series this weekend with an overall mark of 7-7-1 and is 5-7-1 (tied for seventh) in the CCHA. The squad is on a three-game losing streak after getting swept at home to Michigan (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), 4-5 and 1-6.
The Bulldogs are led in scoring by Rob Collins, the leading scorer in the CCHA with 9-17-26 totals. Collins also ranks first in the league with a +16 rating and three short-handed goals and is tied for first with 17 assists. Bulldog Chris Kunitz is second in the league with 13 goals in 15 games. John DeCaro is the leading goalie for FSU, with a goals-against average of 2.70. He has split time in net with Mike Brown, who has posted a gaa of 2.89. Brown is fourth in the league with a save percentage of .907.
Buckeye sophomore Scott May has an even six goals and six assists (12 points) this season. Last year, he totaled nine goals and nine assists (18 points) in 37 games.
The Buckeyes are second in the CCHA in all games and in league contests in penalty-killing percentage with 89.1 and 91.1 percent, respectively. In their last five games, the team has stopped 23-of-26 (88.5 percent) of its opponents’ power-play chances. The squad ranks fourth in the nation in penalty-killing percentage.
The squad’s power-play has been struggling, as it broke a three-game scoreless streak with the man advantage with a ppg against Miami. The Buckeyes are ninth in the CCHA with a pp percentage of 14.3 in conference games and 10th in all games with a percentage of 14.5. In the last five games, Ohio State has scored on 12 percent of its man-advantage chances, scoring on 3-of-25 opportunities.
Freshman forward JB Bittner now is tied for the team lead (with Scott May) with two game-winning goals after tallying the overtime score on the road at Miami.
The Buckeyes and RedHawks split a two-game home-and-home series Nov. 30-Dec. 1, with each team winning on the road. In the first game, Miami’s Mike Glumac broke a scoreless tie with a goal tallied with .1 of a second remaining in overtime in Value City Arena.
The next night, Ohio State rebounded with a 4-3 overtime victory in Goggin Arena in Oxford. JB Bittner tallied the gamewinner for the Buckeyes. Scott May, Chris Olsgard and Reed Whiting also tallied for the Buckeyes, with Olsgard (1g, 1a) and Paul Caponigri (2a) leading the squad with two points each.
Shutting Them Down
The Buckeyes rank sixth in the nation and second in the CCHA (all games) in scoring defense, allowing 2.14 goals per game. In 14 games, the squad has shut its opponents out three times, allowed one goal two times and given up two goals three times. Last season, Ohio State allowed its opponents 3.2 goals per game.
Sophomore Reed Whiting tallied in the 4-3 victory at Miami, marking the first goal of his collegiate career and his first point of the season.
This season, 21-of-22 Buckeyes skaters have scored at least one point. Of those, 16 have scored a goal at least once. The only Buckeye without a point is Luke Pavlas, who has seen action in just four games because of injuries.
With his win against Miami, goalie Mike Betz upped his career record to 25-21-3. His 25 wins rank 10th all-time in goalie wins at Ohio State. Betz is tied with Ray Aho (1997-00), the current OSU goalie coach, for 10th place.
Among the Best
Goalie Mike Betz ranks second in the CCHA in both goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.930) in all games. Michigan State goalie Ryan Miller, the 2001 Hobey Baker Award winner, leads the league with a goals-against average of 1.55 and a save percentage of .944.
In the national statistics on uscho.com, Betz is tied for seventh in the nation in goals-against average and tied for eighth in save percentage and third with three shutouts.
R.J. Umberger leads the Buckeyes in assists (eight) and points (14). He and Scott May are tied for the goal-scoring lead with six goals each. Mike McCormick lead the team with 16 penalties and 40 penalty minutes. Jason Crain and Reed Whiting lead the squad with a +5 rating.
When it’s Close
The Buckeyes have played in seven one-goal games this season, posting a mark of 6-1 in those contests. Six of the Buckeyes’ nine wins have been by one goal, while two others have been two-goal victories. Combined, Ohio State has won by an average of 2.1 goals. Not including the Buckeyes’ 9-0 victory over Wayne State, OSU has outscored its opponents by 1.25 goals in those eight wins. The squad’s only defeat in a one-goal game was the overtime loss to Miami Nov. 30.
The Ohio State vs. Yale game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, was moved to Sunday, Jan. 20 because of a scheduling conflict with Ohio State basketball. The gametime for the tilt on the 20th is officially 12:35 p.m.
Outscoring the Opposition
The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents in every period this season, including a 14-8 margin in the third period. Ohio State has a 15-11 margin in the first period and an 11-10 lead in the second stanza. Both Ohio State and its opponents have one overtime goal.
Do Shots On Goal Matter?
This season, the Buckeyes are 5-1-0 when they are outshot by their opponent and 4-3-1 when they put more shots on net than the opposition.
To the Net
For complete information on Ohio State men’s hockey, as well as the 34 other Buckeye sports, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Press releases, game recaps and complete statistical information is available on the site.
Keep Up With the CCHA
This week, the CCHA’s weekly radio show, will air live in Detroit on TEAM 1270 WXYT-AM from 9:30-10 p.m. Tuesday. Buckeye sophomore Dave Steckel will be one of the guests on the show this week. The show will be available on-line at ccha.com Thursday. Each week, the show (which normally airs from 9:30-10 p.m. Monday) features interviews with coaches, players and alumni from around the league.
The Buckeyes will be off following the game Saturday night until Christmas night. The squad then will travel to Estero, Fla., in the Naples area, for the second annual Everblades College Classic. Ohio State and Maine will face off Dec. 29th with Northern Michigan and Cornell matching up in the other first-round game. The championship and consolation game will be the 30th.