Jan. 10, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s Hockey Week in Columbus. The Ohio State men’s hockey team plays host to the rival Michigan Wolverines at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes (10-9-1, 7-6-1 CCHA) are trying to stop a five-game losing streak, while No. 8 Michigan (15-5-3, 9-3-1) is coming off two-consecutive shutout wins over Lake Superior State.

The Broadcasts
Both games this weekend will be broadcast on radio and television. Both games can be heard live on WOSU (820 AM) and at Herb Howenstine will call the action while John Mowat will provide the color commentary.

The game Friday will be televised live by The Ohio News Network. Randy Rhinehart will call the play-by-play with former Ohio State and NHL goaltender Bill McKenzie providing color commentary. Saturday the game will be broadcast live as part of the CCHA’s television package on Fox Sports Net Detroit. It will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Fox Sports Net Ohio. Josh Lewin (P-B-P) and Lyle Phair (color) will call the action while Shireen Saski will provide commentary from rinkside.

Hockey Week
Mayor Michael B. Coleman proclaimed Jan. 10-15 “Hockey Week” in Columbus (Jan. 8). The Buckeye men’s and women’s hockey teams, as well as the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, all play host to games this week. Friday night all three teams are playing at the same time, giving the city of Columbus the opportunity to establish a record for fans attending simultaneous NHL and NCAA hockey games within the same city. Over 30,000 fans are expected to watch the three games combined that night.

Packing Them In
The last time Ohio State and Michigan met in Value City Arena (Jan. 21, 2000), 17,343 fans packed the arena to set the NCAA on-campus record for attendance. That game broke the record of 17,249 set a year earlier when the Buckeyes and Wolverines met. The third-highest attendance in Ohio State history also was recorded when Michigan was in town, as 17,045 fans traveled through a snowstorm to see the first-ever hockey game in Value City Arena (Jan. 2, 1999).

The OSU-UM Series
The Wolverines hold a 48-21-9 record over the Buckeyes all-time. In Columbus, Michigan leads the series, 21-9-3. After going undefeated in four games vs. Michigan (3-0-1), the Buckeyes are 0-4-1 in the last five meetings.

The Series Last Season
The Buckeyes and Wolverines met four times last season as members of the same CCHA scheduling cluster. Michigan won the first three outings by a combined score of 20-9, before the squads tied Jan. 29, 2000 in Ann Arbor.

The 1999-00 OSU-UM Series Nov. 5 L 3-2 A Nov. 6 L 6-1 H Jan. 21 L 6-4 H Jan. 29 T 1-1 A

The Last Win
Ohio State’s last win over the Wolverines was a 3-2 victory Feb. 6, 1999 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Near the Top
Michigan stands in third place in the CCHA with 19 points, one point behind second-place Western Michigan and two points back of Michigan State in first place. The Buckeyes are tied for fourth place with 15 points.

Markell vs. Michigan
Ohio State head coach John Markell has a record of 3-14-4 all-time vs. the Wolverines.

Scouting the Wolverines
The Wolverines, who are in third place in the CCHA, are 15-5-3 overall this season. The team put together a five-game unbeaten streak before losing two games in the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena Dec. 29-30. The squad has now won two-consecutive games.

In 23 games this season, Michigan is averaging 4.0 goals per game while allowing an average of 2.5. The squad has outscored its opponents, 93-57, this season. The Wolverines have been strong on both the power play (22.1 percent) and the penalty kill (85.2 percent).

In conference play, Michigan is 9-3-1. The team has posted a mark of 8-2-2 at home and has lost just one time on the road, going 6-1-1. The Wolverines’ three conference losses this season have been to Michigan State (1-0), Ferris State (5-4) and Alaska Fairbanks (5-2).

UM’s Last Series
Michigan is coming off a two-game sweep, including two shutout wins, over Lake Superior. Michigan posted a 2-0 win Jan. 5 before winning, 5-0, in a day game Jan. 7. It was the first time the Wolverines posted two-consecutive shutouts since 1963-64. Goalie Josh Blackburn recorded both shutouts in goal for the Wolverines, stopping 49 shots on the weekend.

The Leaders
Andy Hilbert ranks first for the Wolverines in goals (16), assists (21) and points (37) this season. Mike Cammalleri is second with 13 goals, 18 assists and 31 points. Josh Blackburn has played in all 23 games in goal for Michigan, posting a 2.37 goals-against average and a .902 saves percentage.

The Wolverine Coach
Red Berenson is in his 17th season at the helm for the Wolverines. He led Michigan to national titles in 1996 and 1998 and his squad has advanced to 10-consecutive NCAA tournaments. He has a career mark of 436-212-43. Berenson, who earned both bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Michigan, earned All-America honors in 1961 and 62 before spending 17 seasons in the National Hockey League.

The World Juniors
Michigan had three competitors in the World Junior Championships. Andy Hilbert and Mike Komisarek were teammates of OSU’s Dave Steckel and R.J. Umberger on the U.S. team, while Mike Cammalleri played for Canada’s squad.

Former Teammates
In addition to playing on the same squad at the World Junior Championships. Ohio State’s Dave Steckel and R.J. Umberger were teammates with Michigan’s Mike Komisarek on the U.S. Under-18 Team in the National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

More Former Teammates
Ohio State freshman Paul Caponigri and Wolverine sophomore both played on the same Omaha Lancers squad of the United States Hockey League.

National Champions
Ohio State’s Pete Broccoli was a product of the Compuware Ambassadors. In addition, six Wolverines (Andy Burnes, Dave Huntzicker, Mark Mink, Mike Roemensky, L.J. Scarpace and J.J. Swistak) played for Compuware before joining Michigan’s squad. Broccoli, Mink, Roemensky, Shouneyia and Swistak helped the Ambassadors to the U.S. Junior A Championship in 1999.

Give Me an “A”
Senior Jaisen Freeman and junior Nick Ganga have been named alternate captains for the rest of the season for the Buckeyes. Senior Jean-Francois Dufour will continue to serve as the team’s captain.

Ohio State In the CCHA
In overall games, the Buckeyes rank third in team offense (3.60 goals per game) and fourth in team defense (2.80 gapg). In league games, Ohio State ranks fourth in offense (3.14 gpg) and third in defense (2.71 gapg).

U-M in the CCHA
Michigan ranks second in overall and conference and league games in team offense and team defense. The Wolverines are averaging 4.04 goals per game overall and 4.00 in CCHA games. On the defensive side, Michigan is allowing 2.48 goals per game overall, 1.85 in league contests.

The PP and PK
Ohio State’s special teams have been struggling lately, as the Buckeyes have dropped to the lower half of the CCHA in both power play and penalty killing percentage. Michigan ranks first in league games in power play (third overall) and is second in CCHA games (third overall).

Near the Bottom
Ohio State and Michigan both rank near the bottom in the CCHA in penalty minutes per game. Ohio State is 10th in conference games (23.93 PIM/game), while Michigan is 11th (26.23 PIM/game). In all games, the Buckeyes rank eighth (20.85 PIM/game). The Wolverines are 10th with 22.04 penalty minutes per game.

T.J. Latorre and Luke Pavlas each scored their first goal of the season in the second game against Western Michigan last weekend. Pavlas added an assist for his first multiple-point game of the 2000-01 season.

A Streak to End
The Buckeyes have now lost five-consecutive games following the series with Western Michigan. Last season the squad’s longest losing streak was 11 games (Oct. 9-Nov. 13). However, after January 1, the Buckeyes did not lose more than two games in a row through the end of the season.

Special Teams
The Buckeyes broke a two-game stretch of not scoring a power-play goal when they scored with the man advantage in the second game against Western Michigan. After allowing three power-play tallies in two-consecutive games, the Buckeyes held the Broncos to three PPGs on the weekend. Ohio State stopped six-of-seven power-play opportunities in the first game before killing five of seven the next night.

Scoring More
Through 20 games this season, the Buckeyes have tallied 72 goals. In all 36 games last season, Ohio State scored 80 times.

So Close, Yet So Far
In four of the five losses in their current losing streak, the Buckeyes have fallen short by just one goal. Western Michigan defeated Ohio State, 5-4, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (Dec. 15), to start the streak. Ohio State then lost two games in the Everblades College Classic in Estero, Fla., falling to Cornell, 6-5, in overtime, before losing to Clarkson, 7-6 in the consolation game. Western Michigan defeated the Buckeyes, 3-1, before Ohio State fell by one, 3-2, in the Buckeyes’ last outing. Ohio State has been outscored, 24-18, in the last five games. The Buckeyes had been unbeaten in five-straight games before the losing streak began.

Recapping the WMU Series
Western Michigan scored three-consecutive goals, including an even-strength, power play and short-handed tally, to defeat the Buckeyes, 3-1, in the first game of the series. Mike McCormick scored on the rebound of a Doug Andress shot in the first period for the Buckeyes’ lone goal.

The next night, Western Michigan and Ohio State traded goals. WMU opened the scoring with a goal in the second period before T.J. Latorre tied the game with an even-strength goal. The Broncos again had a one-goal lead until Luke Pavlas tied the game 4:37 into the third period. The game remained tied at two until Western Michigan scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the third period to take a 3-2 lead.

Getting It On Net
Freshman Doug Andress led the Buckeyes with a career-high six shots on net in the second game against Western Michigan. He is eighth on the squad with 33 shots on goal so far this season.

By the Classes
The 10 freshmen that have played for Ohio State this season have combined to record almost half of the Buckeyes’ scoring output. The rookies have 84 of OSU’s 190 points (44.7 percent). The senior class is second with 42 points (22.1 percent). The five juniors have 37 points (19.5 percent) and the six sophomores have 26 points (13.7 percent).

Still First
Jean-Francois Dufour leads the Buckeyes in goals, assists and points. He has 10 goals, 12 assists and 22 points. Last season he ranked first on the squad with 35 points (13-22).

In 18 games this season, Daymen Bencharski has not recorded a plus/minus rating below even. He is +5 this season.

Goals by the Classes
Of the 72 goals Ohio State has scored this season, the freshmen have 34 tallies to rank first. The senior class has tallied 15 goals while the juniors are just behind with 14 goals. The sophomore class has contributed nine goals this season.

Get Back on Track
Jean-Francois Dufour, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, was held scoreless in both games vs. Western Michigan. It was the first time since Oct. 21-Nov. 3, a three-game span, that he did not score in more than one game in a row. Dufour had scored in four-consecutive games before the first game against the Broncos.

Freshman defenseman Reed Whiting saw his first action as a Buckeye against Western Michigan. He was +1 on the weekend.

Coming Down
After averaging five goals scored and allowed in their four previous games, the Buckeyes averaged just 1.5 goals per game in the two-game series with Western Michigan. Ohio State held the Broncos to three goals in each game.

Michigan junior left wing Craig Murray is from Penticton, British Columbia, the same hometown former Buckeye and current Ohio State assistant coach Steve Brent hails from.

Minus A Man
Ohio State has outscored its opponents, 7-4, when the teams are skating 4-on-4 this season. Both of Jason Crain’s goals have come in 4-on-4 situations.

The Second is Best
Ohio State has scored more goals, and outscored its opponents by a larger margin, in the second period than in any other stanza this season. The squad has 29 tallies in the second stanza and has allowed just 18 goals. The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 23-21 in the third period, 17-15 in the first and 3-2 in overtime.

So far this season, eight Buckeyes have recorded 10 or more points: Jean-Francois Dufour (22), Dave Steckel (18), R.J. Umberger (18), Paul Caponigri (17), Nick Ganga (14), Andre Signoretti (13), Mike McCormick (13) and Doug Andress (11). At the end of last season only nine Buckeyes had reached double-digits in points.

10+ Part Two
Five Buckeyes have posted 10 or more assists this season. Jean-Francois Dufour leads the Buckeyes with 12 assists, while Paul Caponigri and Mike McCormick have 11 helpers each. R.J. Umberger has 10 assists. At the end of last season, only six Buckeyes had posted 10 or more helpers.

Finding the Net
The Broncos held Ohio State to one and two goals, respectively, in the two-game series last weekend. Those games marked the sixth and seventh times this season the Buckeyes have scored two or less goals in a game.

At Home
Since moving to Value City Arena, the Buckeyes have posted a mark of 21-14-3 at home. In CCHA games, Ohio State is 14-11-3 in VCA.

More On Value City Arena
The Buckeyes’ home rink, Value City Arena, is the largest on-campus collegiate hockey facility in the country. It will be the host of the NCAA Frozen Four in 2005.

Proving Them Wrong
Ohio State is tied for fourth place in the league standings. In both the coaches and media preseason polls, the Buckeyes were chosen to finish 10th.

Career Highs
Nick Ganga posted an assist in the second game vs. Western Michigan for his 15th point of the season. The 15 points mark a new career high for the junior. He already set his career-high for goals in a season with nine.

Sharp Shooters
Three Buckeyes have scored on 20 percent or more of their shots this season. Dave Steckel ranks first with a 25.7 shooting percentage (9/35 shots). Paul Caponigri ranks second with a 21.4 percent shooting percentage (6 goals/28 shots). Nick Ganga ranks third (20.5, 9/44).

The Rookies
Dave Steckel and R.J. Umberger are tied for third among CCHA rookies in scoring with 18 points each. Paul Caponigri is fifth with 17 points this season.

Stay Out of the Box
Ohio State is 5-2 when its opponents compile more penalty minutes this season. When the Buckeyes are in the penalty box more than their opponents, the squad is 5-6. The Buckeyes when 0-1-1 when each team had the same number of penalties.

Staying Out of the Box
The Buckeyes took 18 or less penalty minutes in four of the last six games, below their season average of 20.8 penalty minutes per game. In the other two games, both against Western Michigan, Ohio State was assessed 38 and 50 penalty minutes.

The Senior
Jean-Francois Dufour is fifth among league seniors with 22 points. He is tied for 11th in all games in scoring.

Keeping the Shots Down
Ohio State has only allowed more than 30 shots two times in its last 12 games. The Buckeyes are 8-4-1 when allowing 30 or less shots on goal and 2-5 when giving up 31 or more.

Time Change
The Ohio State vs. Michigan game Saturday, previously scheduled for 7:05 p.m., has been moved to 7:35 p.m.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will be away from Value City Arena for two weekends. The squad hits the road to face Notre Dame Friday-Saturday, Jan. 19-20 before having an off-weekend Jan. 26-27. Ohio State and the Fighting Irish will meet in Columbus, Feb. 2-3.