Buckeyes, led by WCHA Defensive Player of the Week Tessa Bonhomme, hit the road for the fourth time this season
COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 9/10 Ohio State women’s hockey team will hit the road for the fourth time just six weeks into the season, traveling to Mankato, Minn., to face Minnesota State in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, Nov. 9-10. Games will begin at 7:07 p.m. (CT) Friday and 3:07 p.m. Saturday.
The Buckeyes are coming off their first sweep of the season against Bemidji State to improve to 4-2-2 in the league and sit in third place with 10 points. Overall, OSU is 5-3-2. Minnesota State is tied for sixth in the conference at 2-3-1 with an overall record of 2-5-1.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for both of the Ohio State-Minnesota State games is available at livestats.prestosports.com/mnsumankato. Links to it are available on the women’s hockey schedule page at the official Web site of Ohio State athletics, www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Ohio State will be without head coach Jackie Barto and senior defenseman Lisa Chesson for the Minnesota State series. The two will be competing with Team USA in the Four Nations Cup, Nov. 7-11 in Leksand, Sweden. In June, Barto was named head coach of both the U.S. Select Team (competing in the Four Nations Cup) and the U.S. National Team, which she will lead in the 2008 World Women’s Championships in April.
Chesson was named to the 2007 U.S. Women’s Select Team on Oct. 16. She and Team USA will face off against the national teams from Canada, Sweden and Finland. In August, Chesson became just the second Buckeye to be named to the U.S. Under-22 Team. She is the first student-athlete in Ohio State women’s hockey history to be named to the U.S. Women’s Select Team. The squad is a 22-player roster that includes eight Olympians. Fourteen of its members won silver at the 2007 World Women’s Championship hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
BONHOMME NAMED WCHA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme received WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Tuesday. It is the first award for a Buckeye this season and Bonhomme’s fifth weekly conference award of her career.
Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, led the Buckeyes with five points in the sweep of Bemidji State, Nov. 2-3. The team captain set up three goals in game one and followed with two assists Saturday for the fifth and sixth multiple-point games of the season just 10 games into the schedule.
A WELCOMED HOMECOMING
The Ohio State series at Minnesota State is its fourth road series in the opening six weeks of the season. The Buckeyes have battled through the first six road games with a 2-2-2 mark, including tough series at nationally-ranked Wisconsin and Connecticut. After this weekend in Mankato, OSU will be home to host a nonconference series with Providence (Nov. 16-17) and a WCHA series against St. Cloud State (Nov. 23-24). The two series are Ohio State’s only back-to-back home series this season.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State moved up to No. 9 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll released Nov. 6. The Buckeyes received 30 points to go up one place; they are 12 points ahead of Boston College in 10th. In the USCHO.com poll released Nov. 5, Ohio State and Boston College are tied for 10th with 14 points each. They both are just behind Dartmouth in ninth with 17 points.
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Mavericks by a 30-3-3 record and have won the last eight meetings. OSU swept all three series last season, including the first round WCHA playoffs in Columbus.
Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme has 15 points, including 13 assists, in 16 games vs. Minnesota State. Fellow senior Erin Keys has scored seven goals and 14 points in 15 games and junior Hayley Klassen also has seven goals and 12 points in 10 games.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
Minnesota State is 2-5-1 overall with a 2-3-1 record in the WCHA to tie for sixth in the standings. The Mavericks are coming off a split at home against St. Cloud State, winning 3-2 in overtime in game one before falling 3-1. Three players are tied for the team lead with four points in seniors Kristina Bunker and Amanda Stohr and junior Maggie Fisher. Bunker and Nina Tikkinen each have three goals to lead MSU. Patrolling the Maverick goal is senior Britni Kehler, who is 2-5-1 with a .913 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 10 Ohio State defeated Bemidji State by scores of 6-2 and 6-1 at the OSU Ice Rink, Nov. 2-3. It was the first sweep for the Buckeyes this season as they improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games. A pair of seniors Erin Keys and Tessa Bonhomme each had three points Friday. Keys scored twice and added an assist while Bonhomme had three helpers. Also recording multiple points were freshman Jenna Kilpatrick (1g, 1a), senior Mallory Peckels (1g, 1a) and junior Hayley Klassen (2g).
In game two, Bonhomme handed out two more assists, while fellow senior defenseman Lisa Chesson scored twice and Klassen and Raelyn LaRocque each had a goal and assist. Bonhomme led Ohio State in the series with five points and was one of 10 Buckeyes to have multiple points on the weekend. A total of 15 OSU players had a point.
NOTING THE BEMIDJI STATE SERIES
* Ohio State is 20-11-5 all-time against the Beavers, but it was the team’s first sweep against BSU since Feb. 4-5, 2005.
* Senior goaltender Jill Mauch replaced Liana Bonanno in the third period Friday for her first action of the season. She stopped nine of 10 shots faced in the last 15:46 of the game.
* Freshman netminder Deidre Facklis made her second appearance of the season Saturday, also making nine saves with one goal allowed while patrolling the entire third period.
* Bonanno started both games of the series and picked up both wins, making 23 saves with one goal allowed for a .958 save percentage.
* Some career firsts were recorded in the Bemidji State series: Jenna Kilpatrick scored her first goal, Olivia Antognoli had her first assist and Christina Mancuso picked up her first point as a Buckeye with an assist.
COUNTDOWN TO 200
With the sweep of Bemidji State, head coach Jackie Barto climbed even closer a milestone in her 13th season of coaching, needing just three wins to reach the 200-victory mark. She has a career record is 197-199-40, including a 127-146-30 mark at Ohio State.
Barto, the first and only head coach of the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team, is in her ninth season at the helm of the Buckeyes. In 2006-07, four Buckeyes were named to All-WCHA teams and Tessa Bonhomme became Ohio State’s third All-American. Barto reached her 100th Ohio State win Jan. 28, 2006, vs. Minnesota at the OSU Ice Rink. Prior to Ohio State, she spent five years coaching at Providence College.
SIMPLY THE BEST
Tessa Bonhomme has 15 points through 10 games this season to tie for the WCHA lead in overall scoring as well as leading all defenseman six points ahead of the next blueliner. Her six goals are tied for fifth-most and her nine assists are tied for second. Bonhomme is the only defenseman in the nation with double-digit points and leads all defensemen with 1.50 points per game.
In their last five games, the Buckeyes are 4-0-1 and outscoring their opponents 20-7. The Ohio State penalty kill also has been going strong with a 23-of-24 mark for a .958 percentage.
Fifteen players have recorded a point, led by senior forward Erin Keys with seven (3g, 4a). Junior Hayley Klassen has lit the lamp five times during the span and defensemen Tessa Bonhomme and Shannon Reilly have dished out five assists each. In net, junior Liana Bonanno has made 99 saves with five goals allowed for a 1.12 goals-against average and .952 save percentage.
Junior forward Hayley Klassen had two multiple-point games in Ohio State’s sweep against Bemidji State, Nov. 2-3. The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scored twice in the 6-2 victory Friday and had a goal and an assist in the 6-1 win Saturday. Klassen has registered a point in five of the last six games, with five goals and two assists during that span. She moved into a tie for third on the team with seven points and is tied for eighth overall in the WCHA with five goals.
MOVING ON UP
With five assists vs. Bemidji State last weekend, senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme moved into a tie for fifth in career scoring in the OSU record books with 98 points. She is two points away from becoming just the fourth Buckeye to reach the 100-point milestone, which would also bump her in the second in career scoring by a defenseman. She also increased her career assist total to 66, moving her into fourth all-time. Bonhomme trails former Buckeye All-American Emma Laaksonen (2001-04) who is second in defenseman scoring with 99. Last season, Amber Bowman set the OSU blueliner record with 102 career points.
LEADING THE WAY
Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme was voted team captain for the 2007-08 season, announced at the team banquet in the spring. Along with three seniors, Bonhomme was one of four captains in 2006-07. Wearing the A’ for the Buckeyes this season is a trio of seniors in forwards Jody Heywood and Mallory Peckels and defenseman Lisa Chesson. It is the first OSU captain honor for all three.
Ohio State returns to Columbus to host Providence in a nonconference series, Nov. 16-17. Games being at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. It is the first meeting between the two teams since 2002 and the second Hockey East matchup for the Buckeyes this season.
Providence is the alma mater of head coach Jackie Barto, a 1984 grad. She captained the ice hockey, field hockey and softball teams as a senior and was inducted into the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. Barto began her college hockey coaching career at PC, where she guided Catherine Hanson (class of ’98) and Katie Lachapelle (class of ’99), now her assistant coaches at Ohio State.