Jan. 18, 2005
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
The No. 10 Ohio State men’s hockey team (15-6-3, 12-3-1/2nd CCHA) plays host to No. 3 Michigan (18-5-1, 15-1-0/1st CCHA) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
The Buckeyes’ games vs. Michigan will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat (analysis) on the call.
The game Saturday will be televised live by CSTV: College Sports Television. Mike Emrick (play-by-play) and Billy Jaffe (analysis) will call the action.
The Underground, OSU’s student-run radio station, will broadcast the games online at www.underground.fm/sports.
Live stats from the game can be accessed by clicking on the Gametracker link on the men’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Fans also will be able to watch the game Friday by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
The Fun Stuff
At the game Friday, the Ohio State band will perform Script Ohio on Ice at the first intermission. Saturday, free rally towels will be handed out to the first 10,000 fans courtesy of Nationwide Insurance and there will be a postgame autograph session with JB Bittner and Lee Spector.
Watching OSU vs. U-M
Both games this weekend are approaching sellouts. The top three hockey crowds in Value City Arena have seen the Buckeyes take on the Wolverines, including an NCAA indoor on-campus record of 17,343 Jan. 21, 2000. Other top crowds to see OSU-UM include the 17,249 Jan. 23, 1999 and 17,045 Jan. 2, 1999 vs. Michigan (the inaugural game in VCA).
Last Time Out
Ohio State and Michigan both are coming off two-game sweeps in CCHA play last weekend. OSU won two games at Notre Dame, posting 4-1 and 3-1 victories.
The Wolverines swept Alaska Fairbanks at home, with identical 5-2 wins.
In the League
Ohio State and Michigan enter the weekend as the Top 2 teams in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Michigan is in first place with 30 points and a 15-1-0 record, while OSU is in second with a 12-3-1 ledger and 25 points.
OSU is five points ahead of third-place Nebraska-Omaha (9-7-2/20 points) with two games in hand. Northern Michigan is in fourth place with 19 points in 16 games, followed by Bowling Green with 16 points in 14 games.
The League Slate
In addition to the Ohio State-Michigan matchup, there are four other league series this weekend – Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, Ferris State at Alaska Fairbanks, Lake Superior at Michigan State and Nebraska-Omaha at Miami.
In the Rankings
Ohio State was ranked 10th in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released Monday and held down the No. 13 spot in the INCH (insidecollegehockey.com) power poll. Michigan holds down the No. 3 spot in the first two polls and is ranked fourth by INCH.
The Series The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Michigan, 24-56-11, including an 11-24-5 record in Columbus. In the last 10 meetings, OSU is 2-6-2.
In the last six games in Columbus, the teams are tied, 2-2-2, including two series splits (Nov. 14-15, 2003 and Jan. 12-13, 2001) and a series with two ties (March 7-8, 2003).
The Series in 2003-04
Ohio State and Michigan met five times last season, with the Buckeyes going 2-3. The teams split a two-game series in Columbus Nov. 14-15, 2003; Michigan won the opener 4-0 before OSU won the second game 5-2. The teams met in Ann Arbor Jan. 9-10, with Michigan sweeping Ohio State (3-2 and 7-1). The final meeting came in the CCHA Super Six championship game, with OSU winning 4-2 to claim the program’s first league title since 1972.
The Last Meeting
Ohio State controlled play through the first 50 minutes, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, and then held on to beat No. 1-seed Michigan and win the Mason Cup March 20, 2004 in the CCHA Super Six championship game.
There was no scoring in the first. OSU dominated the play, outshooting the Wolverines, 17-5.
In the second period, OSU scored twice in a span of 1:14 with the teams skating 4-on-4 to take a 2-0 lead. Paul Caponigri, assisted by Rod Pelley, scored 2:50 into the period, followed by a Doug Andress goal at 4:04 off the rebound of a Matt Beaudoin shot. Dan Knapp ended the scoring in the stanza with a power-play tally with just 33 seconds remaining, as he banked the puck in off the back of UM goalie Al Montoya.
Michigan pulled within one (3-2) on goals by Milan Gajic at 10:40 and Brandon Rogers at 13:06 of the third period. The Wolverines pressured the Buckeye net, attempting 42 shots, but could not get the equalizer. In the period, the Buckeyes blocked 17 Michigan shots, while OSU goalie Dave Caruso made 12 saves. The Wolverines pulled Montoya for the extra skater before a Buckeye was assessed a penalty with 54 seconds remaining to give UM a 6-on-4 advantage. The Buckeyes held tough and Andress put the game out of reach with a shorthanded, empty-net goal at 19:29, lifting the puck the length of the ice and into the net.
OSU outshot UM in the game, 32-28. The Buckeyes were 1-for-1 on the power play and stopped UM on all three chances.
A Look at the Wolverines
Michigan is ranked third in the country with an 18-5-1 record and stands in first place in the CCHA with a 15-1 ledger. The team enters the series with the Buckeyes on a 12-game winning streak in league play, following its only league loss to Ferris State (1-0 in overtime) Oct. 30.
Michigan is averaging 4.4 goals a game (5.00 in league play) and allows 2.6 goals an outing (2.38 in conference). The Wolverines have converted 20.4 percent of their power-play chances (32-157) and have stopped 83.4 (131-157) percent of their opponents’ opportunities.
Four Wolverines have posted 20 or more points this season. T.J. Hensick leads the way with 32, followed by Jeff Tambellini with 30, Milan Gajic with 25 and David Moss with 24. Hensick has a team-best 15 goals and Tambellini is first on the team with 18 helpers.
In net, Al Montoya has played in 22 games, with a 2.68 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
Red Berenson, a 1962 graduate of Michigan, is in his 21st season at the helm of his alma mater. He has a career and school ledger of 551-260-56.
A Look Back – OSU Sweeps ND
The Buckeyes downed Notre Dame, 4-1, Jan. 14 in the Joyce Center in the series opener. Andrew Schembri led the way with three assists and points, while Tom Fritsche and Matt Beaudoin each had a power-play goal and an assist, as OSU was 3-for-6 on the power play.
The Irish opened the scoring on Wes O’Neill’s 5-on-3 power-play goal at 15:52 of the first period. The Buckeyes’ Fritsche answered with a power-play goal to tie the game with just 44 seconds remaining in the period.
The Buckeyes took control of the game in the second period, outshooting Notre Dame, 11-2, in the middle period. Nate Guenin scored the eventual gamewinner at 10:22 of the second period. Bryce Anderson and Beaudoin then ended the scoring with late power-play goals in the third period.
Freshman Domenic Maiani had three assists and Sean Collins had a goal and an assist as OSU beat Notre Dame 3-1 Jan. 15 to complete the series sweep.
Rod Pelley opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:28 into the game. The Buckeyes had a number of other chances in the first period, outshooting ND 13-5, but were unable to get the puck past ND goalie Morgan Cey.
Anderson scored the eventual gamewinner in the second period. Notre Dame got on the board with a power-play tally 11:27 into the third period, cutting the Buckeye lead to 2-1. ND pulled Cey for the extra attacker but was unable to tie the game. Collins sealed the win with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining.
Forward Tom Fritsche was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week after posting three points in OSU’s road sweep of Notre Dame last weekend. This marks the second time Fritsche has been named the league’s rookie of the week; he first was honored Nov. 8.
Fritsche had a goal and an assist to earn first star of the game honors in OSU’s win over the Irish Friday. He added an assist on Bryce Anderson’s gamewinning goal Saturday for a three-point weekend. He was +1 on the weekend and helped the Buckeye power play convert 4-of-12 chances in the series.
This is the eighth league honor for Ohio State this season. Sean Collins has been named league defenseman of the week twice (Oct. 18 and Nov. 15), Fritsche (Nov. 8, Jan. 17) and Johann Kroll (Jan. 3) have been honored as the league’s rookie of the week, Rod Pelley earned offensive player of the week accolades (Oct. 25), Matt Waddell was the defenseman of the week Oct. 25 and Dave Caruso was the CCHA Goaltender of the Week Dec. 6.
A Sweet Sweep
The Buckeyes’ sweep over Notre Dame was their fifth of the season (fourth in league play) and the second road sweep (the first was at Ferris State Oct. 15-16). OSU has home sweeps over Sacred Heart, Northern Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks and swept a home-and-home series against Miami.
Two Buckeyes had three-assist games in South Bend. Andrew Schembri accomplished the feat Friday. The three assists were a career best and the three points tied his career high, first set at Ferris State Feb. 7, 2004. Domenic Maiani tied his career high with three assists Saturday, matching his total first set vs. Sacred Heart Nov. 6.
Tom Fritsche has the team season-best with four assists Nov. 6 vs. Sacred Heart. In addition to Schembri and Maiani vs. Notre Dame, there have been four other three-assist games for OSU this season (Sean Collins vs. UAF Dec. 4, Matt McIlvane vs. Miami Oct. 21, Maiani vs. SHU Nov. 6 and Fritsche vs. SHU Nov. 5).
Notre Dame’s first-period power-play goal Friday ended Ohio State’s streak of consecutive penalties killed at 29. The Buckeyes had not allowed a power-play tally in the last four games, dating back to OSU’s loss at Clarkson Dec. 11. Since the midseason break, Ohio State has stopped 36-of-38 (94.7 percent) opponent power-play chances.
Stopping the Shooters
Ohio State held the Irish to less than 20 shots in both games of the series; Notre Dame had 19 shots in the opener and 18 in game two. OSU has held opponents to less than 20 shots four times this season, going 4-0 in those games.
On the year, OSU is averaging 30.8 shots on goal and allowing 26.6.
Sophomore Bryce Anderson has a goal in each of the last three games, including the gamewinner against Notre Dame Saturday.
Rod Pelley’s first-period goal at Notre Dame Jan. 15 was his team-best ninth power-play goal of the season and his first since Dec. 3, extending his scoring streak to four. He is tied for third in the nation in power-play goals and is first in the league in power-play goals overall and in CCHA play (8). Pelley extended his scoring streak to four with the goal and is second on the team in scoring with a career-best 24 points, topping the mark of 22 he set last season.
A Team Effort
Junior defenseman Nate Guenin had the gamewinner against Notre Dame Friday, the 12th Buckeye to score the winner this season in 15 victories.
Rod Pelley, Bryce Anderson and Lee Spector lead the team with two gamewinning scores each. Sean Collins has two of OSU’s three game-tying scores, while Jason DeSantis has the other.
Typically a Good Sign
When the Buckeyes score first this season, the team is 11-1-2, while OSU is 5-5-1 when the opponent scores first. Against the Irish Jan. 14, Notre Dame opened the scoring but OSU scored four unanswered goals to win, 4-1
Leading the Way
With three points in the series against Notre Dame, freshman Tom Fritsche regained the team scoring lead with 25 points, one ahead of Rod Pelley (24). Fritsche has a team-best 21 assists and is first for the Buckeyes with a +12 rating.
A Home-Ice Advantage
The Buckeyes are 8-1 at home this season but are coming off their first home loss, a 3-2 overtime win by Ferris State Jan. 8.
OSU’s home winning streak was ended at 13 with the loss to the Bulldogs. The 13 wins tied the program record for consecutive home victories first set Nov. 21, 1969-Feb. 6, 1970. OSU had not lost at home since being swept by Michigan State Jan. 23-24, 2004.
The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents in Value City Arena 4.4 to 1.4 goals a games. OSU has converted 17-of-59 (28.8 percent) of its power-play chances and has stopped 65-of-68 (95.6 percent) opponent chances in VCA.
Against the Ranked
Ohio State has played seven games against teams ranked at the time of the meeting this season, going 4-1-2 in those games. Michigan enters the series ranked third in the nation.
10/9 #10 UNH L 1-5 10/21 #6 Miami W 9-3 10/22 #6 Miami W 2-1 11/13 #11 NMU W 2-0 11/14 #11 NMU W 5-1 12/30 #2 CC T OT 2-2
The game against Ferris State Jan. 8 was Ohio State’s fifth overtime contest of the season and marked its first overtime loss. OSU is 1-1-3 in overtime on the year, including an OT victory on the road at Ferris State Oct. 16. OSU has recorded ties against Nebraska-Omaha (Nov. 20), Clarkson (Dec. 10) and Colorado College (Dec. 30). In all three ties this season, OSU has been the team to come from behind and force overtime. Last season, OSU was 2-3-0 in overtime games.
Scoring on the PK
Buckeye sophomore Bryce Anderson scored shorthanded against Ferris State Jan. 8, marking the first shorthanded marker of his career.
OSU now has six shorthanded tallies this season to lead the CCHA and is tied for fourth in the nation. In the country, Bemidji State, Wayne State and Colgate lead the way with seven shorthanded goals each, while OSU, Ferris State, Denver, Mercyhurst, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and Alabama-Huntsville each have six.
Each of OSU’s shorthanded goals have been scored by a different Buckeye – Anderson, Dan Knapp, Matt Beaudoin, Lee Spector, Jason DeSantis and Matt McIlvane.
Senior JB Bittner is the only Buckeye with more than one shorthanded goal in his career. He had one in each of his first three seasons with the team.
Scott May led OSU with three shorthanded tallies last season and Dave Steckel had two shorties. They are the only Buckeyes with more than one shorthanded goal in a campaign since Jean-Francois Dufour and Eric Meloche had two each in 2000.
On the PP
Ohio State has at least one power-play goal in 19-of-24 games this season. OSU is winless (0-4-1) when held without a power-play goal.
The squad converted 4-of-12 chances at Notre Dame in its last time out, including going 3-for-6 in the first game Jan. 14.
On a Hot Streak
Sophomore forward Matt Beaudoin has nine points in the last eight games and now has a career-best 15 points on the season. He ranks second on the team with a career-best nine goals, scoring on 22 percent (9/41) of his shots. He had a goal and an assist in the opener at Notre Dame.
A Career Mark
Buckeye senior Lee Spector played in his 100th game as a Buckeye against Ferris State Jan. 8. He has nine goals, 12 assists in 21 points and a +14 rating in 102 games for the Scarlet and Gray.
Spector is one of three current Buckeyes to have played in at least 100 games for Ohio State, joining classmate JB Bittner (142 games played) and junior Rod Pelley (108).
Back in the Mix
Sophomore Kenny Bernard scored his first goal of the season against Ferris State Jan. 7. It was his fourth game back after an injury suffered in the preseason kept him out until Dec. 11. Bernard’s first point of the year came on an assist against Colorado College Dec. 30. After adding an assist at Notre Dame Jan. 14, Bernard has three points in seven games, tying the mark he set in 32 games as a freshman last year.
Between the Pipes
Junior goalie Dave Caruso has a career-best 13 wins this season. He has 27 wins as a Buckeye, just one victory shy of tying for 10th place all-time in the OSU record books. He is 11th in the nation and second in the CCHA with a 2.12 goals-against average.
Junior Dan Knapp is fourth on the team with 21 points, ranking third (tied) in goals (9) and third in assists (13). He has a point in 19-of-24 games this season and has not gone more than one game without a point.
Leading the Way
Senior forward JB Bittner is serving as team captain and junior defenseman Nate Guenin and junior forward Rod Pelley are alternate captains for the 2004-05 season. The trio was selected by a vote of their teammates. Bittner, from Pittsburgh, Pa., is entering his second year as team captain, while Aliquippa, Pa., native Guenin is in his second year as an alternate.
Next week, Ohio State will play host to Western Michigan at 7:05 p.m. Jan. 28-29. Jan. 28, the BMX Stunt Team will perform on ice for the first time anywhere. Jan. 29 is Youth Jersey Night; all children in eighth grade and younger wearing a youth hockey jersey to the game receive free admission. Frozen Four packs are available for the game as well, which include four tickets, four hot dogs, for sodas and four popcorns for $40. Postgame, an autograph session with Dan Knapp and Tyson Strachan is scheduled.
On the Air
Ohio State will appear on both national and local television this season.
OSU’s 2004-05 Television Schedule Oct. 9 New Hampshire L, 1-5 (NHPT) Dec. 4 Alaska Fairbanks W, 5-2 (Sport!) Dec. 29 Minnesota State W, 3-1 (ONN) Dec. 30 Colorado College TOT, 2-2 (ONN) Jan. 7 Ferris State W, 3-1 (CSTV) Jan. 22 Michigan CSTV Feb. 18 at Michigan State FSN Detroit Feb. 19 at Michigan State Comcast
Buckeye Hockey Weekly, Ohio State head coach John Markell’s radio show, returns this season. The show, hosted by Neil Sika, can be heard at 7 p.m. most Tuesdays on 1460 (AM) The Fan and online at 1460TheFan.com. The remaining dates of the show are Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8, March 1 and March 8. Fans are welcome to call in (614-821-1460) with questions for Markell.