Feb. 1, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 10th-ranked Ohio State women’s hockey team (14-10-4, 9-9-4 WCHA) hits the road to travel to Grand Forks, N.D., for a series with North Dakota (3-23-2, 0-21-1 WCHA) Feb. 2-3. Games begin at 7:07 p.m. (CT) both Friday and Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

North Dakota Series History
The series between Ohio State and North Dakota dates back to the 2004-05 season. OSU dropped the first meeting to the Fighting Sioux, but are undeafeated since with a 8-0-1 record. In Grand Forks, Ohio State leads 3-1-0, including a sweep of the Sioux at Engelstad last season.

When Last We Met…
The Buckeyes have a five-game win streak against UND, which includes a sweep of the series earlier this season in Columbus, Nov. 17 and 19. Ohio State won 4-1 Friday and 4-0 Sunday.

Junior forward Erin Keys had three goals and five points in the series, and senior defenseman Amber Bowman tallied four assists. Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer had 47 saves in the series, including 26 in game two for the shutout.

Last Time Out: Minnesota Duluth
No. 10 Ohio State took one point in a home conference series against No. 7 Minnesota Duluth, Jan. 26-27. The Bulldogs rallied for a 5-3 victory Friday, as Morgan Marziali, Rachel Davis and Erin Keys each scored a goal for the Buckeyes. Junior defenseman Lisa Chesson scored the lone OSU goal Saturday as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie. Eleven different Buckeyes recorded a point in the series.

Scouting the Sioux
North Dakota is 3-23-2 overall and 0-21-1 in the WCHA. The Fighting Sioux are led by interim head coach Dennis Miller. Offensively, Samantha Bowers is the top scorer for UND with eight points in five goals and three assists. Alexia Gagnon-Laplante is tied for the team lead with five goals. Aynlyn Allen has a Sioux-best five assists.

Brittany Kirkham has played the majority of games in net for North Dakota. She is 3-22-2 wtih an .887 save percentage and 3.65 goals-against-average.

Bowman Approaching the Century Mark
Senior defenseman Amber Bowman increased her career point total to 95 with an assist vs. Minnesota Duluth. With three points against St. Cloud State (Jan. 19-20), she became just the fifth Buckeye to surpass 90 career points. Bowman is five points shy of passing Emma Laaksonen for the record for career points by a defenseman. That would also make her the first OSU defenseman to reach 100 points.

Helpful Hand
Amber Bowman also recorded her 69th career assist in the Minnesota Duluth series. She is one helper shy of tying for second all-time. Former Buckeye forward Jana Harrigan (2003-06) holds the record with 92.

Turn Around
Ohio State started this season 2-5-0 with 22 goals allowed in the first seven games. Since then, the Buckeyes are 12-5-4 with 39 goals allowed in those 21 games (1.9 goals per game). At 14-10-4 overall, OSU has already surpassed its win total from the 2005-06 season when the team finished 13-18-5.

Top 3 D in the Nation
Amber Bowman (31 points), Tessa Bonhomme (29) and Lisa Chesson (28) are not only the second, third and fourth highest scoring defenseman overall in the WCHA, respectively, they also have the second, third and fourth highest point totals by defensemen in the nation. The trio has combined for 88 points, far and away the most by any defensive threesome in the nation. Wisconsin is second with a combined 70 points by their top three scoring defensemen, and St. Lawrence is third with 54.

D-Men Running Away with WCHA Lead
Overall as a unit, the Buckeyes lead the WCHA in defenseman scoring with 100 points on 30 goals and 70 assists. Wisconsin is second with 81 defenseman points, followed by Minnesota with 49 and Minnesota Duluth with 40. OSU defensemen have recorded 50 percent of the teams assists and 35 percent of the goals.

Miss Consistency
Junior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme extended her point streak to seven games with an assist Friday vs. Minnesota Duluth, but it came to an end Saturday. It was just the second time in the last 12 game she was held without a point. During her streak Bonhomme has three goals and six assists, and she has recorded 15 points (7g, 8a) in the 12-game span.

Man Up – Part I
OSU is 32-of-153 (20.9 percent) this season with the man-advantage, with 12 more PP goals through 28 games this year than the team scored in the entire 36-game 2005-06 season. Ninety-three of the Buckeyes’ 226 points this season – or 41 percent – have been scored on the power play. The Buckeyes’ power play ranks third overall in the WCHA and 10th in the nation.

Man Up – Part II
Junior Lisa Chesson leads the Buckeyes in power play scoring with 19 of her 28 points, including eight of her nine goals, with the man-advantage. She is tied for first overall in the WCHA in PP goals and PP points.

Senior Amber Bowman is just behind Chesson with 18 power play points (2g, 16a). Junior Erin Keys is third (15 points), followed by Tessa Bonhomme (14) and Mallory Peckels (11).

Best of the Blueliners
Amber Bowman, Tessa Bonhomme and Lisa Chesson are all climbing the Ohio State records for career points by a defenseman. Bowman is second all-time with 95 points, followed by Bonhomme in fourth with 76 and Chesson in fifth with 54. Emma Laaksonen (2001-04) hold the record with 99 points.

Dynamic Defensive Duo
The defensive tandem of Tessa Bonhomme and Amber Bowman have totaled 31 points in the last 16 games. Bowman has 17 assists (1 goal) during that span with five multiple-assist games. Bonhomme has 8-10-18 with six multiple-point games.

Bonhomme and Bowman have been held scoreless in the same game just three this season, with that last happening Oct. 27 vs. Minnesota.

Keys is Key
Erin Keys has been an important part of the Ohio State offense this season. She leads the Buckeyes in points (35) and goals (16). She is second in assists with 19 and his fired an OSU-high 101 shots on goal. Keys was just the eighth Buckeye in program history to reach the 30-point milestone in a season and only the fifth forward to do so. At 35 points, she is tied for ninth for most points in a single season in the OSU record books. She entered the season with 23 points in her first two seasons.

Keys Earns USCHO P.O.W. Honors
Junior forward Erin Keys was named USCHO Offensive Player of the Week, the U.S. College Hockey Online site announced Jan. 17. It is the first national recognition for Keys and the third time a Buckeye has been awarded player of the week by USCHO this season. She also was recognized as WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Jan. 16.

Keys recorded four points in a split on the road at then-No. 5 Minnesota (Jan. 12-13), with a goal and two assists Friday and an assist Saturday. The game Friday was her fifth this season with three or more points and eighth multiple-point game overall.

The Big 5-0
Junior defenseman Lisa Chesson posted her second career five-point weekend with a goal and four assists vs. Minnesota (Jan. 12-13). Her four assists in the first game were a career high. With her five points, she increased her season total to 24 and reached the 50-point milestone of her career, just the 15th Buckeye in program history to do so. Now at 54 career points, Chesson is fifth all-time in scoring by Ohio State defensemen.

She’s a Brick … Wall
Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer held Minnesota Duluth to just one goal Jan. 27 in a 1-1 overtime tie making 20 saves. It was the 12th time this season Vanderveer has held opponents to one goal or less. Overall, she has a 1.93 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage, seventh-best in the nation.

Thirty Something
Sophomore netmider Liana Bonanno made 37 saves against Bemidji State Jan. 6 in OSU’s 1-1 overtime tie with the Beavers. In 18 career appearances, Bonanno has recorded 30 or more saves 10 times, including twice this season in just five starts.

Get Shorty
Junior forward Jody Heywood’s shorthanded goal at Minnesota State (Nov. 24) was her second this season and of her career. She is just the third Buckeye in school history to record multiple SHG in her career. Ohio State has scored five shorthanded goals by four different players this season.

Buckeyes vs. Non-WCHA opponents
With a split against Princeton Dec. 30-31, Ohio State finished the nonconference slate of the season with a combined 5-1-0 record against the Tigers, Northeastern and Connecticut. The Buckeyes are 33-28-7 all-time against non-WCHA opponents.

Up Next
Ohio State continues its road swing when the Buckeyes travel to No. 2 Wisconson for two games Feb. 9 and 11. Games begin at 2:07 p.m. (CT) Friday and 11:07 a.m. Sunday at the Kohl Center.