Oct. 6, 2004

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IceBreaker Tournament
Whittemore Center
Durham, N.H.

No. 12/13 Ohio State
0-0-0, 0-0-0 CCHA
No. 10 New Hampshire
0-0-0, 0-0-0 HE
5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9

St. Cloud State
0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA
St. Lawrence
0-0-0, 0-0-0 ECACHL
2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9

No. 12/13 Ohio State
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10

No. 10 New Hampshire
0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA
5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10

The games Sunday will serve as tournament championship and consolation games.

The No. 12/13 Ohio State men’s hockey team opens the 2004-05 season at the IceBreaker Tournament at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H., this weekend. The Buckeyes will take on No. 10 New Hampshire at 5 p.m. Saturday in the first round, while St. Cloud State will face St. Lawrence in the other first-round matchup at 2 p.m. Saturday. OSU will play either SCSU or SLU at 2 p.m. Sunday, with New Hampshire taking on the other squad at 5 p.m. (The first-round winners will face, as will the losers of the first-round games.)

The Broadcast
The Buckeyes’ games in the IceBreaker Tournament will be broadcast online by WOSU Radio at with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye Gord Rivington (color) on the call.

The game vs. New Hampshire will be televised by New Hampshire Public Television. The broadcast will be available on the internet via webcast at

How to Go
Tickets for the IceBreaker Tournament are $32 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling TicketMaster at 603-868-7300 or online at

A Little History
The IceBreaker Tournament is held at a different location each season and includes one team from each of the top four conferences in college hockey. This season, New Hampshire represents Hockey East, Ohio State represents the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), St. Cloud State is from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and St. Lawrence is a member of the ECAC Hockey League.

The Rankings
Ohio State was ranked 12th in the poll and 13th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll. The squad is 17th in the Power Poll.

In the League
Ohio State was picked to finish fourth by the media and fifth by the coaches in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the annual preseason polls, the league announced at its media day at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

A Preseason Honor
Buckeye junior defenseman Nate Guenin, from Aliquippa, Pa., was an honorable mention selection to the inaugural preseason CCHA team, receiving seven first-team votes. Guenin, who was held to just 29 games last season because of injury, was a 2003-04 honorable mention All-CCHA selection after posting 17 points.

Leading the Way
Senior forward JB Bittner will serve as team captain and junior defenseman Nate Guenin and junior forward Rod Pelley were named 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.

A Quick Look Back
The Buckeyes finished the 2003-04 season 26-16 overall and were fourth in the CCHA with a 16-12 ledger. The squad won three games in three days at the CCHA Super Six Championship in Detroit to claim the title and the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA championship. The Buckeyes’ season ended with a 1-0 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Albany, N.Y.

Who’s Back
Ohio State returns 15 letterwinners from the squad last season, including forwards Bryce Anderson, Dave Barton, Matt Beaudoin, Kenny Bernard, JB Bittner, Dan Knapp, Rod Pelley, Andrew Schembri and Lee Spector, defensemen Sean Collins, Nate Guenin, Tyson Strachan, Matt Waddell and Thomas Welsh and goalie Dave Caruso.

The team returns 73 of its 134 total goals (54.5 percent) and 199 of its 357 total points (55.7) from a year ago.

Knapp is the Buckeyes’ leading returning scorer after posting a career-high 13 goals, 17 assists and 30 points last season. Schembri is second among returnees with 23 points last season, followed by Pelley with 22. Guenin is the leading returning scorer among blueliners, as he posted 17 points in just 29 games a year ago. Caruso is the lone returning goaltender from last year, when he recorded a 1.97 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 12 games.

And Who’s New
The Buckeyes welcome 11 new faces to the roster this season, the most since the nine-member class of 2000-01.

Joining the squad are forwards Sam Campbell, John Dingle, Tom Fritsche, Domenic Maiani, Matt McIlvane and Zach Pelletier, defensemen Jason DeSantis, Kyle Hood and Johann Kroll and goalies Ian Keserich and Phil Lauderdale.

The recruiting class was ranked 11th by Fritsche was listed as a Top 20 incoming forward, while Kroll was named a Top 15 rookie defenseman by INCH.

A Youthful Look
Ohio State features a young lineup this season, as the squad is comprised of just three seniors and four juniors, joined by eight sophomores and 11 freshmen.

For Openers
All-time, Ohio State is 22-17-2 in regular season openers, including a mark of 5-4-1 in its last 10. The Buckeyes are 3-5-1 in regular season openers under 10th-year head coach John Markell. OSU has opened the season against the eventual national champion in each of the last two seasons. The Buckeyes fell to Minnesota to start the 2002-03 campaign and then dropped the opener to Denver in 2003-04.

Tourney Time
This is the second year in a row the Buckeyes are opening their season in a tournament. The squad faced off against Denver in the first round of the Lefty McFadden Invitational last year, falling, 5-2, before rebounding to beat tournament host Miami, 5-3, in the consolation game.

The series between Ohio State and New Hampshire is tied 2-2-1, while the Wildcats lead the series in Durham, N.H., 2-0-1. The teams last met Nov. 24, 2001 in the Dodge Dealers of New Hampshire Conference Classic in Durham, N.H., with the Wildcats posting a 3-1 win.

Buckeye senior JB Bittner is the only current Buckeye who played in the 2001 game vs. the Wildcats. He was held scoreless in the contest.

OSU head coach John Markell is 0-1-0 all-time vs. UNH.

OSU vs. Hockey East
The Buckeyes are 13-21-3 against current Hockey East squads all-time. New Hampshire is the only HE team on the Ohio State schedule this season.

A Look at UNH
New Hampshire, a member of Hockey East, was 20-15-6 last season and finished fourth in conference play with a 10-8-6 ledger. The squad received an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament but was defeated in the first round by Michigan. The Wildcats were ranked 10th in the national preseason polls this season and were picked to finish fourth in the Hockey East preseason poll.

The Wildcats return six of their top eight point scorers from last season, led by Sean Collins (16-26-42). Justin Aikins had a team-best 31 assists last year, while Preston Callandar had 21 goals to lead all returnees. In net, Jeff Pietrasiak enters the season as the No. 1 goalie after making 11 appearances last year, with a 1.86 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and 3-1-1 record.

Dick Umile, a 1972 graduate of UNH, is entering his 15th season at the helm of the Wildcats. He had a 327-162-49 career and school ledger.

Check Your Programs
Both Ohio State and New Hampshire have a player named Sean Collins on the roster. The Buckeyes’ Collins (No. 5) is a sophomore defenseman from Troy, Mich., while the Wildcats’ Collins (No. 10) is a senior forward from Reading, Mass.

Ohio State vs. St. Cloud State
The Buckeyes and Huskies never have met on the ice.

OSU vs. the WCHA
Ohio State is 10-29-2 all-time against current Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams. The squad will face WCHA teams Minnesota State and Colorado College in December’s Ohio Hockey Classic at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

A Look at the Huskies
St. Cloud State was 18-16-4 last season and finished sixth in the WCHA with a 12-12-4 ledger.

The team returns 16 letterwinners from the squad last year. Forward Dave Iannazzo is the leading returning scorer after posting 16-11-27 totals last year to lead the Huskies. In net, goalie Jason Montgomery, who posted a 2-3-0 record last year along with a 3.22 goals-against average, also returns. The team was picked to finish seventh in the WCHA preseason poll conducted by the Grand Forks Herald.

Craig Dahl is entering his 18th season as the head coach at St. Cloud State. He is the team’s only head coach since SCSU moved to the Division I level in 1987-88. He has a career mark of 400-373-51 in 23 years and a ledger at SCSU of 324-286-49.

OSU vs. St. Lawrence
The Buckeyes lead the series with St. Lawrence, 4-1-0, including a 2-1-0 mark in neutral-site games. The teams have not met since SLU posted a 7-6 win Dec. 28, 1996 in the Pepsi College Hockey Tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich. Three of the five meetings between the schools have come in tournament play.

OSU and SLU both opened their seasons in the Lefty McFadden Invitational in Dayton, Ohio, last season. The teams did not meet, however, as OSU lost to Denver in the opening round to fall to the consolation game and the Saints defeated host Miami to advance to the championship tilt.

OSU head coach John Markell is 0-1-0 all-time vs. St. Lawrence.

OSU vs. the ECACHL
Ohio State is 29-19-6 vs. current ECACHL teams all-time. The Buckeyes will travel to face Clarkson in Potsdam, N.Y., in December.

A Look at the Saints
St. Lawrence was 14-21-6 last season and finished 7-12-3 in the ECAC to place 10th. The squad advanced to the quarterfinals of the ECAC postseason tournament. The Saints were predicted to finish seventh in the ECACHL preseason media poll and eighth in the league’s preseason coaches poll.

Junior forward T.J. Trevelyan is the team’s leading returning scorer, with 17-25-42 points last year. Sophomore Drew Bagnall is the top returning scorer among defenseman after posting 5-13-18 points as a rookie last season. In goal, senior Mike McKenna had a 2.45 goals-against average and .917 save percentage while posting a 9-10-3 record a year ago.

Joe Marsh, a 1977 graduate of New Hampshire, is entering his 20th year as a collegiate head coach overall and at the helm of the Saints. He has a career ledger of 341-279-45.

On the Road Again
The Buckeyes open the season with seven of their first eight games away from Value City Arena. Following the trip to New Hampshire for the IceBreaker, the squad will travel to Big Rapids, Mich., to take on Ferris State, followed by a home-and-home series with Miami and then a two-game series at Western Michigan.

Buckeye Staters
The Buckeyes added three Ohio natives to the roster this season – forward Tom Fritsche and goalie Ian Keserich of Parma and forward John Dingle of Shaker Heights. All-time, 57 Buckeye letterwinners have called Ohio home, with the most recent Jarret Whidden from 1995-97 and Adam Smith from 1992-95. Three former Buckeyes hailed from Parma – Ed Dean (1967), Don Kukul (1966) and Ron Pandy (1967-68).

There’s Gotta Be a Winner
Ohio State has not had a game end in a tie since recording back-to-back ties against Michigan March 7 and 8, 2003, a stretch of 48 games entering the 2004-05 campaign. The squad did not record a tie last season, marking the first time that happened since back-to-back seasons in 1971 and 1972.

I Feel a Draft
Four NHL draft picks are on the Buckeyes’ roster this season. Junior defenseman Nate Guenin was a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2002, sophomore defenseman Tyson Strachan was a fifth-round choice of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003, freshman goalie Ian Keserich was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round of the 2004 draft and freshman forward Matt McIlvane was an eighth-round selection of the Ottawa Senators in 2004.

Going for Four
The Buckeyes are looking for their fourth consecutive 20-win season. The program has never had more than three 20-win seasons in a row. Under head coach John Markell, the Buckeyes have five 20 or more win seasons in nine years.

On the Air
Ohio State will appear on both national and local television this season. The following is the schedule as of Oct. 6.

OSU’s 2004-05 Television Schedule Oct. 9 New Hampshire NH Public TV Dec. 29 Minnesota State ONN Dec. 30 Colorado College ONN Jan. 7 Ferris State CSTV Jan. 22 Michigan CSTV Feb. 19 at Michigan State Comcast

Up Next
Ohio State will open CCHA play when it travels to Big Rapids, Mich., to take on Ferris State. The Buckeyes and Bulldogs will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 and at 5:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. OSU opens its home slate Oct. 21 vs. Miami in Value City Arena.

Head Coach John Markell
John Markell is in his 10th full season as the head coach of the Buckeyes. He took over the program with nine games left in the 1994-95 season and was named head coach May 22, 1995.

He has led the Buckeyes to the NCAA tournament four times in the last seven years, including a Frozen Four appearance in 1998. In addition, he has guided the squad to three 20-win seasons in a row and five overall.

Markell, a native of Cornwall, Ontario, played collegiately at Bowling Green, where he was a three-time First Team All-CCHA honoree. He was named to the CCHA All-Decade Team for the 1970s and was selected to the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.