Feb. 12, 2004

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(17-13-0, 12-10-0 CCHA)
(6-17-5, 4-14-4 CCHA)

Friday, Feb. 13, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14, 7:05 p.m.
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

The Series
Overall – OSU leads 8-6-1
In Columbus – OSU leads 4-1-1
In Omaha, Neb. – UNO leads 5-2-0
Neutral – OSU leads 2-0-0

The 2002-03 Series
Dec. 13, 2002 – at OSU 4, UNO 1
Dec. 14, 2002 – at OSU 3, UNO 1
Jan. 24, 2003 – at UNO 4, OSU 0
Jan. 25, 2003 – at UNO 3, OSU 1
CCHA Tournament First Round
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
OSU 4, UNO 1
OSU 3, UNO 1

The No. 14/15 Ohio State men’s hockey team plays host to Nebraska-Omaha in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The Buckeyes (17-13-0, 12-10-0 CCHA) and Mavericks (6-17-5, 4-14-4 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13-14 in Value City Arena. The series marks the first the teams have met since Ohio State swept the Mavericks in the first round of the CCHA playoffs last season.

The Buckeyes games against Nebraska-Omaha will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/ with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye Luke Pavlas (color) on the call.

The Saturday game will be televised live by ONN, The Ohio News Network. Randy Rhinehart and former Buckeye goalie Bill McKenzie will call the action.

The Friday contest vs. the UNO Mavericks will feature free Hockey Brutus Bobbleheads for the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Huntington Banks. In addition, it will be Buck a Brat night and fans can enjoy Johnsonville Brats for $1 (while supplies last). Lastly, AAA cardholders can receive a ticket to the game for $4 by showing their AAA card at the game. Also Friday, fans will have the opportunity to win two tickets to the CCHA Super 6 Championship at Joe Louis Arena and a one-night stay at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center by visiting the CCHA’s Road to the Joe booth. The College Hockey at the Joe mascot “Joe College” will be on hand for a t-shirt giveaway.

The game Saturday will be a Frozen Four Pack night, where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four popcorns for only $40. Valentine’s Day carnations will be handed out to the first 500 women, courtesy of Kroger.

Ohio State split a two-game series on the road at Ferris State last weekend, falling in the opener, 5-2, before rebounding for a 6-0 victory. The Mavericks went 0-1-1 at home against Bowling Green, tying the opener, 3-3, before falling, 3-1, Saturday.

The Buckeyes are tied for fifth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with 24 points in 22 games. Ohio State is tied with Western Michigan, who has 24 points in 23 games. OSU and WMU are one point behind Alaska Fairbanks (25 points in 24 games) and three behind third-place Michigan State (27 points in 22 games). Michigan is in second place with 29 points in 20 games, while the Miami RedHawks stand in first with 32 points in 22 games.

Nebraska-Omaha is in 11th place in the league, with 12 points in 22 games.

Sophomore Dan Knapp’s scored three goals at Ferris State Saturday, marking the first hat trick of his career. He added an assist in the game for a career-best four points. The game was his third multiple-point game of the season, but his first since Oct. 17 at Michigan State. It was the second multiple-goal game of his career; the first was Oct. 18, 2002 at Alaska Fairbanks. Knapp’s four-point night was the first for the Buckeyes since R.J. Umberger had four against Miami Dec. 6, 2002.

The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Mavericks, 8-6-1. In Columbus, Ohio State holds a 4-1-1 edge, with its lone loss coming Nov. 3, 2001, 4-1. In the last 10 games, the teams are tied at five wins apiece.

As members of the CCHA scheduling cluster and then foes in the first round of the CCHA playoffs, the Buckeyes and Mavericks met six times last season, with the Buckeyes going 4-2-0. Ohio State swept UNO in Columbus by 4-1 and 3-1 scores Dec. 13-14 before the Mavericks swept the Buckeyes, 4-0 and 3-1, in Omaha Jan. 24-25. The teams then met in the first round of the CCHA playoffs March 14-15, with the Buckeyes posting 4-1 and 3-1 victories at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

The Mavericks moved into a new arena this season, the 14,700-seat Qwest Center Omaha. It is the second-largest on-campus rink in the nation, smaller only than Ohio State’s Value City Arena that seats 17,500 for hockey.

Nebraska-Omaha is 6-17-5 on the year and 4-14-4 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The squad enters the series with the Buckeyes on a six-game (0-4-2) winless streak. On the road, the squad is 1-8-2 this season. Freshman Scott Parse leads the team in goals (12), assists (16) and points (28). Seniors Andrew Wong (9-11) and Mike Gabinet (4-16) are tied for second with 20 points each.

In net, Chris Holt has started 14 games and played in 16, posting a goals-against average of 3.30 and a .896 save percentage. Chris Tebbs has started and appeared in 10 games, with a 3.01 goals-against and .902 save percentage.

Mike Kemp, a 1975 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus, is in his seventh season at the helm of the Mavericks. Kemp is the only coach in school history, as the varsity program was formed in the 1998-99 season. Kemp has a 103-131-27 ledger in his career and at Nebraska-Omaha.

Both the Buckeyes and Mavericks have a player named Dan Knapp on their roster. Ohio State’s Dan Knapp is a sophomore forward from Rochester, Mich., while Nebraska-Omaha’s Dan Knapp is a freshman defenseman from Hermantown, Minn. OSU’s skater has 7-15-22 totals in 29 games this year, while UNO’s has 1-2-3 in 17 games.

Three Buckeyes and two Mavericks are products of the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. Ohio State sophomore Rod Pelley and freshmen Tyson Strachan and Matt Waddell all played for the Vipers, as did UNO sophomore David Morelli and freshman Brent Kisio.

The Buckeyes outshot UNO, 57-18, en route to a 4-1 victory in the series opener in Nationwide Arena Friday, March 14. Scott May scored a game-high two goals in the first period to get OSU rolling. R.J. Umberger added a goal in the second period and Ryan Kesler scored a shorthanded goal later in the middle stanza for OSU’s final score of the day. Daymen Bencharski added two assists in the game. OSU goalie Mike Betz had 17 saves in the win, while UNO goalie Dan Ellis had 53 stops.

In the second game, Saturday, March 15, Chris Olsgard got OSU on the board early in the first period before UNO’s Joe Pereira tied the game with a power-play goal. The score remained deadlocked until Umberger scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 5:07 of the third. Miguel Lafleche ended the scoring with a 4-on-4 goal.

After not having a player score a hat trick in 131 games and almost three seasons, the Buckeyes now have two this campaign. Senior Paul Caponigri had Ohio State’s first hat trick of the year Nov. 8, 2003 at Northern Michigan.

2 X 2 X 2
Senior Scott May has two points in each of his last three games and took over the team scoring lead with 25 points on the year. May had two assists at Bowling Green Jan. 29 and vs. Ferris State Saturday and had two goals in the loss to the Bulldogs Friday. He leads the Buckeyes with nine multiple-point games on the year.

The Buckeyes were 2-for-6 on the power play in each game at Ferris State. The squad is 5-for-19 in its last three games with the man advantage, a success rate of 26.3 percent.

Freshman Andrew Schembri had the first multiple-goal and point game of his career in the win over Ferris State with two goals and an assist. He now has five points (3-2) in his last three games.

Dan Knapp’s hat trick and Andrew Schembri’s two goals in the win over Ferris State marked the first time the Buckeyes had two players with multiple goals since Daymen Bencharski and Knapp had two each at Alaska Fairbanks Oct. 18, 2002 in a 6-3 win.

Sophomore goalie Dave Caruso was in net for the Buckeyes win Saturday. He stopped all 26 Bulldogs shots for his second shutout on the year and the fourth of his career. Jan. 6, 2003, Caruso stopped 14 shots to shut out Quinnipiac at home. He has not allowed a goal in his last 89:35 in goal.

Ohio State has five shutouts on the year. In those games, the team is averaging 4.8 goals a game, with a 7-0 win over BGSU, a 6-0 win over Ferris State, 5-0 wins over Michigan State and Lake Superior State and a 1-0 victory over Quinnipiac.

Junior Thomas Welsh had two assists in the win over Ferris State, the first multiple-point game of his career. He has a career-best four assists and five points this year in 12 games.

Buckeye senior defenseman Doug Andress has seven assists in his last nine games combined, including two in the win over Ferris State. Andress leads the Buckeyes with a career-best 18 helpers on the year and is second among the nation’s defensemen in assists.

Senior forward Dave Steckel has 97 points in his career. He should become the third Buckeye to hit the 100-point mark this season, joining Paul Caponigri and Scott May. Steckel has 46-51-97 totals in 134 career games.

The Buckeyes are 12-3-0 on Saturday this season, but 4-9-0 on Friday. On Sunday, Ohio State is 0-1-0 and the team is 1-0-0 on Tuesday.

Ohio State and Yale are the only Division I men’s teams in the nation to not have a tie.

Ohio State is 10-3-0 following a loss so far this season. The squad has three two-game losing streaks this year and they came in sweeps against Miami, Michigan and Michigan State.

Ohio State ends the regular season against Miami at home Saturday, March 6 at 8:05 p.m., completing a home-and-home series with the RedHawks. The game marks senior night for the Buckeyes. There will be free Ohio State hockey T-shirts for the first 1,000 fans and you can meet the Buckeye seniors at a postgame autograph session.

The Buckeyes were defeated by Ferris State, 5-2, Friday, Feb. 6. The teams were scoreless in the first period. In the second, the Bulldogs scored three times in under six minutes to take a commanding 3-0 lead. OSU’s Scott May cut the lead to two with a power-play goal late in the period, but Ferris State scored just 2:26 into the third to regain the three-goal edge. The Bulldogs’ Jeff Legue completed a hat trick and FSU’s scoring with a shorthanded goal later in the third, followed by May’s second power-play tally of the game with under two minutes left. The Buckeyes outshot the Bulldogs in the game, 42-27. Ohio State was 2-for-6 on the power play and held FSU scoreless on two chances.

In the second game Saturday, the Buckeyes scored twice in each period and rolled to a 6-0 win. Dan Knapp and Bryce Anderson scored in the first, Andrew Schembri tallied twice in the second and Knapp scored twice in the third to complete his hat trick. Doug Andress, Thomas Welsh and May each had two assists in the game. Ohio State sophomore goalie Dave Caruso stopped all 26 FSU shots for his fourth career shutout, as OSU outshot FSU, 45-26.

This season, all 21 Buckeye skaters have at least one point, while 19 have at least one goal. Ten Buckeyes have double-digits point totals. In 43 games last season, 14 Buckeyes had 10 or more points.

Senior goalie Mike Betz, who already owns the program records for career wins, career shutouts, shutouts in a season and single-season goals-against average, is close to another record. Betz is just 60 saves shy of Dan Stergiou’s record for career saves (3,261). Betz has 3,201 saves as a Buckeye.

The Buckeyes’ game at Western Michigan Saturday, Feb. 21 has been moved to 8:05 p.m. to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Broncos’ men’s basketball team, whose game against the College of Charleston will be televised live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m.

The Buckeyes travel to face Western Michigan for a two-game series Feb. 20-21 at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and at 8:05 p.m. Saturday. The team has the following week off.

Ohio State senior goalie Mike Betz and the team will be holding a fundraising dinner at The Top Steakhouse April 18 to raise money for the Siouxland Tanzania Educational and Medical Ministries (STEMM). Members of the team will serve as waiters, with their tips going to the cause, and live and silent auctions will be held. For more information, call the OSU hockey office at 614-292-0820.

Last year, the event raised more than $9,000. Betz and STEMM used part of the money this past summer to renovate an orphanage. In addition, the group built classrooms for elementary schools and was involved with HIV/AIDS education.