Nov. 26, 2003

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No. 8/9 Ohio State
(10-5-0, 7-3-0 CCHA)
Bowling Green
(3-6-5, 2-5-2 CCHA)

Saturday, Nov. 29, 7:05 p.m.
BGSU Ice Arena, Bowling Green, Ohio

The Series
Overall – BGSU leads 90-53-5
In Bowling Green – BGSU leads 55-17-3
In Columbus – Tied 33-33-2
Last 10 – OSU leads 6-4-0

The 2002-03 Series
Jan. 16 – at OSU 6, BGSU 3
Jan. 17 – at OSU 6, BGSU 1

The No. 8/9 Ohio State men’s hockey team (10-5-0, 7-3-0 CCHA) travels to Bowling Green, Ohio, to face CCHA and instate foe Bowling Green (3-6-5, 2-5-2 CCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in BGSU Ice Arena.

The Broadcast
The game between the Buckeyes and Falcons will be broadcast live by WOSU Radio (820 AM/ Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat (color) will call the action.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes and Falcons both traveled east to face Colgate and Cornell and each squad went undefeated on the weekend. The Buckeyes went 2-0-0, topping the Raiders, 2-1, and then-No. 11 Cornell, 4-3. BGSU was 0-0-2, with a 1-1 tie against the Big Red and a 2-2 tie with the Raiders.

In the Rankings
The Buckeyes moved up in all three national polls following their two non-conference wins. The squad moved into the No. 8 spot in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine rankings and the No. 9 position in the poll after being ranked 12th in both rankings. In the INCH Power Poll ( rankings, the squad went from No. 14 to No. 11. Where They Stand
Through 10 games, the Buckeyes are in first place in the CCHA with 14 points and a record of 7-3-0. They are one point ahead of both Miami (6-3-1) and Michigan State (6-3-1). Notre Dame is in fourth place with a mark of 5-3-2 and 12 points, while Michigan (5-3-0), with two games in hand on the Top 4 teams, has 10 points in fifth place.

We’ll Meet Again
The Buckeyes and Falcons will complete the two-game season series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 at BGSU Ice Arena in Bowling Green.

The Series
According to the Ohio State record book, the Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Bowling Green, 53-90-5. Ohio State includes eight games in the series (Dec. 9, 1966-Feb. 19, 1969 when OSU went 3-4-1) Bowling Green does not.

In Bowling Green, the Buckeyes trail, 17-55-3. In the last 10 games at BGSU Ice Arena, Ohio State trails, 4-6-0. The squad stopped a four-game losing streak on the road at BGSU with its 4-3 win Oct. 27, 2001.

Markell the Falcon
Ohio State head coach was a standout for Bowling Green from 1975-79. A three-time First Team All-CCHA honoree, Markell currently ranks sixth in the BGSU record books with 235 points. He is tied for seventh with 102 career goals and ninth with 133 career helpers. Markell, who won the Gay Blade Award (best attitude) four times and the Rink Rats Award (most popular) twice, was inducted into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

A Look at BGSU
Bowling Green is 3-6-5 on the year 2-5-2 in the CCHA. The team lost at Western Michigan in overtime, 4-3, Tuesday.

Mark Wires leads the team with nine points and is tied for the team lead (with Rich Meloche and Brett Pilkington) with five goals. D’Arcy McConvey is first with six assists. In net, reigning CCHA Defensive Player of the Week Jordan Sigalet has played all 14 games, with a goals-against average of 2.36 and .920 save percentage.

The squad has been outstanding on the penalty kill of late and ranks second (tied) in the CCHA overall with a 90 percentage. In league play, the squad ranks fourth with an .897 penalty killing percentage.

Scott Paluch, a 1991 graduate of Bowling Green, is in his second season at the helm of his alma mater. He is 11-31-8 in his career.

Working Overtime
Bowling Green’s last four games all have gone to overtime, with three consecutive ties and then an overtime loss. The squad tied Lake Superior State, 0-0, to start the streak, before tying Cornell, 1-1, and Colgate, 2-2 and falling to Western Michigan, 4-3. The team also tied Miami and Union.

In contrast, the Buckeyes have not had an overtime game this season.

Buckeyes vs. Falcons
JB Bittner (3-4) and Paul Caponigri (2-5) lead the Buckeyes with seven career points against the Falcons, while Scott May (2-4) and Dave Steckel (1-5) are tied for third with six points each. Daymen Bencharski is a team-best +5 vs. BGSU.

The Last Meeting
OSU topped Bowling Green, 6-3, in Value City Arena Jan. 16. The Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Scott Titus, Rod Pelley and Paul Caponigri. The Falcons drew within two at the 6:29 mark of the second period, but Doug Andress responded with back-to-back goals in the stanza. Early in the third BGSU tallied to make the score 5-2 and it drew within two with a power-play goal at 19:37. JB Bittner ended the game with an empty-net goal with one second remaining.

The next night (Jan. 17), the Buckeyes beat the Falcons, 6-1. The Buckeyes led 2-0 at the end of the first period on goals by Daymen Bencharski and Ryan Kesler. BGSU cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one with a goal just 1:38 into the second period. That was as close as the Falcons would get, as the Buckeyes scored four unanswered goals, with May scoring in the second and Bittner, Kesler and R.J. Umberger scoring in the third.

Markell vs. the Falcons
Ohio State head coach John Markell has a career record of 14-11-1 against his alma mater. It is the second most wins he has against a team in his career, falling behind only the 16 victories he has recorded over Ferris State.

In the Box The last time Ohio State and Bowling Green met in Bowling Green (Oct. 27, 2001), the squads combined for 29 penalties and 102 penalty minutes in the third period. OSU’s 15 penalties in the third period set the team record for penalties in a period, breaking the mark of 14 set in 1981. In the game, the Buckeyes had 25 penalties for 83 minutes, while the Falcons were assessed 23 penalties for 68 minutes. OSU won the game, 4-3, on a JB Bittner goal scored with 27 seconds remaining.

Competing for the Cup
Ohio State, Miami and Bowling Green are battling for the Ohio Cup again this season. The traveling trophy is presented annually by the Columbus-based Buckeye Sports Bulletin to the team with the best record against its instate opponents.

Bowling Green leads Ohio Cup competition, 1-0-1 this season after beating Miami, 4-1, and tying the RedHawks, 4-4, Oct. 31-Nov. 1 in Bowling Green.

The Buckeyes won the Ohio Cup last season for their fourth title overall. BGSU leads the way with 13 trophies.

The Buckeyes already have two two-win road weekends this season, after sweeping Michigan State Oct. 17-18 and beating both Colgate and Cornell last weekend. The team had just one two-win road weekend last season, as it swept Lake Superior State Nov. 8-9.

Close Calls
The Buckeyes posted back-to-back one win games last weekend, improving to 3-2-0 in one-goal games on the year. The last time the team had two consecutive one-goal wins was Feb. 7-8, when it swept Western Michigan by identical 3-2 scores at home.

No. 7
JB Bittner’s goal against Cornell was his ninth of the season, marking a career high. He had eight as a freshman and seven last year. It was his team-best fifth power-play marker of the season, a total that is tied for second in the country. He has three gamewinning goals to tie for second in the nation in that category as well.

Leading the Way
Paul Caponigri had three points last weekend, with a shorthanded goal vs. Colgate and a goal and an assist (on the gamewinner) against Cornell. He leads the Buckeyes with 10 goals and 16 points and a +16 rating. He has points in 11-of-12 games he has played in on the year.

With the Best
Paul Caponigri ranks eighth (tied) in the nation in goals per game with .83. He is one of just six players in the country with double-digit goals. In the CCHA, Caponigri is second (tied) overall in goals, one behind Miami’s Matt Christie.

Moving On Up
With 23 saves against Cornell, Mike Betz moved into second place all-time at Ohio State for goalie saves with 2,931. He trails only Dan Stergiou, who posted 3,261 from 1973-76.

On the Road Again
The game at Bowling Green marks the Buckeyes’ third consecutive road game. The squad has three remaining three-game road swings, with a game at Miami Dec. 6 followed by the Everblades College Classic at the end of the month, a single game at Bowling Green followed by a series at Ferris State Jan. 31-Feb. 7 and a series at Western Michigan (Feb. 20-21) followed by a single game at Miami March 5.

Home Away from Home
The Buckeyes are 5-1-0 on the road this season, with their only loss coming at Northern Michigan, 2-1. The squad has outscored its opponents, 22-8, in road games (3.7 to 1.3 goals a game).

Senior Standouts
The Buckeye seniors are leading the team in scoring this season with 60 points, including team highs for goals (26) and assists (34). The seven skaters in the class are averaging 8.4 points a game, while Mike Betz has chipped in one assist.

Early Bird Gets the Worm
It helps the Buckeyes to get on the board early. The squad is 6-1-0 when tallying first and 6-0-0 when leading after the opening period.

Welcome to the Bigs
Former Buckeye Ryan Kesler (2003), who signed with the Vancouver Canucks over the summer, played in his first NHL game Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played the next night in the Canucks’ win over Montreal and earned third star of the game honors after posting his first career assist. Kesler had been playing with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, posting 2-5-7 in 16 games.

OSU Last Weekend – A Recap
Ohio State 2, at Colgate 1
The Buckeyes scored two second-period goals (by Rod Pelley and Paul Caponigri) to beat Colgate, 2-1, Friday at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. The Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power-play goal. Pelley tied the game just under nine minutes into the second and Caponigri scored the gamewinner shorthanded with less than five minutes remaining in the stanza. Scott May had two assists to lead the Buckeyes, while sophomore goalie Dave Caruso made 32 saves to record his second win of the year.

Ohio State 4, at Cornell 3
Dave Steckel scored twice, including the gamewinner with 53 seconds remaining, to lead the Buckeyes to a win over No. 11 Cornell, 4-3, Saturday at James Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. Steckel put OSU on the board just over three minutes into the game and Caponigri gave the Buckeyes a two-goal lead with a score 39 seconds into the middle period. Cornell’s Shane Hynes cut the lead to one with a power-play tally (the first of the squad’s three on the day) at 16:29. JB Bittner and Cornell’s Ryan Vesce traded power-play goals to end the period with OSU leading, 3-2. The Big Red tied the game at 6:17 of the third, but Steckel’s goal at 19:07 gave OSU the win.

After not scoring a shorthanded goal in the first 12 games of the season, the Buckeyes tallied while skating a man down in two of the last three games. JB Bittner had a shorthanded goal against Michigan Nov. 15 and Paul Caponigri tallied shorthanded vs. Colgate Friday.

A Good Day to Play
The Buckeyes are undefeated on Saturday this season, going 7-0-0, and are 3-5-0 on Friday.

The Young Ones
Against Colgate, all eight Buckeye freshmen played in the game. It marked the first time this season that has happened.

Have A Day
Dave Steckel had a season-high three points in the win over Cornell, including the gamewinner with 53 seconds left. It was his second two-goal game of the season; he also tallied twice vs. Miami Oct. 4.

So Close
Buckeye senior Scott May has five points in his last three games, with two points against both Michigan (1-1) and Colgate (0-2) and a helper vs. Cornell. May now is six points away from the 100th point of his Ohio State career. He has 35 goals, 59 assists and 94 points as a Buckeye, including a career-best 35 last season.

Senior Paul Caponigri has points in 11-of-12 games this season and leads the Buckeyes with 10 goals and 16 points. The only game he was held scoreless was in the 4-0 loss to Michigan Nov. 14.

Changing Fortunes
Against Colgate, The Buckeyes won their first game of the season when trailing after the first period after losing their first five such games. It also was the first time the team won when scoring two or less goals (moving to 1-5-0).

A Team Effort
This season, 20-of-21 Buckeye skaters (as well as goalie Mike Betz) have at least one point. Fourteen have scored at least one goal.

The Buckeyes and Maine are the only Division I teams in the nation with 10 wins this season. Three squads – Michigan, Massachusetts and North Dakota – have nine each.

What’s Up
The Buckeyes have a home-and-home series with Miami to close out the first portion of their schedule. The squad will play host to the RedHawks at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 in Value City Arena before the teams complete the series at 7:35 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 at Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio.

Buckeyes in the CCHA
CCHA Games
t-9. Paul Caponigri (6-4-10)
t-9. Dan Knapp (2-8-10)
t-2. JB Bittner (7)
t-5. Paul Caponigri (6)
t-5. Dan Knapp (7)
t-8. Matt Waddell (6)
Defenseman Scoring
t-7. Nate Guenin (1-5-6)
t-7. Matt Waddell (0-6-6)
Power-Play Goals
t-1. JB Bittner (3)
Gamewinning Goals
t-1. JB Bittner (3)
Shorthanded Goals
t-2. JB Bittner (1)
t-4.JB Bittner (36)
t-3. Doug Andress (+10)
t-4. Paul Caponigri (+9)
t-6. Dan Knapp (+8)
10. Dave Steckel (+7)
t-17. Matt Waddell (+4)
Goals-Against Average
2. Mike Betz (1.67)
Save Percentage
2. Mike Betz (.941)
4. Mike Betz (241)

t-7. Paul Caponigri (10-6-16)
t-2. Paul Caponigri (10)
t-4. JB Bittner (9)
t-9. Dave Steckel (8)
t-5. Dan Knapp (10)
t-8. Nate Guenin (9)
t-8. Doug Andress (9)
Defenseman Scoring
t-2. Nate Guenin (1-9-10)
t-4. Doug Andress (0-9-9)
t-8. Matt Waddell (0-8-8)
Power-Play Goals
t-1. JB Bittner (5)
Gamewinning Goals
t-1. JB Bittner (3)
t-1. Dave Steckel (3)
t-6. Paul Caponigri (2)
Shorthanded Goals
t-3. JB Bittner (1)
t-3. Paul Caponigri (1)
t-2. Paul Caponigri (+16)
4. Doug Andress (+15)
5. Dave Steckel (+11)
t-6. Dan Knapp (+9)
t-13. Nate Guenin (+6)
Goals-Against Average
3. Mike Betz (2.17)
Save Percentage
3. Mike Betz (.922)
3. Mike Betz (307)