Feb. 21, 2007

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The Ohio State men’s hockey team (13-14-5, 11-11-4 CCHA) wraps up the regular season with a two-game home series against No. 10 Michigan (22-11-1, 17-8-1 CCHA) this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and at 8:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena (17,500).

The Buckeyes’ games vs. Michigan will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/ Neil Sika will call the play-by-play and former Buckeyes Luke Pavlas (Friday) and John Mowat (Saturday) will provide analysis.

The game Saturday will be televised live by CSTV, with Jason Knapp (play-by-play) and Troy G. Ward (analysis) on the call.

At the game Friday, the OSU Band will perform Script Ohio on Ice during intermission. The first 500 Ohio State students will receive a free box combo courtesy of Raising Cane’s.

Saturday, the first 10,000 fans will receive free rally towels courtesy of Nationwide. It is Fan Appreciation Night and fans can register to win prizes all night long. In addition, the eight-member senior class will be recognized in a postgame ceremony.

The eight members of the 2007 Ohio State senior class will be recognized following the game Saturday, which marks their last regular-season games and their last games in Value City Arena.

The class includes Bryce Anderson (Waterloo, Iowa), Dave Barton (Calgary, Alberta), Mathieu Beaudoin (Sherbrooke, Quebec), Kenny Bernard (Sarnia, Ontario), Sean Collins (Troy, Mich.), Andrew Schembri (Mississauga, Ontario), Tyson Strachan (Melfort, Saskatchewan) and Matt Waddell (Armstrong, British Columbia).

The group has been a part of 81 wins, two NCAA tournament appearances and the 2004 CCHA Super Six Championship.

The Buckeyes clinched home ice for the first round of the CCHA playoffs following their win over Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska’s loss to Notre Dame last Friday. The Buckeyes can finish as high as fifth or as low as eighth in the final league standings.

Ohio State, with 26 points, is one point behind fifth-place Western Michigan and tied with Nebraska-Omaha for sixth place. The Buckeyes have three points on eighth-place Lake Superior State. Each league team has two conference games remaining.

Notre Dame already has clinched the CCHA regular-season title and the Irish, Michigan and Miami have secured Top 4 finishes and first-round byes in the playoffs. Michigan State currently is in fourth place, four points ahead of the Broncos.

The tie-breaker criteria for seeding is: 1) Number of CCHA conference wins; 2) Best winning percentage between/among tied teams; 3) Comparison of total goals for and against in head-to-head competition between the tied teams in regular-season play; 4) Winning percentage against other CCHA teams, beginning with first place; 5) Coin flip.

Ohio State enters the series with Michigan 13-14-5 on the year and tied for sixth place in the CCHA with Nebraska-Omaha with an 11-11-4 ledger.

The Buckeyes are averaging 3.2 goals both for and against this season. OSU has scored 101 goals on the year, and has allowed 103. The Buckeyes are outshooting their opponents, 30.6-26.9, this season.

Senior defenseman Sean Collins and junior forward Tommy Goebel share the team scoring lead with 25 points each. Goebel and senior forward Mathieu Beaudoin are tied with a team-best 11 goals each. Junior defenseman Jason DeSantis has a team-high 20 assists and Collins ranks second with 17. Senior forward Andrew Schembri has a team-high four power-play goals and Beaudoin is first with three shorthanded scores.

Freshman goaltender Joseph Palmer has started 29 games this season and has a 2.88 goals-against-average with a 13-12-4 record.

The Buckeyes split a two-game series at Nebraska-Omaha last weekend, with a 4-3 win in the opener and 2-1 loss in overtime in game two.

The Wolverines split their series with Lake Superior State, losing Friday in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., 3-2, before posting a 3-1 victory at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then held on for a 4-3 victory last Friday (Feb. 16) against Nebraska-Omaha.

Buckeye senior Andrew Schembri opened the scoring 10:03 into the game and Corey Elkins extended the Buckeye lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 16:38 of the first. Tyson Strachan added a goal at the 15:05 mark of the second period and Kyle Hood made the score 4-0 with a tally 2:32 into the third period.

The Mavericks then mounted a comeback, scoring three times in just over seven minutes. Scott Parse put UNO on the board at 9:05, scoring on a delayed penalty call. Parse added his second goal of the game at 11:39 and Alex Nikiforuk made it a one-goal game with a power-play tally at 16:27. The Mavericks pulled goalie Jeremie Dupont for the extra skater with 1:21 remaining and then had a 6-on-4 advantage to close out the game after the Buckeyes were called for a penalty, but OSU was able to hold UNO scoreless to preserve the win.

The Buckeyes converted 1-of-4 power-play chances and held the Mavericks scoreless on 7-of-8 opportunities in the game.

The Buckeyes ended a four-game winless streak vs. the Mavericks (0-2-2) and a six-game (0-5-1) winless streak in Omaha with the win.

Saturday (Feb. 17), the Buckeyes lost in overtime, 2-1.

The Mavericks opened the scoring with a goal by Alex Nikiforuk just 22 seconds into the game. Mathieu Beaudoin tied the score with a power-play goal at the 13 minute mark of the second period. The game remained tied until UNO’s Brian Marshall scored on a rebound 29 seconds into overtime.

The Buckeyes scored once on nine power-play chances, while holding the Mavericks scoreless on all nine power-play opportunities.

Ohio State trails the all-time series with Michigan, 26-59-11, including 12-25-5 in Columbus. In the last 10 games, Michigan holds a 6-4 lead.

The teams split the series last season in Ann Arbor, with each squad coming from behind in the third period for the win. The Buckeyes won the opener, 7-5, before UM posted a 3-2 victory in game two.

Ohio State and Michigan have split three of the last four series in Columbus and tied both games of the other series (March 7-8, 2003).

In the last meeting in Columbus, OSU won the opener, 4-1, Jan. 21, 2005, and UM won the finale, 6-3, Jan. 22, 2005.

Buckeye senior defenseman Sean Collins has a team-best four assists and five points against Michigan, while Tom Fritsche leads the team with three goals.

OSU VS. UM IN 2005-06
The Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines, 7-5, Feb. 3, 2006, in Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ohio State led, 1-0, at the end of the first period on Tom Fritsche’s early goal. The Wolverines responded in the second, outscoring the Buckeyes, 4-2, to take a 4-3 lead into the final period. After the Buckeyes scored twice in the first 1:29 of the third to go up by one (5-4), Michigan tied the score at the 6:11 mark. Buckeye Kenny Bernard put the Buckeyes back on top just 1:13 later with an unassisted shorthanded goal. Dan Knapp sealed the win with an empty-net, power-play tally with 36 seconds remaining.

The win stopped the Buckeyes’ six-game winless (0-5-1) in Ann Arbor and was the team’s first victory in Yost since Feb. 6, 1999.

The Buckeyes suffered a 3-2 loss Feb. 4, 2006, in Yost Ice Arena. Fritsche scored in the first period to put the Buckeyes on top, 1-0. The Wolverines tied the game at 1 in the second period, but the Buckeyes responded just 31 seconds later on Sean Collins’ goal to carry a 2-1 lead into the third period. Michigan then struck for two quick goals in the first 2:20 of the third and held on for a 3-2 victory.

Michigan enters the series 22-11-1 overall and stands in third place in the CCHA with a 17-8-1 mark in league play. The Wolverines lead the nation in scoring offense, averaging 4.18 goals a game.

T.J. Hensick is second in the nation with 53 points this season, including 37 assists and 16 goals. Kevin Porter is second with 31 assists and 49 points. Andrew Colgiano has a team-best 20 goals and is third with 41 points. Jack Johnson leads the defensemen with 29 points, including 14 goals.

In net, Billy Sauer has played in 33 games, with a 2.93 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. He is 21-11-1 this season.

Red Berenson, a 1962 graduate of Michigan, is in his 23rd year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a school and career ledger of 607-289-64.

The last time the Buckeyes and Wolverines closed out regular-season action was in the 2003 season. The squads tied both games in Columbus March 7-8, 2003 (4-4, 3-3).

Ohio State allowed just one power-play goal on 17 opportunities in the series vs. Nebraska-Omaha, including a 9-for-9 performance Saturday. The Mavericks entered the weekend with the top-ranked power play in the CCHA. The 9-for-9 outing was the best since OSU stopped all nine Miami chances Nov. 4, 2005 in Oxford, Ohio.

In the last four games combined, the Buckeyes are 24-for-26 on the penalty kill (.923).

The Buckeyes lost in overtime at Nebraska-Omaha last Saturday to drop to 0-2-5 in overtime games this season. The squad has not had an overtime win since defeating Ferris State in the first round of the playoffs (5-4) March 13, 2005, to advance to the CCHA Super Six.

The Buckeyes have at least one power-play goal in each of their last seven games, converting 11-of-54 chances (20.4 percent).

Junior defenseman Kyle Hood’s gamewinning goal at Nebraska-Omaha last Friday was the 100th goal scored by the Buckeyes this season and came in their 32nd outing. The team had 97 goals in all 39 games last year.

NO. 90 FOR NO. 9
Senior forward Andrew Schembri had a goal and two assists for three points in the win over the Mavericks Friday. He now has 90 points in his Buckeye career, with 35 goals and 55 assists. The game Friday was his seventh multiple-point game of the season and tied his career high, set four times prior.

Schembri had 23 points in each of his first three seasons with the squad and has 21 this season, including eight goals and 13 assists.

Junior forward Tommy Goebel had his point streak stopped at a team season-high 12 games when he was held scoreless last Friday at Nebraska-Omaha. Goebel had 15 points on five goals and 10 assists during the stretch.

Goebel did not score in the series at Nebraska-Omaha, marking the first time he did not score in a two-game set this year.

Mathieu Beaudoin is the only Buckeye to carry a scoring streak into the Michigan series. He had an assist in the first game at Nebraska-Omaha and scored the Buckeyes’ lone goal in game two vs. the Mavericks.

Senior Mathieu Beaudoin has 49 career goals to lead the current Buckeyes.

The last Buckeyes to hit the 50-goal mark for their careers were Dave Steckel (58) and Paul Caponigri (53), who played from 2001-04.

Against Nebraska-Omaha Friday, Tyson Strachan had his second two-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. It was the third multiple-point game of his career. He also had a goal and an assist at Bowling Green Nov. 17, 2006 and vs. Notre Dame March 18, 2004 in the CCHA Super Six quarterfinals.

John Dingle had two assists against UNO, marking the third two-assist game of his career and his second this season. He had two helpers Nov. 17, 2006 at Bowling Green and Dec. 4, 2004 vs. Alaska. He had a career-high three points in the game vs. the Falcons earlier this year.

The Buckeyes are on a five-game (4-0-1) unbeaten streak in Value City Arena and are undefeated in their last seven games in Columbus (6-0-1), including two wins at Nationwide Arena.

This year, all 20 current Buckeye skaters who have played in more than four games have at least one goal and at least three points. Twelve Buckeyes have hit the double-digit mark for points, with five topping the 20-point mark.

The Saturday game between Ohio State and Michigan will be televised live by CSTV. The Buckeyes are 3-5-1 in games on television this season, including a 3-2-1 record in their last six.

Buckeye senior defensemen Sean Collins and Matt Waddell each played in the 150th game of their Buckeye career Nov. 10 against Northern Michigan and now have played in 152 games for the Scarlet and Gray. All-time, 30 Buckeyes have played in 150 or more games in their careers. Collins and Waddell have each missed just three games over the last three-plus seasons.

Senior forward Andrew Schembri is one gamesaway from the 150 games played mark.

Junior Tommy Goebel and senior Mathieu Beaudoin share the goal-scoring lead for the Buckeyes this season with 11 goals each and are the only Buckeyes with double-digit goals.

It is the second time in his career Beaudoin has had double-digit goals, after he posted 23 tallies in 2004-05. He is one shy of the 50-goal mark for his career.

Goebel has two seasons with double-digit goals, after posting 15 as a freshman at Michigan State in 2003-04.

Senior Sean Collins has 85 career points to rank ninth in program history among Ohio State defensemen. He is two points behind eighth-place Brian Jenks (1978-81). The all-time leader is Dan Mandich, who had 138 points from 1979-82. Collins’ 85 career points are the most for a Buckeye defenseman since Doug Andress had 89 from 2001-04.

With three points in the Ohio Hockey Classic, senior forward Mathieu Beaudoin surpassed the 75-point milestone. He now has 49 goals and 33 assists for 82 points. Defenseman Sean Collins reached the 75-point mark of his career Dec. 1, and has career totals of 27 goals and 58 assists for 85 points. Classmate Andrew Schembri, who passed the 75-point mark Nov. 9 at Bowling Green, has totals of 35 goals and 55 assists for 90 points.

Junior Domenic Maiani, who is out with an injury, is three away from the 75-point mark, with a 25-47-72 line.

Junior Tom Fritsche passed the 75-point mark last season and has 83 career points, including 26 goals and 57 assists.

Ohio State welcomed one of its top players from the last two seasons, Tom Fritsche, back into the lineup at the Ohio Hockey Classic. Playing in his first games since March 4, 2006, the junior forward shook off the rust and had an assist in each of Ohio State’s games. After missing the first 18 games of the season due to an intestinal illness, Fritsche set up a goal of his first shift back, assisting on the opening goal just 1:40 into the game vs. Minnesota Duluth. He followed with an assist in the Buckeyes’ 5-3 win vs. Miami in the championship game.

Freshman goaltender Joseph Palmer had 30 saves in the Buckeyes’ win over Northern Michigan Feb. 10, including 18 in the third period. It was the sixth time in his career he posted 30 or more saves in a game and he is 3-1-2 in those games with just nine goals total allowed.

Date Opp. Svs GA WLT
11/4 vs. ND 32 1 T 1-1
12/2 at MSU 39 1 W 4-1
12/9 at Miami 30 2 T 2-2
1/5 vs. Alaska 31 2 W 6-2
1/21 at Miami 30 2 L 2-1
2/10 vs. NMU 30 1 W 4-1

Senior captain Sean Collins is second among CCHA defensemen in scoring with 25 points overall this season. Jason DeSantis is tied for fifth with 22 points.

Nationally, Collins is tied for 13th in defenseman scoring with 0.78 points per game, while DeSantis is tied for 22nd at 0.69.

Jason DeSantis’ team-leading 20 assists are tied for the lead among all CCHA defensemen (with Darcy Campbell of Alaska). DeSantis has the sixth-most (tied) assists of any defenseman in the nation.

This season, DeSantis has more than doubled his career assist total. He entered 2006-07 with just nine helpers through his first two seasons (66 games).

Seniors Andrew Schembri and Sean Collins are tied for the team lead with 12 power-play points each. Schembri is tied with Corey Elkins for first on the team with four power-play goals, while Collins has three goals and nine assists. Junior Jason DeSantis is first on the squad with 10 power-play assists and has 11 power-play points.

In all, 14 Buckeyes have scored a power-play goal this season.

Eight Buckeyes have posted career highs in goals, assists and/or points this season:
Kenny Bernard – assists (10), points (15)
Jason DeSantis – assists (20), points (22)
John Dingle – assists (8), points (13)
Corey Elkins – goals (7), assists (3), points (10)
Johann Kroll – assists (6)
Matt McIlvane – goals (6), points (14)
Zach Pelletier -goals (1), assists (2), points (3)
Tyson Strachan – goals (4), assists (9), points (13)

The Buckeyes are third in the nation with 11 shorthanded goals this season, two behind national leader Michigan and Quinnipiac. Senior Mathieu Beaudoin leads Ohio State with three shorthanded goals this year. In addition to Beaudoin, Bryce Anderson, Kenny Bernard (2), John Dingle, Tommy Goebel, Domenic Maiani (2) and Matt McIlvane all have scored goals while on the penalty kill. Eleven Buckeyes have registered a shorthanded point this season.

The Buckeye record for shorthanded goals in a season is 16, set in 1982.

Mathieu Beaudoin is tied for seventh in the nation with three shorthanded goals this season, while Kenny Bernard and Domenic Maiani are tied for 23rd with two shorthanded goals each.

Beaudoin (3-1) and Bernard (2-2) each have four shorthanded points to tie for second in the CCHA.

Mathieu Beaudoin is tied for sixth in the OSU record books for career shorthanded goals with seven and Kenny Bernard is tied for ninth with five. Beaudoin’s three shorthanded goals this season are tied for 10th in program history, set 12 times prior (including Beaudoin in 2004-05 and Bernard in 2005-06).

Before the Buckeyes were swept at Ferris State Feb. 2-3, the team had recorded at least one point in every CCHA series this season. The series was the first time the Buckeyes were swept on the road since losing two playoff games at Ferris State to close out last season (March 3-4). It was the first time the team was swept on the road in the regular season since Feb. 24-25, 2006 at Northern Michigan.

The squad rebounded to take all four points from Northern Michigan Feb. 9-10 and split the series at Nebraska-Omaha Feb. 16-17.

The Buckeyes are 11-3-1 when scoring first this season, but just 2-11-4 when the opponent scores first.

Ohio State is undefeated (6-0-1) when scoring four goals this season and is 1-0-1 when recording 41-50 shots on goal.

When senior Sean Collins has positive plus/minus, the Buckeyes are 10-0-3 so far this year. When senior Bryce Anderson has a +1 or better rating, Ohio State is 6-0-2.

The Buckeyes have outshot their opponents this season, 978-860, an average of 30.56 to 26.88 shots a game. The Buckeyes have outshot their opponents in 20-of-30 games this season and are 10-7-3 in those games.

Tommy Goebel leads the team with 83 shots this season, followed by Mathieu Beaudoin with 82. Andrew Schembri is third with 72.

The Buckeyes had a season-low 18 shots in the overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha last Saturday.

In Ohio State’s 12 victories this season, the team is outscoring its opponents 55-24, an average of 4.3 goals a game to 1.8. The Buckeye power play is 18-of-74 (24.3 percent) while the penalty kill is 73-of-83 (88 percent).

Three Buckeye seniors from last season have continued their hockey careers. Forward Rod Pelley (Lowell Devils/New Jersey) and defenseman Nate Guenin (Philadelphia Phantoms/Philadelphia) both have spent the majority of the season in the AHL. Guenin made his NHL debut Jan. 18. He played in six games for the Flyers but was sent down to the AHL Feb. 6. Pelley was called up by the Devils Jan. 31 and made his NHL debut Feb. 1 vs. Guenin and the Flyers. Pelley played two games in the NHL and has since been returned to the AHL. Goalie Dave Caruso (Gwinett Gladiators) is in the ECHL.

Two former Buckeyes are on NHL rosters this season. R.J. Umberger skates for the Philadelphia Flyers, while Ryan Kesler plays for the Vancouver Canucks but currently is out because of hip surgery. Eric Meloche was called up to the Flyers Nov. 3-11, and played 13 games for the squad, but was reassigned to the AHL Phantoms Nov. 12. Dave Steckel has played three games for the Washington Capitals but currently is with Hershey of the AHL.

Scott May is on the AHL’s Iowa Stars roster but is currently out with an injury. Doug Andress was recently called up to Springfield in the AHL from the ECHL (Johnstown).

In addition, Daymen Bencharski (Charlotte) and JB Bittner (Idaho) are playing in the ECHL. Paul Caponigri (Chicago), Chris Richards (Youngstown) and Jason Selleke (Flint) are playing in the UHL. Mike McCormick and Hugo Boisvert are in Germany and Andre Signoretti and Jeff Maund are on teams in Italy.

Ohio State won the 2006 Ohio Hockey Classic, defeating then-No. 4 Miami, 5-3, in the championship game Dec. 30 at Nationwide Arena. It was the first OHC title for Ohio State in the three-year history of the tournament. All five OSU goals against the RedHawks were scored by seniors as seven of eight members of the class had at least one point in the game, led by forwards Kenny Bernard and Mathieu Beaudoin who each tallied a goal and an assist.

The Buckeyes topped Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA, 4-1, in their first round game Dec. 29. Goaltender Joseph Palmer stopped 19 of 20 shots faced and 11 different OSU players had a point in the victory.

Senior captain Sean Collins was named MVP of the 2006 Ohio Hockey Classic and joined teammates Tom Fritsche, Tommy Goebel and Joseph Palmer on the All-Tournament team. Marty Guerin of Miami and Matt Niskannen of Minnesota Duluth rounded out the team.

Senior defenseman Sean Collins received his third CCHA Player of the Week honor this season Jan. 2 when he earned the defenseman award after being named Ohio Hockey Classic MVP with two goals in the tournament. He had the first goal of the game Dec. 29 vs. Minnesota Duluth just 1:40 into the contest. The captain followed with a lamplighter in the second period against Miami Dec. 30 to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead in the eventual 5-3 championship game victory.

Collins finished the tournament with a plus-3 rating as well as five blocked shots. He also was a key part of the Ohio State penalty kill that was a perfect 9-for-9 against two of the top power play units in the nation. It was the seventh CCHA Player of the Week honor of his career.

Also earning CCHA Player of the Week laurels was goaltender Joseph Palmer, who was named rookie of the week for Jan. 2. It was his second weekly league award for games played in the month of December. Palmer backstopped the Buckeyes to the Ohio Hockey Classic title and was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts. He stopped 42 of 46 shots (.913) including all 13 power play shots faced in the two games. Palmer held Minnesota Duluth to just one goal with 19 saves in the 4-1 win for his fourth time this season of limiting an opponent to one goal or less. He followed with a 23-save performance against then-No. 4 Miami.

In Ohio State’s 4-1 win at Michigan State Dec. 2, its opening two goals were scored shorthanded – on the same penalty kill. Junior forward Domenic Maiani scored the first SHG of his career at 19:48 of the first period. The Buckeyes started the second period killing off the same penalty, with senior forward Bryce Anderson tallying his first lamplighter of the season, and second SHG goal of his career, just 42 seconds into the stanza.

Senior forward Kenny Bernard scored two shorthanded goals vs. Western Michigan Nov. 9, tying the OSU individual record for shorthanded goals in a game. It was just the third time a Buckeye has tallied two SHG in a game, along with Dave Steckel (Nov. 29, 2003 at Bowling Green) and Paul Pooley (Feb. 14, 1981 at Bowling Green).

In the first intermission of the Nov. 4 game against Notre Dame, the Ohio State men’s hockey team retired its first number in program history in Paul Pooley’s No. 22 jersey. Pooley, a former Buckeye All-American who played for the Scarlet and Gray 1981-84, is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 270 points as well as the record-holder for career goals and assists and single-season points and assists. He was named the Bauer National Player of the Year in 1981 and is the only Buckeye ever to be named CCHA Player of the Year.

A standout in the classroom as well, Pooley, a marketing major, was a three-time CCHA All- Academic Team honoree. He was inducted to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.

Senior forward and alternate captain Mathieu Beaudoin had a hat trick against Lake Superior State (Oct. 14), the first of his career. His three goals, each of which tied the game, included a shorthanded score, power-play tally and extra-attacker goal with just 0.2 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

It was the Buckeyes’ first hat trick since Tom Fritsche had three goals against Sacred Heart Jan. 29, 2005. Beaudoin had seven two-goal games in his Buckeye career before the hat trick vs. LSSU.

Freshman goalie Joseph Palmer started the season-opening game for Ohio State against Lake Superior State Oct. 13, posting 22 saves for his first career shutout and win in OSU’s 1-0 victory.

He was the first Buckeye freshman to start a season opener since Mike Betz was between the pipes against Northern Michigan in the first game of the 2000-01 campaign. Ohio State posted a 5-3 win in that game in Marquette Oct. 13, 2000.

The Ohio State men’s hockey alumni association has a new website – Hockey alums can check in and keep up with all the association happenings.

Sean Collins was named Ohio State team captain for the 2006-07 season, while Mathieu Beaudoin and Matt McIlvane were selected alternate captains following a team vote. Collins served as an alternate captain for the Buckeyes last season.

The Buckeyes will host the first round of the CCHA playoffs at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus. The games in the best-of-three series are set for 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The time has not yet been determined if a third game is needed Sunday.