Oct. 6, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team opens its 2005-06 season with a two-game series against WCHA opponent St. Cloud State Oct. 7-8, at the OSU Ice Rink. Games begin at 7:00 p.m. Friday and 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

Start of a new season
The two-game series between Ohio State and St. Cloud State marks the beginning of the 2005-06 season for both teams. The Buckeyes finished the 2004-05 season with an even 17-17-3 record. They had a 12-15-1 mark in WCHA games to finish fourth in the league. St. Cloud State took sixth place in the conference with a 7-18-3 record and finished 9-22-4 overall.

SCSU Series History
Ohio State leads the all-time series against St. Cloud State with a 15-9-2 record in 26 meetings. However, SCSU has a 3-1-1 mark in the last five games. Last year, the Buckeyes were 1-2-1 against the Huskies. The two teams split the first series (SCSU won 2-1, OSU won 3-1) Oct. 8-9 in Columbus. Ohio State dropped the first game of the second series Jan. 28 in St. Cloud, 4-2, before tying the Huskies, 2-2, Jan. 29.

Déjà Vu All Over Again
This year Ohio State opens its season against St. Cloud State at the OSU Ice Rink. Last season the Buckeyes started play at home against the Huskies as well on Oct. 8-9. The teams split the weekend with the Huskies taking the first game 2-1 and OSU winning 3-1 in game two. Four Buckeyes collected their first-career points that weekend, led by Jody Heywood with a goal and an assist. Shelby Aldous also scored a goal and Erin Keys and Mallory Peckels each had an assist. OSU Head Coach Jackie Barto
This year, Jackie Barto returns for her seventh season behind the Ohio State bench. In six seasons guiding the Buckeyes, Barto has an 89-112-19 record with a 56-77-15 record in the WCHA. Last season, the Buckeyes’ 12 wins in conference games were the most by Barto in her six seasons, as she led the team to the WCHA Playoff Championship consolation game. She has an overall career mark of 159-165-29 (.492) in 11 seasons.

SCSU Head Coach Jason Lesteberg
Jason Lesteberg is beginning his fourth season as the head coach of St. Cloud State. In the previous three seasons, Lesteberg has compiled a 27-69-5 overall record with a 16-56-4 mark in WCHA games. A 1996 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Lesteberg also coached Bemidji State (2001-02) and Wisconsin-Stevens Point (2000-01).

Scouting the Huskies
St. Cloud State returns its top three scorers from the 2004-05 season in seniors Kristy Oonincx and Ashley Stewart and junior Hailey Clarkson. Oonincx and Stewart tied for the team high in points with 23, as Oonincx led the team with 14 goals. Clarkson was one point behind at 22 total, but led the Huskies with 17 assists.

In net, junior Lauri St. Jacques is SCSU’s most experienced goaltender starting 22 of 23 games played last season. St. Jacques finished with an overall record of 5-15-3 and a 3.34 goals-against-average. She made 613 saves with 74 goals allowed for a .892 save percentage.

A New-Look Offense
OSU returns its top scorer from the 2004-05 season in senior co-captain Jana Harrigan who had 16 goals and 38 assists for a school record 54 points. But the Buckeyes also lost three of their top four scorers from last season or 38.9 percent of their points. Jeni Creary, the team’s leading goal-scorer with 29 lamplighters (29-16–45), and Meaghan Mulvaney (12-14–26) both graduated, while defenseman Tessa Bonhomme (7-20–27) will redshirt this season while participating with the Canadian Centralization program. The three players combined for a total of 48 goals and 98 points. Overall, the Buckeyes lost six skaters and return 12 from the 2004-05 season.

Between the Pipes
Junior Erika Vanderveer is the Buckeyes’ most experienced returning goaltender having split the majority of the 2004-05 season with then-senior Melissa Glaser. Vanderveer started all 20 of her games played last year and finished with a 10-8-2 mark and one shutout (at Niagara, Feb. 19, 2005). She allowed 64 goals with 518 saves for a .890 save percentage and 3.17 goals-against-average. She had seven games with 30 or more saves, stopping a career-high 39 shots Nov. 6, 2004 at Minnesota.

Oh Captain(s), My Captain(s)
Senior forward Jana Harrigan and junior defenseman Amber Bowman have been selected to be co-captains of the 2005-06 Buckeye squad. Harrigan led last year’s team with 54 points (16g, 38a) and has played in every career game over her three seasons, while Bowman is this season’s top returning offensive defenseman with 23 points, 18 of which came on the power play. The alternate captain is junior forward Katie Maroney who competed in all 37 games last season and had four goals and one assist. The trio of captains was selected by their teams and announced at the 2004-05 awards banquet.

Harrigan and Bowman Play with WCHA All-Stars
Co-captains Jana Harrigan and Amber Bowman, along with the other WCHA All-Star team selections, were defeated by the U.S. National Team in two games Sept.30-Oct. 1 in Minnesota. The National Team won 5-1 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, and followed with a 5-2 victory Saturday at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth, Minn. The two games marked the beginning of the Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour for the National Team. Harrigan and Bowman saw considerable minutes in both games. On Friday, Harrigan was a starting forward and had one of the All-Star’s seven shots on goal. The lone WCHA goal was scored unassisted by Sharon Cole of Wisconsin. On Saturday night, the All-Stars came out stronger totaling 27 shots on net with goals by Tara Hiscock of Bemidji State and Cami Wooster of North Dakota.

Jumping Right In
This is the sixth time in seven seasons in which the Buckeyes’ first series has been against a WCHA opponent and only the second time it has been played at home. Last season, OSU began the year in Columbus against St. Cloud State for the first season-opening conference home series in program history. Previously, Ohio State has played its first league series at Minnesota (2003, 2000), at Minnesota State (2002) and at Bemidji State (2001). The only season-opening series that has not been against a league opponent was the first series in Buckeye history in which OSU faced Northeastern Oct. 8-9, 1999.

Sayther Circling St. Cloud State
Senior forward Crystal Sayther must circle the days that OSU faces St. Cloud. She has amassed nine goals and 12 assists during her three years at Ohio State, but in games vs. the Huskies she has scored a third of her career points. Sayther has four goals and three assists for seven points in those 12 meetings.

Bonhomme with Canadian Centralization
Tessa Bonhomme, who completed her sophomore season in 2004-05 as the third leading scorer on the team with 27 points, was selected by the Canadian national program to centralize in preparation for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. As a result, the Sudbury, Ontario native has postponed her NCAA eligibility and will redshirt the 2005-06 season in hopes of making the 20-player roster that will be announced in January of 2006. Bonhomme is one of eight defensemen taking part in the centralization. She also has participated with the Canadian National Team at the 2004 Four Nations Cup (Nov. 10-14) and the 2004 Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival (Oct. 4-10), as well as being a member of the Canadian Under-22 Team that played in Germany last spring (Feb. 11-12).

Marziali Competes at U-22 Canadian Camp
Freshman forward Morgan Marziali was chosen to compete at Canada’s National Under-22 Development and Selection Camp in Calgary, Alberta, Aug. 12-21. The camp featured 40 Canadian players who split into two teams and competed in a three-team tournament with the Finnish National Team. Canada’s National Under-22 Team is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence aimed at women aged 18-21. It allows the athletes to experience international competition and identifies the players who have potential to move on to the National Women’s Team.

Buckeyes Picked Fourth in WCHA Preseason Poll
Ohio State was selected fourth in the WCHA Preseason Poll as announced by the league on Wednesday, Oct. 5. OSU had 48 points in the poll. The Buckeyes finished fourth in the standings in the 2004-05 season with a final conference record of 12-15-1. The team also placed fourth in the WCHA Playoff Tournament while playing in the consolation game. Wisconsin was picked to finish first with seven first-place votes and 70 total points. Two-time defending WCHA and NCAA Champion Minnesota was second with one first-place vote and 63 points, followed by Minnesota-Duluth in third with 59 points.

2005-06 WCHA Women’s Coaches Poll 1. Wisconsin (7) 70 points 2. Minnesota (1) 63 points 3. Minnesota-Duluth 59 points 4. Ohio State 48 points 5. Minnesota State 47 points 6. St. Cloud State 42 points 7. North Dakota 34 points 8. Bemidji State 29 points

Up Next
Ohio State travels to Boston, Mass., to face the Huskies of Northeastern in a two-game series Oct. 14-15 with games at 7:00 p.m. Friday and 3:00 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes tied NU, 1-1, before defeating the Huskies 6-5 in overtime Nov. 14-15, 2004 at the OSU Ice Rink.