Nov. 26, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State looks to continue its four-game winning streak as the Buckeyes play host to the Niagara Purple Eagles at 2:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in their first non-conference series of the season at OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State is 5-5-0 overall and in the WCHA this season, while Niagara stands at 2-6-2 overall and 1-2-1 in CHA action.

Ohio State moved into third place in the WCHA standings following its sweep over Bemidji State last weekend. The Buckeyes previously were fifth in the league.

The Purple Eagles are 2-6-2 overall this season. The team’s victories were over Clarkson and Findlay, while NU tied Northeastern and Findlay. Last weekend, Niagara fell to Harvard, 4-0, Nov. 22 and, 3-1, Nov. 23.

Freshman forward Katie Gray leads the Purple Eagles with five points, two goals and three assists, this season. Junior Candice Moxley and senior Lindsay Vine are tied for second on the team with four points each.

Freshman Allison Rutledge and senior Jennifer Mascaro both have contributed in the net for Niagara. Rutledge has tallied a .921 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average in eight games. Mascaro has a .921 save percentage and a 2.32 GAA in four games.

The series this weekend marks the first meetings between the Buckeyes and Purple Eagles.

In five seasons, Margot Page has complied an 85-68-14 record, qualified for four consecutive conference tournaments and earned a berth to the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four. After guiding her squad to an ECAC championship title in 2002, Page earned ECAC Eastern League Coach of the Year and was a finalist for national coach of the year.

OSU junior Jennifer Desson is 14th in the nation averaging .78 goals per game. Desson also ranks tied for second with three game-winning goals this season.

Freshman Tessa Bonhomme is tied for 10th in the nation among freshmen and tied for 11th among defensemen averaging .80 points per game.

Senior Emma Laaksonen is tied for 24th among defensemen averaging .60 points per game.

Freshman goaltender Erika Vanderveer earned her second consecutive shutout in only her second game in goal for the Buckeyes. Vanderveer never has allowed a goal as a Buckeye, tallying 49 saves in two games this year.

Senior captain Erin O’Grady led the Buckeyes with three points in the 4-0 shutout Nov. 22 vs BSU. O’Grady registered five shots and finished +3 on the weekend. The London, Ontario native has tallied 45 points as a Buckeye (20-25-42).

The Buckeye penalty-killing unit held the Beavers scoreless on 8-of-9 power play chances last weekend. OSU is tied for 12th in the nation, stopping 36-of-41 of their opponents’ power plays (87.8 percent).

Sophomore Jana Harrigan’s three points last weekend placed her in first place on the Buckeye squad with nine points this season. Harrigan, who has registered at least one point in the last three consecutive games, has five goals and four assists on the year.

Freshman Tessa Bonhomme’s two assists Nov. 22 places her second on the team with eight points and first with seven assists this season. She continues to lead the defensemen and freshmen in points.

Heading the team in goals this season is junior Jennifer Desson. The Ontario native has posted seven goals for the Buckeyes.

After suffering four losses in a row to start off the season in October, the Buckeyes have turned their ways around in the month of November. Ohio State has earned a 5-1 record in November. With two more games remaining, the squad looks to finish the month 7-1.

Fifty-eight percent of Ohio State’s points this season have come from five players (37-of-64 points). Fourteen of the 20 players on the OSU squad have recorded at least one point, 11 of which have scored a goal.

The Buckeyes are on a four-game winning streak after their sweep over Bemidji State last weekend. OSU clipped BSU, 2-1, Nov. 21 and shutout the Beavers, 4-0, Nov. 22. With the Buckeyes’ second consecutive series sweep, they improved to 5-5-0 on the season.

Game 1 – Ohio State clipped the Bemidji State Beavers, 2-1, Nov. 21 at the OSU Ice Rink.

Ohio State and Bemidji State ended the first period scoreless. OSU dominated the stanza, as it posted 12 shot to BSU’s six. The Buckeyes had one power-play opportunity, but were unable to score.

In the second period, OSU forward Jana Harrigan scored the first goal of the game on a breakaway from center ice at 5:49. Harrigan’s goal marked her fourth on the season.

Ohio State opened the third period with a goal by Jennifer Desson at 5:51. Bemidji State attempted a comeback after OSU’s second goal. The Beavers took advantage of a power play to score their first goal at 11:41. The Beavers pulled their goaltender with 49 seconds remaining, but were unsuccessful in their attempt to tie the game.

The Buckeyes outshot the Beavers, 28-20. Ohio State was 1-0 on the power play, while only allowing Bemidji State to score on 1-of-4 power plays.

Game 2 – Senior captain Erin O’Grady recorded three points as she led Ohio State to its fourth consecutive win in a 4-0 shutout over the Bemidji State Beavers Nov. 22.

The first period ended scoreless as both teams were unable to get the puck in the net. Bemidji State came out strong, tallying 13 shots to Ohio State’s four in the period.

Ohio State took control of the game at the beginning of the second period. OSU senior Jeanne Chapple scored a power play goal at 1:47 to get the Buckeyes on the scoreboard. Senior captain Erin O’Grady scored her first goal of the game at 12:45.

OSU continued its momentum in the third period. O’Grady scored her second goal of the game and the season on the power play at 4:46. Buckeye forward Harrigan tallied a goal of her own at 18:27 to secure the win for the squad.

OSU goaltender Erika Vanderveer earned her second shutout in only her second game in goal for the Buckeyes.

The Beavers outshot the Buckeyes 33-26. Ohio State was 2-4 on the power play, while holding Bemidji State scoreless on all five chances.

Freshman goaltender Erika Vanderveer has earned two WCHA player of the week honors this season. Vanderveer received rookie of the week honors Nov. 16 and defensive player of the week the following week for her second consecutive shutout. Vanderveer has not allowed a goal in 120 minutes of action, tallying 49 saves.

Junior Jennifer Desson led the team with four goals, including both game-winning goals, against St. Cloud State Nov. 14. Desson recorded her second career hat trick, the teams’ first of the season, Nov. 14 and tallied an additional goal in the shutout Nov. 15.

Ohio State set several season highs against St. Cloud State last weekend. The Buckeyes recorded 15 total points Nov. 14, breaking the nine points earned Nov. 1 vs. Wisconsin.

OSU scored a season high five goals and 10 assists Nov. 14. The squad also posted a season-high seven penalties for 14 penalty minutes Nov. 15.

Senior denfenseman Emma Laaksonen and junior forward Jeni Creary both competed at international tournaments this year.

Creary competed at the Canadian National Team Thanksgiving Festival Oct. 7-12 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sixty of Canada’s top women athletes were asked to compete in the three-team tournament.

Laaksonen competed for Team Finland in the 2003 Four Nations Cup Nov. 5-9 in Skovde, Sweden. Team Finland earned the bronze medal in the four day competition. The event marked the seventh Four Nations Cup Laaksonen has played in with Team Finland.

Ohio State faced three of the Top 6 teams in the nation the first three weekends out. After falling in the first four games of the season (then-No. 1 Minnesota and then-No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth), the Buckeyes were able to gain confidence as they upset then-No. 6 Wisconsin, 3-2, Nov. 1.

Junior captain Meaghan Mulvaney earned WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors for her performance as she recorded two consecutive hat tricks to lead the Buckeyes to a sweep over Toronto in exhibition action Oct. 10-11. The junior captain scored one even strength and two power-play goals in the 5-2 victory Oct. 10. The Ohio native duplicated her success Oct. 11, as she tallied one power-play and two even strength goals. Mulvaney posted 13 shots and finished +4 on the weekend.

The toughest part of the schedule might be competing on the road for four consecutive weekends in January and February. The Buckeyes play every WCHA team four times during the season, a two-game trip on the road and with a two-game series at home.

In non-conference action, OSU faces Niagara, Quinnipiac and Mercyhurst for the first time in the four-year history of the program. The team travels to Erie, Pa., to take on Mercyhurst. The teams faced off for the first time last season, with an OSU loss 2-1. In the final game of the regular-season (March 6), Ohio State looks to defend the Ohio Cup trophy after defeating Findlay for three consecutive years.

The 2003 WCHA Final Five Tournament will be held March 12-14 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. The Buckeyes are striving for the 2003 NCAA Frozen Four March 26 and 28 in Providence, R.I.

Ohio State moved into third place in the WCHA standings following their sweep over Bemidji State last weekend.

Minnesota remains in first place after earning three points against fourth place Minnesota State.

Non-conference games fill the schedule this weekend, including Niagara visiting Ohio State.

Ohio State travels to face Northeastern Dec. 12-13 in Boston, Mass. Then, the squad goes on a three-week hiatus for the holiday season. The Buckeyes return to action vs. St. Cloud State Jan. 3-4 in Columbus.

Keep track of the latest women’s ice hockey news, scores and stats by logging on to the official Ohio State athletic website at