Feb. 10, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s hockey freshman forward Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week for the week ending Feb. 9, the league announced Monday. It is the third rookie of the week honor for Kesler this season.

Kesler had four points, on a goal and three assists, in the Buckeyes’ weekend sweep of Western Michigan, including the primary assist on both dramatic gamewinning goals. Kesler had two helpers in the opener, one on Rod Pelley’s game-tying goal with 46 seconds left in regulation and the second on R.J. Umberger’s overtime winner. In the second game, Kesler opened the scoring with a first-period power-play goal. He then had the primary assist on Miguel Lafleche’s third-period gamewinning tally, scored just 14 seconds after the Broncos had tied the score. Kesler also was +3 on the weekend and was a part of the Buckeye penalty-killing unit that held the Broncos scoreless on 12 chances.

For the year, Kesler ranks third for the Buckeyes with 8-20-28 totals. He is tied for first among CCHA rookies in scoring both overall and in league games. Kesler leads the Buckeyes with 11 (3 goals, 8 assists) gamewinning points this season, recording a point on over half of the team’s gamewinning scores.

In all, Buckeyes have earned CCHA player of the week honors a league-high 11 times this season, led by R.J. Umberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Kesler with three each. Dan Knapp (Rochester, Mich.) and Dave Caruso (Roswell, Ga.) each have earned league rookie of the week honors, while Paul Caponigri (Oak Park, Ill.) received offensive player of the week accolades. Doug Andress (Iroquois Falls, Ontario) and Mike Betz each have received defensive player of the week honors .

The No. 10-ranked Buckeyes (20-6-3, 14-4-2 CCHA), in second place in the CCHA, face instate rival Miami for two games this week. The teams will face off at 7:35 p.m. Thursday at Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Saturday, the teams will play at 4:05 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio.