On the Road with John Dingle
The Buckeyes’ Freshman Forward and Drummer of Short Handed talks about the team’s trip to Notre Dame

John Dingle

1/13/05 Thursday
Time to depart for Notre Dame. Still waiting on a couple of lazy freshmen…when will those rookies learn!

Casey (Jones) is making his rounds, chirping the occasional player. The sophomores boss around the freshmen, the juniors laugh at the sophomores, and (JB) Bittner and (Lee) Spector just try to act cool.

Bus is finally loaded and we are off, 30 minutes after the scheduled time – oh well.

I decide to get some reading done while Domenic (Maiani) struggles to understand why I would bring a book on the road.

Video Joe doubles as a waiter and takes the team’s Outback order. For me: medium steak, ranch dressing, and a baked potato, NO DOUBT!

Movie time on the bus and Casey gives Mr. Gerlach the choice. He chooses Collatoral amongst cheers of Napoleon Dynamite from the back.

As the movie begins, Nate (Guenin) is heard tossing out a few random comments about Jamie Foxx picking up chicks in a cab and I thank God I was born in the great city of Cleveland.

Grub time approaches, better watch out for salty pockets and sloppy shoes from the upperclassmen.

As I am preparing to leave the bus I hear an unfriendly, “Yenz better get movin’ up er” from no other than JB Bittner. Double thank God I am not from where ever he’s from too!

All full and ready to roll. Dinner was full of cheap thrills and good food. While paying close attention to my shoes I got stories about Schemmer (Andrew Schembri) and (Dan) Knapp pranking each other out of Kenny (Bernard). Joe and Ian (Keserich) were quoting Napoleon Dynamite. Bryce got a little testy seated next to me, something about my feet moving too much or something; I think he might need a nap. I heard it through the grapevine that at practice today when coach told Domenic to “hammer the puck,” he replied, “But coach, I didn’t bring my tool belt.” Wow. Thanks for the donation Dom. On the bus I decide to hit up my book while the movie ends.

The next movie, Napoleon Dynamite, goes in and parts are assigned to the team. Dave Curuso is cast as the lead role of Napoleon. (Sean) Collins somehow becomes Pedro. (Kyle) Hood decides Sammy (Campbell) should play Kip. And there is some argument over who is Uncle Rico, Coach (Steve) Brent or Nate Guenin.

The players get a kick out of the movie, however, Casey and the fellowship of the Bus up front are pretty upset with the film choice. Ian is assigned to pick up the pucks for the next three weeks for putting the movie in. Kind of shady if you ask me, but hey, that’s life.

Arrival goes smoothly. The freshmen carry a few extra loads of gear and the team unpacks everything in the locker room for tomorrow. There is a rush for the bathroom and an even bigger rush away from it!

We’re on the way to the hotel to kick it before bedtime. I hope we get pizzas – I am so hungry.

Clutch! Large pepperoni coming this way for Kenny Bernard and myself. We dominate that pizza and then shut her down.

1/14/05 Friday
5:01am. There are only a few possible causes for me to wake up this early: nuclear explosion in the immediate vicinity, auditions for American Idol are in town, or Kenny Bernard’s girlfriend calls him to say hello after a long night back home. I’ll let you guess what got me up that early and deserves documentation in On the Road.

I return to my previous state of peaceful sleep and wake again to our wake up call. The call is 10 minutes late. Dang it! No time to do my hair before breakfast.

Eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, oatmeal, waffles, fruit, juice, cereal, bagels and French toast … NO GRITS? What kind of operation is this!

Pre-game skate goes well except for Dom forgetting his sweat pants. I offer to let Dom borrow mine if he gets some socks from our great equipment manager Timmy. Later I catch Dom telling Timmy that I forgot my sweat pants and need some socks for skate! So much for honest teammates.

Off to lunch and to watch some video. As mush as I crave a good movie, I am just not in the mood for game tape, oh well.

Nap time before the game. I wake up and put my suit on and as I arrive at the arena I realize I forgot to do my hair again. Dang it!

Big win over Notre Dame. Good work boys. We sing our song and bus it back to the hotel.

Grub once again and shut her down to start all over tomorrow.

1/15/05 Saturday
No unexpected interruptions this time and Kenny and I make it to breakfast right on time.

Pregame skate is pretty casual with not everyone skating today. A few shooting drills are done and we depart for the hotel for more food, video, and sleep.

Game time comes and another big win for the Buckeyes. We sing once again and get the bus loaded for the trip back to Columbus. When we left I was wearing shorts to class but here in South Bend it is freezing, so phone calls to girlfriends and family don’t last as long as usual. We leave Notre Dame and get a fantastic Boberiba from Bitts (JB Bittner) on the bus.

Sweeps have some benefits, including snacks from coach at a convenient gas station off the highway. We pour into the deserted gas station and the only employee there looks like she lost her last friend. (Tom) Fritsche finds a fake lighter that shocks you when you try to light it. It makes its way around to about 10 guys before everyone catches on; Coach (John) Markell even gives it a try. Picking out snacks for the bus is crucial. I suggest strawberry milk, some gummy bears and a Choco-Taco.

Back at the Schott and we are all ready to get into our own beds. We unload the bus and get our gear unpacked for practice on Monday. Until next time this is Johnny Dingle signing off. TATE!

On the Road with Dave Caruso
The Buckeyes’ junior goalie talks about the team’s trip to Nebraska-Omaha

Dave Caruso

WELCOME BACK to On The Road with the Ohio State Buckeyes. I am on my third installment of keeping track of every move, comment and funny thing the players and staff do On The Road. This time we are headed to Nebraska to play the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

We arrive at the Schott at 10:30 am on Thursday, Nov. 17. We have eggs, ham and home fries waiting for us. I make an egg and ham sandwich. After we ate, we watched video from last Sunday’s home game against Northern Michigan. We went over some things we need to work on. At 11:15 am we loaded the bus to head to the airport. We were lucky enough to ride in Ohio State’s new bus. This bus is only six days old. It was really nice and smelled like a new car. We got to the airport earlier than usual. Our plane wasn’t leaving for another two hours. I checked my bags and sat in front of the security checkpoint. As I was eating my boxed lunch, which is supposed to hold us until 8 p.m., Lee Spector and I saw Domenic Maiani and Sam Campbell sitting next to each other. I heard them discussing what they learned in engineering class today. But then I realized that they were talking about the last book they read in class, which was The Little Engine That Could. They thought the book had a lot of plot twists. They also liked the inner meaning of the book. As their discussion picked up more conflict, Dom noticed what he referred to as a “dirty spot” on his clothes from his boxed lunch. I have never heard someone say they had a “dirty spot,” I always referred to it as a stain but that must be the new hip, young lingo…those silly freshmen.

Before I went through security, I got a turkey and cheese sub at the food court. As I went through security I saw someone had taken the two big 1-litre bottles of water I had in my backpack. I started thinking of a list of suspects who would take the water. My first suspect was Lee “The Big Kid” Spector because he sat next to me outside of the terminal. Upon further investigation I made the conclusion that would be a funny joke but Lee wouldn’t want to carry those two big bottles. The next suspect was Nate Guenin. But than I realized he was too busy looking at himself in the mirror. The final suspect was Bryce Anderson. This “high talker” has pulled off a couple of funny things this week. Most notably, on Tuesday, Bryce was about to cook one of his famous Iowan steaks on our grill until he realized our grill was out of propane. So, Bryce took out a pen and paper and thought of possible solutions. He came up with the idea of sneaking over to the neighbor’s house to use their grill that they have never used. While cooking, Bryce was thinking about what he would say to a neighbor if they came out and found him using their grill. Fortunately, nobody came out. Bryce then claimed the steak was the best steak he has ever made in Columbus. The joke is definitely on them!!! Anyways, when I went to find Bryce, I saw Bryce’s backpack and an ever-so-familiar bottle of water. My good buddy Matt Waddell let me know what happened to my other water bottle and pointed me in the direction of Kyle Hood. Kyle claimed he received this water bottle without any knowledge it was mine and took a few BIG GULPS out of it. Bryce was nowhere to be found, so I opened his backpack and took his turkey sandwich and cookie. I then placed his food in my bag. After this incident it was about time to board the plane. I had a window seat and passed out for the whole plane ride until we landed in Chicago. Chicago is the city Lee Spector and former Buckeye, Mr. Paul Caponigri, built. Lee and I went out to find some food and we got a sub. Bryce then figured out I took his sub and cookie and I pleaded the fifth. I finally just gave it to him before he started to get all emotional. After a short layover in O’hare we got on the plane to Omaha, Nebraska.

We arrived in Omaha, grabbed our bags and packed the bus. We then headed to our hotel. We unloaded our bus at the Hilton but soon found out there are more than more than one Hiltons. We hopped back on the bus and drove no more than two blocks to the other Hilton. I soon found out that I’d be rooming with my favorite roommate so far, Andrew “Too Huge” Schembri. The roommates were the same as our first conference road trip, Ferris State. After we dropped off our clothes, we headed to Nebraska’s practice rink, which was very small and the, locker rooms were even smaller. And to make matters worse there was only one shower. After a good skate we headed to Outback Steakhouse. Like our last trip to Western Michigan, our waitress loved me. She hooked Matt Waddell and me up with our own bread. At dinner, I had my back facing the seniors, which is trouble. However, I was lucky enough not to get shoe checked. Joe, our new video guy, was not lucky enough and got the “new guy treatment.” WELCOME TO THE TEAM JOE!!! I think most of you now know the other prank that was bound to happen. Yes, the butter in the ice cream trick. We tried to get Domenic but the waitress screwed up giving it to Dom but gave it to Tom Fritsche. Buzz unfortunately has received the bad end of the trick two times so far. We left Outback and headed to our hotel

In the hotel, Schembri and I thought back to our time as roommates just a few short weeks ago. Schembri and I then went to bed.

After skating I headed back to the hotel and watched Saved by the Bell and hung out. We had team meal and then went to the rink. Here is the point in the story I’d rather not talk about. We lost the first night and in the second we came back from being down and tied the game. So, we lost and tied one. Not a great weekend. After the second game we went back to the hotel and went to bed because we had an early flight the next morning. We arrived back in Columbus around mid-day. This is probably my last On The Road. It has been real, it has been fun, so it has been REAL FUN. I hope to see you all at one of our games. And remember listen to that country music. It’s the best music to listen to.

On the Road with Dave Caruso
The Buckeyes’ junior goalie talks about the team’s trip to Western Michigan

Dave Caruso

Hey Y’all.
Due to high demand and how well we played last road trip, I am back for Round 2. We are going to Kalamazoo, Mich., to play Western Michigan. We left Value City Arena at 3:15 p.m. We hit a little traffic on the way up at the intersection of 270 and US 23.

We got to Outback in Findlay. I sat in the same spot and across from Domenic Maiani while sitting next to Matt Waddell and diagonal from Tom Fritsche. So, I knew this would be an interesting meal. Dom was very scared he was going to get shoe-checked. He took off his shoes and kept them in his lap for a little while. All Dom was talking about was throwing water on whoever will try to give him a shoe-check.

We got our salad. Fritsche was claiming how much he loved the salads. Right after Waddell said that he wished the waitresses spoke in an Australian accent. I thought I was in when the waitress called me “hun,” but a little while later I heard her say “hun” to Fritsche and Dom. I was heartbroken.

I then heard the clatter of silverware against the glasses. It wsa time for everyone to check their shoes. The lucky person today was Matt McIlvane. I don’t know what is up with the shoecheckers putting the ranch dressing on the heel. The shoecheck is definitely a time-honored tradition of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I think the shoecheck never gets old. The difference between our shoechecks and other teams is that the person who gets the ranch on his shoe doesn’t know who shoechecked. I saw a near-shoecheck fight two years ago because someone saw a shoecheck happening and flipped out. It was quite funny. We got our steaks. I like Outback steaks – the Outback special is what it is called. I get mine medium or medium-well. At Outback they tend to undercook the steaks so I went with the medium-well. However, this time around Matt Waddell ordered his medium and when it came out it was a hamburger. He was mumbling something but I just tried to tune him out. Just kidding!! I’m messing with you guys!

If any of you have been to Outback, you know how small the glasses are. So, I had probably eight refills of water. At this time Dom said “Hey, why you should just stick your head under the faucet.” I have to say that was pretty funny. After eating all the bread at outback, we had a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This time nobody got the butter/sour cream in the ice cream. It can’t be done every time.

The second prank was the famous “salty pockets” prank. This is done when a person leaves his jacket around his chair and someone opens the salt dispenser and dumps the salt all in the pocket. This year, however, our pockets have mesh inside. So the salt slowly pours out. Matt Beaudoin received the salty pockets and was not too pleased.

We left Outback and headed toward Kalamazoo. On the bus we watched “White Chicks”. It was not a very good move. There were some funny parts, but it was cheesy. Nate “N8NESS” Guenin and our assistant coach Casey Jones enjoyed the movie. They gave it two thumps up. The next video was Robin Williams’ HBO special. Robin is pretty funny, however, we saw it last year. One funny part was when he was describing Canada as “Kinda like a loft over a great party.” Sorry, I am poking fun at Canadians, but I am kidding again …

We arrive in Kalamazoo at 9:15 p.m. We drop our stuff off at Lawson Arena. It seats about 3,000 crazy lunatics. The student section is loud and boisterous. The section is actually named the Lawson Lunatics. I put my stuff in a corner spot in the lockerroom. Out of all the rinks and lockerrooms we play at, this is by far the worst one. It’s just old, humid and gross. The lockerroom is very small. I grabbed a seat next to Sean “P-Diddy” Collins and Tom “Buzz” Fritsche. As I unload my equipment, I think to myself, “Man, I take a lot of stuff on these trips.” I bring whey protein, 100% MR (amino acid) supplement, two Carbo Forces (carb drink), three tennis balls, a soccer ball, face wash and an extra pair of skates. All of this on top of all my other goalie equipment.

We head to our hotel, which is located in the center of Kalamazoo. However, the Radisson is a nice hotel, one of the best we stay in. It has shops and restaurants located in the hotel. To my surprise, when the coaches were handing out the keys to the rooms there was a change in the roommates from last week. For those who don’t remember, last road trip I roomed with Andrew “Too Huge” Schembri. When I learned I would be rooming with the high talking Bryce “Boy George” Anderson, I thought it would be an interesting weekend. When we get up to our room (#705), we had our Papa John’s sausage pizza. Bryce chose the sausage because he claims he really likes sausage. I’m not really a huge fan, but as a team player, I decided to eat what my roommate wanted. As we were eating our pizza, Bryce and I make up some Rules of Our Room.

Here they are –
1 – No talking to each other.
2 – Dave shuts the blinds.
3 – Bryce changes the channel when Dave says so.
4 – No high talking.

I have to say the rules really helped make my stay with Bryce semi-enjoyable. Bryce and I live together in the eight-person house usually so we wanted to mimic what we do at home because I run Bryce’s show! Bryce has learned I am his boss and now he is my little puppet. When I tell him to do something, he does it. After setting the rules, Bryce immediately starts breaking the rules, so I showed the Iowan a little Southern butt-whooping. Shortly after we went to sleep.

We woke up at 9:15 a.m. and went downstairs to eat in one of the banquet rooms. We had the usual – eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, homefries and some had oatmeal.

After breakfast we went to the rink and had pregame skate. As I was going out to the ice a 12-year old kid who wants to play for Zach Pelletier and my old junior hockey team, the Boston Bulldogs. His name was JT and I hope one day he can. We did one “flow” drill. A flow drill is a drill that involves skating, passing, shooting and most importantly, flow. After the drill we ran through power play and penalty killing. I did a few more goalie things and then I left the ice. We watched Western’s PP units on video. They have a pretty good PP so we have to be ready. We jumped on the bus after showering (ladies, please calm down).

When I arrived to my room I watched the 12:30 Saved by the Bell: The College Years. In this show Zach throws a rave to raise money to help Kelly get to Mexico for spring break. He gets caught but since he’s Zach Morris he gets off. Afterwards I took a nap until our team meal at 2:30.

I was astonished when the food (chicken and pasta) was served buffet style. We usually have plated meals so after doing a little Sherlock Holmes-work I uncovered that the kitchen screwed up. I had no problems with the mess-up because I got to eat three pieces of chicken. This is comparative to my usual one little piece of chicken. To say the least, I was happy.

The meal ended at 2:50 and I headed back to my room. I was still tired so I took a solid nap until we had to head to the rink at 5:20 p.m. We arrived at the rink at 5:30 and did our normal routine. After we do our team warmup, Sam Campbell and I do goalie drills, which consist of tennis ball drops and throws. Last year Kenny Bernard did this, but since Kenny is on the disabled list, Sam has stepped up huge to help me out.

We are at the part of the night I will not write too much about. I’ll give you the gist of the game … They scored more than us. We didn’t play our best Buckeye hockey. They won 6-3, which included an empty-net goal. We couldn’t hold onto the lead. To say the least I was very mad.

We went back to the hotel and had lasagna as our postgame meal. I immediately went up to my room, filled up the bathtub with cold water and dumped a ton of ice in it. This is called a coldtub and it helps get the lactic acid out of the legs and helps the muscles recover because, as is the norm in college hockey, we had another shot at Western Michigan. The coldtub is frigid for the first two minutes or so but then it isn’t too bad. I stayed in for about 15 minutes and then took a hot shower to try to get warm.

After my shower I put Martina McBride’s Greatest Hits in my CD player and got under the covers and went to sleep. For your knowledge, my favorite Martina McBride song that I sing is “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues.” It is an upbeat and fun song. Considering I am a really good singer, I think one day Martina is going to ask to do a duet with me.

I woke up at 9:15 a.m. I had a great sleep. The beds are quite comfortable for a hotel. When I woke up I was thinking about one thing, beating Western tonight. We had a short video after breakfast and saw some mistakes we made. I knew we needed 20 guys going with all their heart and guts to win tonight. After the video we went to the rink for our pregame skate. Unlike last road trip, this Saturday skate was NOT optional. We skated for about 30 minutes, then headed back to the hotel. The Ohio State football game was on so I watched that for a little while. I took an hour nap before the meal.

The meal was plated but had extra chicken in a container. I was glad to see the chicken was breaded with cheese and pasta sauce on top. It was very good. Coach Markell spoke for a few minutes before we went back to our rooms.

Matt McIlvance and I were the last to leave. We had a plan because there was an apple pie for everyone. While a few players ate it, Matt and I don’t eat sugar the day of the game as part of our motivation we play to eat apple pie. When we played Miami, it was cheesecake. This time it happened to be apple pie. So, we went to one of the restaurants and asked for two boxes and boxed up the pie. We will eat it only if we win, though.

I dropped off my apple pie in the room, packed my luggage and then went for a walk. I listened to Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down” CD and then sat in the lobby listening to Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You were Dying” CD. I was getting mentally focused for the game. I headed back up to the room to spend some quality time with Bryce and get my stuff ready because we leave right from the rink on Saturdays.

We left for the rink at 5:15 and at the rink I did my usual routine. My pregame music includes listening to Big & Rich’s “House of a Different Color” CD; it is a great CD.

The game started at 7:35 p.m. I was extremely pumped up for this game. I usually don’t trash talk, but today I was trash talking and whacking guys with my goalie stick. I even broke my stick over one of their players. Throughout the past two games, the “Lawson Lunatics” were very vocal and when I raised my helmet to get water they would chant “Ugly Goalie, Ugly Goalie.”

The game was close with the score tied at 1 going into the third period. Western scored on a 4-on-3 advantage to make the game 2-1. We then came back with four unanswered goals – two power play and two empty-net. The game ended 5-2. It was an important and needed win for the Buckeyes. It also meant Matt and I could eat our apple pie.

We got on the bus and left Kalamazoo at 10:45 p.m. The bus trips always seem so much longer on the way home. “The Day After Tomorrow” was the night’s “Dinner and a Movie,” with pizza as dinner. I’ve seen the movie in the theaters and thought it was subpar so I listened to music and wrote this. We stopped for snacks at the gas station. Thomas “Snacks” Welsh immediately chimed in and said in the AFLAC duck voice – “Snacks, Snacks”. I got Fig Newtons, Double Stuff Oreos, a water and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi. I was disappointed they didn’t have animal crackers. Dom was excited they had Flintstones Push-Up pops. As I got to my seat on the bus, I was told JB Bittner hid Rod’s phone and turned the volume way up. Rod’s ringer is Ozzy Osbourne so when Rod got back on the bus, people would call his phone and he didn’t know where it was. It was quite comical. Dave Barton thought it was funny. He also asked when we got back into town if I wanted to get pizza at either Flying Pizza or New York Pizza. I reminded Dave, because I am so wise, that Flying Pizza will be closed but New York Pizza will be open. Dave Barton then started thinking and twiddling his hair with his finger like Rod does.

The movie finished around 1:30 … finally! Some of the older guys start to play cards. Lee “The Big Kid” Spector will probably win because he is bigger than everyone else. We arrived back in Columbus at 4 a.m., which was actually 3 a.m. because of the time change.

It was a good Saturday, but with the loss on Friday it is not considered a successful weekend.

Extra Info –
Time JB claimed he would study on the trip – All Trip. Time he actually studied – 20 minutes.

Times Guenin checking himself out in a mirror or window – 18 times.

On a scale of 1-10, how much I missed Tyson Strachan – 11, especially because it was he and Sean Collins’ birthday on Saturday.

Number of Moe’s Burritos consumed – 0, just waiting for Moe Monday’s!

Well, it’s been real, it’s been fun, so it’s been real fun. This is DC Caruso. Catch y’all at the Schott sometime.

On the Road with Dave Caruso
The Buckeyes’ junior goalie talks about the team’s trip to Big Rapids, Mich., to take on Ferris State

Dave Caruso

Hey Y’all
We start our magic carpet ride leaving value city arena at 3:15 pm for our 6 hour voyage up to Big Rapids, MI. For those of you who have not gone to Big Rapids for a family vacation, it is located on the left hand side in the middle of Michigan.

This is our first bus trip of the year and that means new seats on the bus. I chose a quality seat about 4 rows from the back on the left side. I am sitting behind Sean “P-Diddy” Collins and in front of Thomas “Snacks” Welsh. Across from me is Lee “The Big Kid” Spector.

The first hour and a half of the trip was assigned to study hall. After learning about Business Finance, I decided to check on JB Bittner because he needs guidance from a more mature person like myself. He saw that I was studying so for the first time in 22 years, JB opened a textbook and was “studying.” Upon further inspection, JB had Dr. Seuss’s Cat and the Hat and was trying to sound out the words in the book.

To Note: JB and I live together and I wanted to bring to the attention of all of the fans that JB sleeps at night with a teddy bear. I think when JB highlighted his hair this summer, some of the bleach went to his brain.

We arrived into Findlay, Ohio to eat at Outback Steakhouse. This is our usual place that we stop and eat at. Now, being a junior I knew there would be two pranks pulled on a couple of unexpecting players. The first prank was the famous “shoe check.” After finishing my salad, I heard the clatter of silverware against the team’s water glasses. This signifies everyone to check for butter or ranch on their shoes. The victim was Jason DeSantis. This time the butter was placed on the heel of Jason’s, whose nickname is Steve Butabi from A Night at The Roxbury, shoe. I would say this shoe check was below average in overall humor.

After finishing our steaks, Tom “Buzz” Fritsche decided he needed to use the restroom. Right after he left the ice cream came. Sean Collins decided to put butter and sour cream in Fritche’s ice cream. As he was putting the finishing touches on, Domenic Maiani said, “let me get some of that,” and took a scoop of the butter/sour cream and ate the whole thing. He got a very disgusted look on his face. Everyone at my table was in complete shock of Domenic taking a bite of the butter and sour cream. The funniest part was that Domenic watched Collins put the butter and Sour cream on the ice cream and still ate it. It must have not registered in Domenic’s Brain. Domenic said he thought Collins was just stealing Fritche’s ice cream and that’s why he grabbed a bite. At this time, I peeked over at JB, Welsh and Spector’s “senior” table and their jaws were wide open and they had astonished looks on their faces. After that display it was time to get back on the road. The talk on the bus for at least 10 minutes was about Domenic’s mouthful of butter and sour cream.

As we started the second half of our trip, we watched “The Girl Next Door.” I had not seen the movie but I thought it was funny. The girl in the movie is BEAUTIFUL. The movie was a big hit of all the guys. The key was it had good-looking girls and had funny jokes, which are always keys to good movies. The only thing it needed was country music.

For those of you who want to buy a pair of compact discs, I would suggest Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” and Keith Urban’s “Be There” compact discs. These are two fairly new compact discs that have a whole plethora of great songs.

The next movie was a JB Bittner choice. He chose “Club Dread” and claimed to coach that it was educational. For those who haven’t seen it, it was only in the VCR for about 5 minutes before Coach Markell took it out.

Coach put in “Paycheck.” It stars Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. I had seen this movie in the theatre so I turned on my compact disc player as well as watching the movie at the same time. (If you can’t tell, I am really good at multi-tasking) At this time, Jason “Steve Butabi” Desantis grabbed the seat next to me. Being the nice guy I am, I let him have one of my earpieces for my compact disc player. Jason and I started listening to an 80’s mix with Billy Joel and Belinda Carlisle as the headliners. After taking that trip back to the 80’s, I put in my Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne and Jessica Simpson mix. It began with “Toxic” and ended with Jessica Simpson’s “With You.”

We arrived into lovely Big Rapids at 11pm and dropped off our equipment at the rink. I grabbed the same spot as last year. The spot was next to the door. The rink seats approximately 2,500 fans. The actual rink dimensions would be a little bit smaller than the old OSU ice rink.

We then went to our hotel right across the street from the rink, the nice and spacious $59 a night Best Western. At this point in the night, I found out some great news. I will be rooming with Andrew “Too Huge” Schembri. What are the odds that the two coolest, best-looking guys on the team would be rooming together? We ate our Papa John’s Pizza and then went right to bed.

We woke up at 9:07 am and had 8 minutes to get down on the bus. We didn’t want to get fined for being late for breakfast. We ate breakfast at the Falcon Head Golf Club. Not to my surprise, we had the usual: eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes. I learned that Ian Keserich gave McDonald’s the idea of the McGriddle Sandwich. I saw him eating an egg and sausage pancake sandwich. After breakfast we went to the rink and I got some sticks and equipment for the game. We also skated for about 35 minutes. The coaches wanted to make sure we got the feel of the puck and the cobwebs from the bus trip out. I walked back to the hotel and was lucky enough to get stretched out by our trainer, Dave Huber. I arrived to my room just in time to see the start of “Saved By the Bell, The College Years.” Schembri and I both agreed we really like the show and reminisced on when we were in Middle School and thought this show was the coolest show ever. Back then we could not wait to attend college so we could be as sweet as the people on the show. Schembri and I decided that Screech reminds us of JB Bittner. Along with Screech, Schembri is Zach Morris and I am A.C. Slater.

The Cosby Show was on after Saved By the Bell. The Cosby Show reminded me of how much my old roommate, Mike Betz, loved that show. However, I changed the channel because I didn’t want to get teary-eyed. Betz was a great roommate but Schembri is going to give him a run for his money. I roomed with JB last week in New Hampshire; and he was a horrible roommate. He wasn’t very nice to me. He tried to pull rank on me on everything. I just went over to him and put him in the “Razor Blade Suitcase” which is a wrestling move I have and he said he wished he had his teddy bear there to protect him.

I watched CMT from 1:30 to 2:05 pm until we went to our pre-game lunch, chicken and pasta. I only ate the small piece of chicken. It is not because I am on the Atkins Diet but I don’t eat carbohydrates, especially pasta, the day of the game. We went back to the hotel and watched 5 minutes of video. After video, Schembri and I walked across the street to Save-A-Lot grocery store. I bought a package of 35-cent turkey. It was awful. It tasted like bologna. Walking back to the hotel from the store I couldn’t wait to take my usual 30-minute nap. Schembri and I started getting dressed and as we were putting on our collared shirts we discussed how our necks don’t fit into our shirts anymore. It must be our strength coach, Anthony Glass’s 4-way neck exercise. At 5:30, we headed to the rink for our game.

At the rink we taped sticks and did our team warm-up. It was a big game considering we lost 2 games last weekend and it was our first conference weekend.

We came out strong and took a 2-0 lead. My roommate, Schembri scored one. Ferris State then scored before the period ended. Going into the second period the score was 2-1. In the second period it seemed like we were killing penalties the whole period. They tied the game up at two. Going into the third period the talk in the locker room was to win the upcoming 20 minutes and we would obviously win the game. We came out hard and scored the go ahead goal. Matt Beaudoin, who just came back from an ankle injury, scored it. The goal was a big goal. After the goal was scored, Ferris gave everything they had. Luckily JB Bittner scored on the empty net and made the game 4-2. It was a big win for the Buckeyes.

We had our after game meal at the Golf Club and had the customary Lasagna…yummy!!!!

Keserich pointed out to me that Thomas Welsh was sitting at the “freshmen” table. After a few laughs the “freshmen” table started to laugh uncontrollably (not out of the ordinary). Welsh sarcastically said, “I’m at the mature table.” After the meal we went back to the hotel. Dr. Matt McIlvane, the chiropractor, adjusted my back along with a few other players. I don’t know where and how he learned to adjust people but he is very good at it. I went to bed shortly after that.

Saturday morning started out just like the day before. Schembri and I woke up at 9 am. We went to breakfast at the golf club and today Keserich made a French Toast Sandwich, wait till Ronald McDonald hears about this!

After breakfast we had an optional morning skate and those that didn’t skate had to take a short walk. Most of the guys skated. I was out there for about 15 minutes. I then walked back to the hotel and as I got back it was already time for the pregame meal. I (figuratively) jumped on the bus and headed to the golf club, at the meal Thomas made the assumption that the Ranch dressing was Caesar. To Thomas’s dismay he was wrong and for the rest of the meal Thomas kept saying, “it’s definitely Caesar dressing guys”. We even asked the waitress and she said, “No, it is ranch.” The guys at the table gave Thomas a hard time by referring everything to Ranch dressing.

After the meal we went back to the hotel. Schembri and I took a nap. It was an early game that started at 5:05 pm. I arrived at the rink at 3 pm and did my normal routine. We knew Ferris State would come out extra hard tonight. It was another penalty filled game. The NCAA is trying to crack down on the enforcement of penalties. So now there are 15 plus penalties a game. This crack down has really made the games frustrating to play. Right now there is little to no flow of the game.

It was a 0-0 game after the 1st period. Ferris State scored on the power play. We came back with a goal by Kyle Hood. The 3rd period began with the score knotted at 1. Ferris came out with two quick goals. Even though Ferris was up 3-1, I had a good feeling about being able to come back and win the game. I knew I had to “shut the door” to give us a chance. We came back with a big goal by Rod Pelley to make the score 3-2. With a little less than 2 minutes left in the game, Matt Beaudoin scored the game-tying goal. Matt knows when it is a good time to score goals. He is French so he likes doing stuff in dramatic fashion. We almost scored with seconds left in the game while we were on the power play. The man advantage carried over to overtime. In overtime we had a chance or two but couldn’t put the biscuit in the basket. With about 1:40 left in overtime, Lee “The Big Kid” Spector used his size, skill and mostly his finesse to score a huge OT goal. The game ended 4-3 and it was a great 3rd period come-from-behind win for the Buckeyes. We came out of Ferris State with a huge conference road sweep. To start conference play with a road sweep really gives us confidence for the next week. One of the keys to our win was the amount of face-offs we won. We won 63 out of 93 face-offs. I thought we played very well defensively, blocking a lot of shots. I was really proud of how we came back from 3-1 deficit to pull off the OT win.

We jumped on the bus and had Jimmy John’s subs waiting for us. I ordered the #11 with double meat and no tomatoes. We got a cookie with that too.

Starsky and Hutch began shortly after we started back to Columbus. I immediately called Kenny “Hutch” Bernard back in Columbus. Kenny is injured but I wanted to tell him we were watching Starsky and Hutch. I call Kenny by the name Ken Hutch and he gave me the nickname Dave Starsky. JB Bittner was given the name Mannetti because he reminds us of the mean cop in the movie. This brings me to an important subject I want to touch on. Kenny and I want to bring to your attention how GREAT MOE’s Southwestern Grill on High Street is. Moe’s has a special everyday but the days that you will see Kenny and me at are Moe Mondays and Wildcard Wednesdays. On Monday and Wednesday you get a big burrito, a drink and chips for just 5 dollars. Some people like Chipotle but Kenny and I know how great Moe’s is. The best part is when you walk in the door you will hear the friendly greeting, “WELCOME TO MOES!!!”

We stopped for SNACKS at a Gas Station. This is where Thomas Welsh gets his nickname because he loves snacks, but who doesn’t. I got water, caffeine free Diet Pepsi, animal crackers, Fig Newtons and soft batch chocolate chip cookies.

The next movie is Man On Fire, a great movie with Denzel Washington. The movie starts off slow but then really gets into it. Man On Fire is not for the faint-at-heart. It is more of a guy flick. During this whole time, there is a group of card players playing cards. Lee Spector and Thomas Welsh are the leaders of the card movement. They played for a good 4 hours. They live for this. They are playing Go Fish and War for most of the time.

We arrived back in Columbus around 2:30 am. It turned out to be a great trip. I really enjoy being around these guys. I hope we can keep up the good work.

Please tune into the next ON THE ROAD with The Ohio State Buckeyes. I am Dave Caruso-the best car/shower singer around-signing off.