Dec. 20, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s hockey junior center R.J. Umberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshman forward Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) have earned Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Week honors for the week ending Dec. 15, the league announced. Umberger earned offensive player of the week honors for the second consecutive week, while Kesler was named the rookie of the week for the second time this season. The duo led the Buckeyes to a two-game sweep of Nebraska-Omaha Dec. 13-14.

Umberger led the Buckeyes with four goals in the series against UNO, posting two goals in each game. He had the gamewinning goal and was named the Perani Cup First Star of the Game each night. He has been outstanding in the last four games, posting 7-4-11 totals to move into sixth place in the CCHA in scoring overall. He leads the Buckeyes in goals (13) and points (23) this season and now is just one point away from the 100th of his career.

Kesler had two assists against the Mavericks, including one on both gamewinning goals of the series. He was +3 in the series to tie for the team lead. Kesler has 4-14-18 totals this season to rank third for the Buckeyes and first among CCHA freshmen. He was named to the U.S. Junior National Team that will compete in the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The No. 11-ranked Buckeyes (12-4-1, 9-2-1 CCHA) ended the first part of their season in second place in the CCHA, one point behind first-place Ferris State. The squad returns to action Dec. 28 against Massachusetts in the Everblades College Classic in Estero, Fla.