Dec. 31, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s hockey junior center R.J. Umberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshman goalie Dave Caruso (Roswell, Ga.) have earned Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Week honors for the week ending Dec. 30, the league announced Tuesday. Umberger earned offensive player of the week honors for the third consecutive week, while Caruso was named the rookie of the week. The duo led the Buckeyes to a 1-0-1 performance in the Everblades College Classic in Estero, Fla.

Umberger led the Buckeyes with two goals in the two games combined and earned all-tournament honors. In OSU’s 2-all tie with Massachusetts, he scored the gametying goal in the second period. Umberger also scored the lone goal in the Buckeyes’ 1-0 victory over No. 3-ranked Cornell. His goal against the Minutemen marked the 100th point of his OSU career, making him the 47th member of the OSU Century Club. He leads the Buckeyes with 15 goals and 25 points on the year. In December, Umberger posted 13 points, on nine goals and four assists, in six games to lead the Buckeyes to a 5-0-1 record.

Caruso made 24 saves, including 11 in the first period, to lead the Buckeyes to a 1-0 victory over third-ranked Cornell. The shutout was the first of Caruso’s Buckeye career. He has seen action in four games this season, posting a goals-against average of 1.49 and a save percentage of .943. He is 3-1-0 on the year.

In all, Buckeyes have earned CCHA player of the week honors eight times this season, led by Umberger with three. Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) is a two-time rookie of the week honoree, while Dan Knapp (Rochester, Mich.) and Caruso each have earned that honor once. Paul Caponigri (Oak Park, Ill.) also received offensive player of the week accolades.

The No. 9-ranked Buckeyes (13-4-2, 9-2-1 CCHA), on a six-game unbeaten streak, travel to Pittsburgh to face Princeton at 7:05 p.m. Friday in Mellon Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The squad returns home for a game with Findlay at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 7) in Value City Arena.