Nov. 9, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team (5-5-0, 1-5-0 WCHA) looks to extend its three-game win streak with a conference series at Bemidji State (3-5-0, 2-2-0 WCHA) Nov. 10-11 in Bemidji, Minn. Games begin at 2:07 p.m. (CT) both Friday and Saturday.

The Buckeyes are coming off a sweep of a nonconference series vs. Connecticut Nov. 3-4. OSU won 5-1 and 2-0 to move to .500 on the season. Bemidji State did not play last weekend.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with Bemidji State 17-10-3, although the Beavers won three of four meetings in the 2005-06 season. The teams are tied at 6-6-2 in games taking place at Glas Fieldhouse.

Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer was named USCHO Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row, the U.S. College Hockey Online site announced Tuesday. Her back-to-back national player of the week awards are the first of her career.

Vanderveer continued her outstanding play by backstopping the Buckeyes to a sweep of Connecticut Nov. 3-4 at OSU Ice Rink. She totaled 63 saves in the two wins, allowing just one goal to the Huskies, who came into the series averaging 4.0 goals per game. In the Friday game, Vanderveer made 34 saves in the 5-1 win for her fourth-consecutive game of surpassing the 30-save mark. She followed that with a 29-save shutout performance Saturday to record her first shutout of the season and seventh of her career. Vanderveer helped the Buckeye penalty kill post a perfect 9-for-9 mark against UConn, stopping all nine shots faced by the Husky power play.

Ohio State swept a nonconference series with Connecticut last weekend, winning 5-1 Friday before blanking the Huskies 2-0 Saturday. The Buckeyes improve to 4-0-0 against non-WCHA opponents, with all four wins coming against Hockey East foes. For UConn, the two defeats were just its second and third losses of the season. The Buckeyes have won all four meetings with the Huskies in the all-time series.

With the game tied at 1-1 heading into the third period Friday, Ohio State pulled away with four goals in the final stanza for the win. Morgan Marziali scored twice while Erin Keys and Olivia Antognoli scored the other two goals. Tessa Bonhomme opened the scoring for the Buckeyes with a goal in the second period. Jody Heywood and Hayley Klassen scored two second-period goals for OSU Saturday.

Bemidji State is 3-5-0 overall with a 2-2-0 record in WCHA games. The Beavers opened their league schedule with a sweep against St. Cloud State. The team then dropped a pair of WCHA games to Minnesota Duluth. BSU did not play last weekend and split its last series (vs. Niagara, Oct. 27-28).

The Beavers are led by seniors Helena Tageson and Jenn Sadler, each with five points. Tageson has scored five goals, while Sadler is second with four. Junior Emily Brookshaw has guarded the BSU goal throughout the season with a 3-5-0 record. She had a 3.89 GAA and .879 save percentage.

The Ohio State defense shut down Connecticut’s high-performing offense throughout the two games last weekend. The Buckeyes limited UConn, who came into the series averaging 4.0 goals per game, to just one goal for the two games. OSU also held UConn’s high scorer and Hockey East October Player of the Month Jaclyn Hawkins, who came into the series with 19 points, to zero points.

The Huskies came into the series with a 35.6 conversion percentage on the power play, but were held scoreless (0-for-9) with the man-advantage. It was the fourth and fifth games this season the Buckeyes had perfect penalty kill performances.

The Ohio State power play is 14-for-50 this season for a 28 scoring percentage to rank fourth in the NCAA and third in the WCHA. Junior Lisa Chesson leads the team with eight points on the power play, scoring all four of her goals this season with the man-advantage. Mallory Peckels (3g, 4a), Tessa Bonhomme (2g, 5a) and Amber Bowman (1g, 6a) are tied for second with seven PP points.

In 36 games last season, the Buckeyes scored just 20 power play goals, going 20-for-158.

In her last three games, Erika Vanderveer is 3-0-0 with an average of 33.7 saves. She has a 0.67 GAA and .980 save percentage in those games. Overall this season, she is 4-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA. She has allowed just 10 goals with 185 saves for a .949 save percentage, good for third in the nation.

Junior forward Erin Keys had a goal Friday and an assist Saturday against Connecticut to extend her point streak to three games. Keys has only been held without a point twice this season. She leads the team in points (13), plus/minus (+8) and is tied for the lead in assists (8). She is second in goals with five.

Three of OSU’s top four scorers are defensemen: Amber Bowman and Lisa Chesson are tied for second with 12 points and Tessa Bonhomme is fourth with 11. Bowman and Chesson are tied for fifth in the nation defenseman scoring with 1.20 points-per-game while Bonhomme is tied for nineth with 1.10 ppg.

Through 10 games, sophomore Morgan Marziali has already had a career season. She added an assist to her two goals Friday vs. UConn for a career-high three-points. It was her second multiple-goal game of the season.

After scoring just three goals and nine points in 32 games as a freshman, Marziali has a team-high six goals and is fifth in points with 10.

Through 10 games, 15 Ohio State players have recorded a point this season. Twelve have scored a goal and 13 have scored an assist with 10 players tallying both.

Sophomore Olivia Antognoli scored Friday vs. UConn for her first goal and point as a Buckeye. Also scoring career firsts this season are: Megan Hostasek (first assist – Oct. 6), Raelyn LaRocque (first goal/point – Oct. 6, first assist – Oct. 7), Rachel Davis (first assist/point – Oct. 7), Jill Mauch (first appearance in goal – Oct. 6).

Senior Amber Bowman and junior Tessa Bonhomme are climbing the Ohio State records for career points by a defenseman. Bowman ranks third all-time, followed by Bonhomme at fourth. Laaksonen (2001-04) hold the record with 99 points.

With an assist vs. Connecticut, Bowman increased her career total to 76 (24g, 52a). Bonhomme had a goal vs. the Huskies to move her career total to 58 (16g, 42a).

Ohio State returns to Columbus to host North Dakota Nov. 17 and 19 at OSU Ice Rink. The game Friday begins at 7:07 p.m. After a day off, the series concludes Sunday at 12:07 p.m.