Feb. 18, 2009

Courtesy of Ohio State

The Series
2008-09 Series - Michigan leads 2-0-0
at Michigan 4, Ohio State 3 (Oct. 31, 2008)
at Michigan 6, Ohio State 1 (Nov. 1, 2008)
2007-08 Series - Tied 1-1-0
Ohio State 3, at Michigan 2 (Nov. 30, 2007)
at Michigan 4, Ohio State 2 (Dec. 1, 2007)
Series History - Michigan leads 63-28-11
In Columbus - Michigan leads 26-13-5
In Ann Arbor, Mich. - Michigan leads 33-12-6
Neutral Site - Michigan leads 4-3-0
CCHA Regular Season - Michigan leads 57-27-11
Postseason - Michigan leads 10-2-0
Overtime - Michigan leads 4-2-11
Last 10 - Michigan leads 7-3-0

Buckeye This and That
• Ohio State enters the series with Michigan in fifth place in the CCHA standings, one point behind fourth-place Alaska with two games in hand. The squad is five points back of third-place Michigan.
• Michigan is the second-consecutive Top 3 opponent to visit Value City Arena. Ohio State split with No. 2 Notre Dame two weeks ago (Feb. 6/8). The Buckeyes have two wins over Top 2 teams this year, with a road victory at Denver Oct. 25 and a win over the Irish at home Feb. 8.
• Ohio State is in a stretch of five-consecutive televised games and closes out the year with six of its last eight games on television. The Big Ten Network will carry the game vs. the Wolverines Friday and televised the game at Michigan State last Friday. CBS College Sports will broadcast the Buckeyes vs. Wolverines Saturday and carried the Buckeyes’ game vs. Notre Dame Feb. 6. FSN Detroit televised Ohio State at Michigan State last Saturday and ONN and the NHL Network will televise the game in Oxford Feb. 27.
• The Buckeyes scored their first last-minute extra-attacker goal of the year last Friday to scratch out a 1-all tie but lost their first shootout of the year at Michigan State.
• The Buckeyes were held to a season-low two goals in the series at Michigan State last weekend. The team, which has been as high as Top 3 nationally in scoring offense, has dropped to 11th after scoring two or less goals in six of their last nine games.
• Sophomore John Albert leads the Buckeyes with a career-best 23 assists and 33 points, ranking sixth in the CCHA in scoring. Freshman Zac Dalpe leads the Buckeyes and all CCHA rookies with 13 goals this season. Ian Boots is third among CCHA rookies in scoring with 22 points, followed by Dalpe in fourth with 21.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 15/16 Ohio State men’s hockey team returns home to host No. 3/3 Michigan this weekend. The Buckeyes (18-10-4, 11-9-4-3 CCHA) and Wolverines (23-9-0, 17-7-0 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and at 8:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.

Follow the Buckeyes
Both games vs. Michigan this weekend will be televised live. The game Friday will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network, with Fred Pletsch, Matt Rosen and Shireen Saski calling the action. CBS College Sports will televise the Saturday contest, with Dave Starman and Matt McConnell on the call.

WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) will carry both games, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat calling the action.

Live stats can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or from CCHA.com.
The Fun Stuff
During the Buckeyes’ game vs. the Wolverines Friday, the Ohio State Athletic Band will perform Script Ohio on Ice during intermission. It is White Out the Wolverines night, with all fans encouraged to wear white, and rally towels will be handed out to the first 12,000 fans courtesy of Nationwide. Saturday thundersticks will be distributed to the first 6,000 fans and there will be a Meet the Buckeyes postgame autograph session with juniors Joseph Palmer and Mathieu Picard.

League Ledger
With four conference games remaining, the Buckeyes are in fifth place in the CCHA standings with 29 points in 24 games. The Buckeyes trail fourth-place Alaska by one point with two games in hand and are five back of third-place Michigan. Nebraska-Omaha is three points behind the Buckeyes with two more games played and Ferris State is four back of Ohio State through 24 games.

The Top 4 teams in the final league standings earn first-round byes in the CCHA playoffs, with teams 5-8 hosting teams 9-12 in the first round. The Top 4 teams host quarterfinal rounds against the first-round winners. The four quarterfinal winners will compete for the Mason Cup at the 2009 CCHA Championship March 20-21 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Notre Dame, Miami and Michigan all have clinched a spot in the Top 4 and a bye in the first round of the CCHA playoffs. Ohio State can finish no lower than eighth in the standings and will host either a quarterfinal series March 13-15 or a first-round series March 6-8.

Buckeye Brief
The Buckeyes are 18-10-4 on the year and 11-9-4-3 in the CCHA, including shootout wins over Miami, Ferris State and Western Michigan. The squad is averaging 3.41 goals a game, while allowing 2.62. On the power play, the Buckeyes have converted 23-of-153 chances (.150) and have stopped 139-of-171 opponent opportunities (.813).

Sophomore John Albert is first on the team with 23 assists and 33 points. Senior Corey Elkins is second with 29 points and 18 helpers. Freshman Zac Dalpe has a team-best 13 goals, followed by Hunter Bishop with 12 and Elkins with 11. Sophomore Peter Boyd (9g, 16a, 25p), Bishop (12g, 11a, 23p), freshman Ian Boots (9g, 13a, 22p), Dalpe (13g, 8a, 21p) and defenseman Shane Sims (5g, 15a, 20p) all have reached the 20-point mark. Bishop has a team-best +22 rating, followed by Elkins at +20. Sophomore Sergio Somma is first with four power-play goals. Albert and Dalpe each have a team-best three game-winning goals.

In net, sophomore Dustin Carlson has played in 29 games, starting 26 (including 23 of the last 24), with a 2.26 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 16-7-3 record.

A Look Back - Buckeyes vs. Spartans
The Buckeyes and Spartans tied 1-1 in overtime last Friday in East Lansing before Michigan State won the shootout, 2-1 in four rounds, to earn the extra CCHA point.

The teams were scoreless through the first period before Michigan State opened the scoring on Brett Perlini’s first-career goal at 8:12 of the second period. The Spartans’ lead stood until there were just 11 seconds remaining in regulation. With the Buckeye net empty for the extra attacker, the puck came to sophomore Hunter Bishop at the right post. His shot went off a prone Jeff Lerg’s leg and in to force overtime, with Sergio Somma and Matt Bartkowski picking up the assists. The teams put seven shots on net in overtime, with Michigan State’s three coming on the power play, but neither team could find the back of the net. Lerg ended the game with 36 saves and Buckeye goalie Dustin Carlson had 24 stops, as Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 37-25. In the shootout, Zac Dalpe scored the lone goal for the Buckeyes. Carlson had two saves.

Last Saturday, the Buckeyes lost, 2-1, to the Spartans, giving up a late power-play goal to break a 1-all tie through two periods.

Joey Shean opened the scoring at 4:24 of the first and Buckeye Shane Sims tied the game at the 1:02 mark fo the second period. In the third the Buckeye penalty kill stopped a five-minute major early in the stanza, including a 5-on-3 advantage for the first two minutes of the power play, but the Spartans’ Jeff Petry scored at 16:13 on MSU’s fourth power-play of the night to go ahead and MSU held on for the win. Carlson had 33 stops for the Buckeyes, who were 0-for-4 on the power play.

Buckeyes vs. Wolverines
Michigan leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 63-28-11. The teams had split four-consecutive series before the Wolverines swept the Buckeyes, 4-3 and 6-1, earlier this season (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) in Ann Arbor.

On Ohio State Ice
In Columbus, the Buckeyes trail the series with the Wolverines, 13-26-5. The teams last met in Columbus Feb. 23-24, 2007, when Michigan posted a 4-3 win in game one and Ohio State came from behind to win game two, 6-5.

On the Scoresheet
Sophomore Sergio Somma has a team-best four points vs. Michigan, with two goals and two assists, along with a +4 mark. Senior Corey Elkins and sophomore Chris Reed have a team-best three assists. Sophomore Todd Rudasill has two goals and sophomore John Albert and freshman Ian Boots have two helpers each.

Wolverine Watch
Michigan is ranked third nationally and enters the series on a four-game winning streak and with a 14-2 mark since Dec. 5. The squad downed Nebraska-Omaha in Ann Arbor last weekend, winning, 8-3, Friday and coming from two goals down for a 4-2 victory Saturday. Overall this season, the team is 23-9-0, with a 17-7-0-0 CCHA mark.

The Wolverines are averaging a CCHA-best 3.53 goals a game and allowing 2.12 goals an outing. The squad has 30 power-play goals on 185 chances (.162). On the penalty kill, Michigan has stopped 150-of-173 opponent chances (.867).

Sophomore Aaron Palushaj leads the CCHA in scoring with 40 points and in assists with 30. Sophomore Louie Caporusso has a league-high 22 goals and ranks second on the squad with 37 points. Freshman David Wohlberg is second in goals (12) and third in points (25). Sophomore Carl Hagelin (10g, 13a) and senior Travis Turnbull (8g, 15a) are tied for fourth with 23 points each. In all, 12 Wolverines have 12 or more points.

In net, sophomore Bryan Hogan has a 19-3-0 record, with a 1.94 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and three shutouts. Senior Billy Sauer is 4-6-0 on the year, with a 2.27 gaa and .915 svpct.

Red Berenson, a 1962 graduate of Michigan, is in his 26th year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a school and career mark of 667-307-68.

Flashback - OSU vs. UM in Yost
The Buckeyes were swept in a two-game series in Ann Arbor, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, with 4-3 and 6-1 losses.

In the 4-3 loss in game one Oct. 31, the Buckeyes rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 3 late in the end of the second period, but the Wolverines’ Tim Miller tallied at 13:38 of the third to put Michigan ahead again.

Michigan led 1-0 after the first on Louie Caporusso’s power-play goal and Brandon Naurato made the score 2-0 at 8:48 of the second. Todd Rudasill answered for the Buckeyes just over a minute later (9:54) but Michigan’s Aaron Palushaj scored 40 seconds after that to regain the UM two-goal lead. Rudasill added his second goal of the period at 12:48 and Mathieu Picard tied the score at 17:52. Ian Boots and Sergio Somma each had two assists for the Buckeyes, who outshot Michigan, 37-24.

Nov. 1, Michigan led 2-0 after the first and 5-0 after the second. Zac Dalpe broke the shutout in the third, but Michigan added another goal for the 6-1 final.

What a Cluster
Ohio State and Michigan are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster this season, joined by Miami and Michigan State. The teams are in the same cluster for the first time since 2003-04. That year, the four squads finished in the Top 4 spots in the CCHA.

Ohio State is 2-4-2 against teams in its cluster - 2-1-1 vs. Michigan State (with a shootout loss), 0-1-1 vs. Miami (with a shootout win) and 0-2-0 vs. Michigan.

A Sight to See
The Top 4 hockey crowds in Value City Arena have seen the Buckeyes take on the Wolverines, including an NCAA indoor on-campus record of 17,233 Jan. 21, 2000. The Buckeyes and Wolverines faced off in the first hockey game in VCA Jan. 2, 1999, a 1-0 Ohio State win.

A Rough Road
The Buckeyes have one of the toughest schedules to close out CCHA play this season. The squad, which stands in fifth place with two weekends remaining, has four of its final five regular-season series against teams ahead or tied with them in the standings. The team split with Alaska (4th) and first-place Notre Dame. After the trip to Michigan State (t-10th) last weekend, the team hosts third-place Michigan this weekend and closes out the year vs. second-place Miami Feb. 27-28 with a home-and-home series.

Ohio State is 10-3-2 at home this season, including a split with Notre Dame Feb. 6/8 in its last home series. The team had a nine-game winning streak and 10-game unbeaten streak in Value City Arena earlier this season.

The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents, 3.6-2.2, at home this year. Sophomore John Albert has a team-best 11 assists and 18 points in VCA and shares the team goal lead with sophomore Hunter Bishop and freshman Zac Dalpe with seven each. Freshman defenseman Matt Bartkowski is a team-high +17 in games played in Value City Arena.

A Top 3 Host
Ohio State is hosting its second-consecutive Top 3-ranked team in Value City Arena. The squad split a series with No. 2 Notre Dame Feb. 6/8 and Michigan comes into the weekend ranked No. 3 nationally.

Beating the Best
Ohio State has two wins over teams ranked second nationally at the time, downing Denver Oct. 25 (4-3) and Notre Dame Feb. 8 (4-1).

A Rarity
The Buckeyes earned just one point in their series at Michigan State last weekend. It was just the second time this year the team earned less than two points and the first since being swept at Michigan Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

A First for Everything
Last Friday at Michigan State, Ohio State lost its first shootout of the year (2-1 in four rounds) and now is 3-1 in shootouts. Freshman Zac Dalpe scored for Ohio State Friday and is 2-for-2 in shootouts this year. Peter Boyd is the only Buckeye to have an attempt in all four shootouts and is 2-for-4.

The Buckeyes are 2-1-4 in overtime on the year, with OT wins over Bowling Green and Bentley, ties/shootout victories vs. Miami (3-1/3 rounds), Ferris State (1-0/3 rounds) and Western Michigan (2-1/5 rounds), a tie and shootout loss to Michigan State (2-1/4 rounds) and an OT loss to Notre Dame Feb. 6

Better Late than Never
The game at Michigan State last Friday was the first time Ohio State forced overtime with a late, extra-attacker goal. The Buckeyes have given up three extra-attacker goals - at Bowling Green (18:51), at Ferris State (19:03) and Notre Dame (19:59). The Buckeyes won the game vs. the Falcons in OT, tied the Bulldogs (shootout win) and lost to the Irish in OT. Against Bentley, the Buckeyes tied the game midway through the third before winning in overtime. Against Western Michigan, the teams were tied after the second in the Buckeyes’ eventual shootout victory. In the season opener, Miami tied the game in the third and Ohio State won the shootout.

Hunter Bishop’s extra attacker goal vs. the Spartans was the first for the Buckeyes since Kyle Reed’s goal March 8, 2008 at Northern Michigan in the first round of the CCHA playoffs.

Power Outage
The Buckeyes, who have been in the Top 5 in the country in scoring for much of the second half of the season, scored just twice in the series at Michigan State. It was the first time the team had just two goals or less in a series since losing to the Spartan, 4-1 and 4-0, Jan. 18-19, 2008 in Value City Arena. Ohio State has been held to one goal seven times this year and is 0-6-1 in those games. The team has scored only one goal in four of the last seven games and is 2-4-1 over the stretch.

At the Other End of the Ice
Buckeye goalie Dustin Carlson allowed just three goals in the series at Michigan State, stopping 57-of-60 shots, including 33 Saturday. He has held opponents to two goals or less in three of the last four games and in 14 starts this year.