BUCKEYE NOTES TO KNOW • Ohio State is opening its 40th year of play in the CCHA. • The Buckeyes last opened CCHA play vs. Bowling Green in 2005-06. In that series, the Buckeyes won the opener on the road, 7-2, before the teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in game two in Columbus. • Ohio State has a rotating system of captains to start the season. Serving as captains for the series at Bowling Green are juniors Alex Lippincott and Travis Statchuk and sophomore Max McCormick. • The Buckeyes are playing their fifth and sixth consecutive road games to open the season. The squad’s first home games will be Nov. 9-10 after a bye next weekend. • This is the first time since 2009-10, and just the second time since 1980-81, the Buckeyes will play four non-conference games before opening conference play. • The series with Bowling Green opens Ohio Cup play, the traveling trophy sponsored by Buckeye Sports Bulletin given to the team with the best record vs. its in-state opponents.
DROP THE PUCK After trips to Minnesota and Connecticut, the Ohio State men’s hockey team stays in state to begin CCHA play, heading north for two games at Bowling Green this weekend. The Buckeyes (1-2-1, 0-0-0-0 CCHA) and Falcons (1-3-1, 0-0-0-0 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the BGSU Ice Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio.
FOLLOW ALONG The series kicks off the Buckeyes’ OhioState/IMG Radio coverage on 1460 AM, OhioStateBuckeyes.com Buckeye Vision and 971thefan.com. Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat will be on the call.
The games will be streamed for a fee through America One and BGSUFalcons.com. Live stats and in-game updates on Twitter (@OhioState_MHKY) will also be available.
Links to all coverage can be found on the Buckeye hockey gameday page (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) and the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
A LOOK AHEAD Ohio State will have a bye the weekend of Nov. 2-4 before opening its home slate with a four-game homestand. The squad will host Alaska Nov. 9-10 and Northern Michigan Nov. 16-17 in Value City Arena.
THE OHIO CUP The series vs. Bowling Green marks the first Ohio Cup games for this season. The traveling trophy sponsored by Buckeye Sports Bulletin has been awarded each of the last 30 years to the Ohio-based program with the best record against its instate opponents. Miami is the defending champion and Ohio State last won in 2010-11. Bowling Green leads all-time with 12 titles, followed by Miami with 11 and Ohio State with seven. Kent State played 18 Ohio Cup games during its stint as a Division I program but never won the title.
The 2011-12 Ohio Cup games are Ohio State at Bowling Green this weekend, Miami at Ohio State Dec. 14-15 and Bowling Green at Miami Jan. 25-26.
CELEBRATE THE LEGACY This season marks the final campaign for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The CCHA’s 42-year history includes eight NCAA national championships, 664 NHL draft picks (including 35 first-round picks), 33 combined Frozen Four appearances by nine teams, 179 All-Americans and 35 Stanley Cup champions.
Ohio State was a member of the league’s inaugural season in 1971-72 (playing the first CCHA game Nov. 12, 1971 vs. St. Louis and winning the first CCHA title) and remained for two more years. The team then competed as an independant for three years before returning to the CCHA in 1976-77, where it has remained.
LAST TIME OUT The Buckeyes closed out early-season nonconference play with two games at No. 20 Quinnipiac last week. The squads tied the opener, 1-1, before the Bobcats wrapped up the series with a 3-1 victory Saturday.
In game one, the teams were scoreless through the first period before QU’s Mathew Peca tallied unassisetd at 9:45 of the second. Halfway through the third period Buckeye sophomore Matt Johnson tied the game, assisted by freshman Tyler Lundey. Both defenses held strong the rest of the game. Ohio State was outshot, 35-25, in the contest. Senior goalie Brady Hjelle totaled 31 saves for the Buckeyes.
In game two, after a scoreless first period, Quinnipiac took the lead 6:40 into the second and scored shorthanded early in the third for a 2-0 advantage. Buckeye Ryan Dzingel tallied a shorthanded goal of his own (assisted by Sam Jardine and Max McCormick) at 12:56 to cut the advantage to one but the Bobcats sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute. Freshman goalie Collin Olson had 25 saves, allowing two goals, in his second career start.
NOTING THE BUCKEYES As a team • The Buckeyes have not yet named captains for the 2012-13 season and are designating captains for each weekend. This week, juniors Alex Lippincott and Travis Statchuk and sophomore Max McCormick will wear the captain’s ‘C’s. • After allowing six goals in the season opener, Ohio State has allowed six goals in its last three games combined. • The Buckeyes blocked 33 shots as a team in the series at Quinnipiac, while the Bobcats blocked 13 of the Buckeyes’ attempts. Sophomore Justin DaSilva had a team-best six blocks in the two games combined. • The Buckeyes did not allow a power play goal last weekend at Quinnipiac, stopping all nine chances against. The squad had a season-low three penalties for six minutes in the opener vs. the Bobcats. • The Buckeyes are being outshot, 23.8-31.8 this season, and have been outshot in their first four games. • Ohio State is opening its regular season with six-consecutive road games, traveling first to Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA and then heading to Connecticut for two games with Quinnipiac of the ECAC. It is the longest stretch of road games to open the regular season since 1998-99, when the squad played its first nine games away from Columbus as the Schottenstein Center construction was being completed. That year, the first home game was Nov. 13 vs. Michigan State.
Individually • Sophomore Max McCormick has a point in three of four games this year and leads Ohio State with three points. McCormick, junior Alex Lippincott and freshman Tyler Lundey are first on the team with two assists each. • After a goal Friday vs. the Bobcats, sophomore Matt Johnson is the first Buckeye with two goals this season. • Freshman forward Tyler Lundey posted his second assist of the year in the tie Friday night, the first rookie with two points this year. • Ryan Dzingel scored his first career shorthanded goal in the Saturday game at Quinnipiac. It was the Buckeyes’ first shorty of the season and first since Jan. 21 vs. Ferris State. • Senior goalie Brady Hjelle had 34 saves Friday night at Quinnipiac, his second 30-plus save game this season and his fourth as a Buckeye with 30 or more stops. He has started the series opener the first two weekends this season. • Freshman Collin Olson has started the second game of each series, the first Buckeye true freshman to see game time for Ohio State since Cal Heeter in 2008-09. He has a .927 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average, allowing just two goals in each game.
BUCKEYES VS. FALCONS The Buckeyes trail the series with Bowling Green, 71-93-8, but Ohio State leads 9-0-2 in the last 11 meetings. The teams tied both games last season, with BG prevailing in the shootout both nights (Jan. 7-8, 2012). The teams are meeting on BG ice for the third-consecutive series. Ohio State is 26-56-5 all-time in Bowling Green.
THE BOWLING GREEN FALCONS Bowling Green is 1-3-1 and coming off a series split at Colgate last weekend (W 3-1, L 2-4). The squad opened the year with a tie at Niagara before it was swept at home by Union (L 3-5, L 1-4). Sophomore Dajon Mingo is first with five points and tied with sophomores Adam Berkle and Mike Sullivan for second with three assists. Sophomore Dan DeSalvo has a team-best four assists. Senior Andrew Hammond is 0-2-1 with a 3.60 goals-against average and .869 save percentage, while freshman Tommy Burke is 1-1-0, posting a 2.54 gaa and .904 sv%. The squad is 3-for-26 (.115) on the power play and 15-for-20 (.750) on the penalty kill.
THE LAST OHIO STATE AND BG MET The Buckeyes skated to two ties at Bowling Green Jan. 7-8, rallying for a 2-2 tie in the opener and then finishing in a 1-1 deadlock in game two. The Falcons won both shootouts to pick up an extra point in the CCHA standings each night.
In the first game, with goals from Al McLean and Max McCormick in the final 3:48 of regulation, along with 35 saves from Cal Heeter, Ohio State came from behind for a 2-2 overtime tie at Bowling Green Jan. 7. The Falcons won the shootout, 2-1 in three rounds. Bowling Green controlled play through much of the game, with early goals in both the first and second periods. In the third, McLean and McCormick scored for the Buckeyes in a 1:23 span to tie the game at 2.
In game two, Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the second period on a Chris Crane goal, assisted by Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel. The Buckeyes held the lead until the Falcons were able to convert a 6-on-4 advantage with a power play and the net empty, scoring with 56 seconds remaining. The shootout went to five rounds, with BG winning 2-1. Nick Oddo scored for the Buckeyes in the shootout. In the game, Heeter had 38 saves.
BUCKEYES IN THE PROS Ten Buckeyes were on AHL opening-day rosters: Cal Heeter (Adirondack/Philadelphia), Zac Dalpe (Charlotte/Carolina), Sean Collins (Connecticut/New York Rangers), Mathieu Beaudoin (Hershey/Washington), Corey Elkins and Nate Guenin (Norfolk/Anaheim), Matt Bartkowski (Providence/Boston), Tyson Strachan and Jason DeSantis (San Antonio/Florida) and John Albert (St. John’s/Winnipeg). Former Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso is an assistant coach with the Albany Devils.
Six Buckeyes are currently on ECHL rosters: Peter Boyd (Bakersfield), Chris Reed (Cincinnati), Kyle Hood (Colorado), Sean Duddy (Gwinett), CJ Severyn (Orlando) and Hunter Bishop (South Carolina). Former Buckeyes Matt McIlvane (Orlando) and JB Bittner (South Carolina) are assistant coaches in the ECHL this season.
A PRO JOINS THE PROGRAM With the NHL lockout ongoing, former Buckeye All-American RJ Umberger (2001-03), an alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets who has played in 551 NHL games, will serve as the volunteer coach for the Buckeyes. Umberger, the highest draft pick in Ohio State history when he was selected No. 16 overall by Vancouver in 2001, earned his degree in marketing last spring.
THE 2012-13 SQUAD Ohio State returns 21 players from the 2011-12 squad, including seven of its top eight scorers. Last year, now-junior Chris Crane and 2012-13 sophomore Ryan Dzingel shared the scoring lead with 24 points each. Crane had a team-high 14 goals and Dzingel led the squad with 17 assists.
THE COACHING STAFF Mark Osiecki is in his third year at the helm of the Buckeyes. He is joined by associate head coach Steve Rohlik, also in his third year, and Joe Exter, who is in his second year with the program. RJ Umberger of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, an All-American at Ohio State and three-year letterwinner with the Buckeyes (2001-03), has joined the team as its volunteer coach during the NHL lockout. Layne LeBel is in his second campaign as the team’s director of operations.
WATCH THE BUCKEYES On TV: Five Ohio State games are scheduled to be televised this season. BTN will cover the Nov. 30 game at Michigan State, along with home games vs. Miami Dec. 14 and Michigan Feb. 22. Ohio State will appear on Comcast twice, first against the Spartans Dec. 1 and then at home vs. the Wolverines Feb. 23.
Online: All Buckeye regular-season home games are scheduled to be streamed online through BTN.com or Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Most road games are scheduled to be streamed as well. Check the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com for links to all video streams, both home and away.
LISTEN IN Nearly every Ohio State game this season - as well as all postseason contests - will be carried by The Ohio State-IMG Sports Network, on the radio on 1460 AM in Columbus and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and 971thefan.com. Links to the internet streams will be on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com prior to each weekend. Coverage starts with the CCHA opener at Bowling Green Oct. 26-27. After that series, the only games missing from the schedule are the Three Rivers Classic tournament in Pittsburgh and the road series at Alaska in February. (Note the schedule is subject to change.)
TICKETS! GET YOUR TICKETS! Single-game tickets for the 2012-13 Ohio State men’s hockey home schedule can be purchased at the arena on game night. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com, in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Ohio State University ticket office in the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Again this year, all Ohio State students will receive free admission to regular-season home games with a valid BuckID. Fans interested in season tickets, a four or eight game mini plan package or group tickets should contact the athletic ticket sales staff for details. Account executives can be reached by phone (614-292-0043) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES Don’t forget to follow the Buckeyes throughout the year on social media: facebook.com/OhioStateMensHockey, Twitter/ @OhioState_MHKY and Instagram/@OhioState_MHKY and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.