Ohio State Opens 2013-14 Season at No. 9 Mercyhurst
Oct. 3, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team travels to Erie, Pa., to open the regular season with one game against No. 9 Mercyhurst Saturday evening. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013- 7:00 p.m.
2012-13 Season Review
Ohio State had one of the most successful seasons in program history a year ago as they finished the season with an overall record of 19-15-3. The 19 victories marked the second-most for a single season in program history. A First Round WCHA Playoffs series sweep on the road against five-time national champions Minnesota Duluth gave the Buckeyes their first trip to the WCHA Final Face-Off since 2010. Ohio State had a well-balanced offensive attack as 11 players had 16 or more points and eight had at least 20 points. The Buckeyes ranked in the top-half of the league in special teams as they clicked at a 23 percent rate on the power play (37/161) and killed off penalties at a 82.1 percent clip (110/134). In net the Buckeyes saw Chelsea Knapp have a breakout season as she started 36 of 37 contests and posted career highs in multiple statistical categories. The end of the season marked the end of five senior’s careers including Hokey Langan, Minttu Tuominen, Kim Theut, Paige Semenza and Tina Hollowell.
Ohio State will open up the regular season on the road for the first time in three seasons. Last season the Buckeyes hosted Lindenwood for two games on the opening weekend and picked up victories of 4-0 and 7-2. The Buckeyes have not lost a season opener since the 2004-05 season and are 6-0-2 in season opening contests in that time period. OSU is 9-3-2 all-time in season openers and 5-1-1 in season-opening road contests.
Buckeyes vs. Lakers
Ohio State and Mercyhurst have met just twice in program history with the last meeting taking place in Erie back on Jan. 31, 2004. The Buckeyes are 0-2-0 in the all-time series as they lost a pair of 2-1 battles in 2003 and 2004. Ohio State went 5-1-0 in non-conference play last season.
The Buckeyes return 18 letterwinners from last season and roughly 64 percent of their scoring. Senior Ally Tarr returns after leading the Buckeyes in scoring a season ago with 32 points. Tarr currently sits tenth on the OSU all-time goals scored list with 37 career scores and her 11 game-winning goals has her second all-time at OSU in that category. Junior Taylor Kuehl and sophomore Julia McKinnon will look to build off of breakout seasons last year offensively, while juniors Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt are back to lead an OSU defense that gave up 2.59 goals-per-game last season. Redshirt senior Chelsea Knapp is back for one last season after starting 36 of 37 games last season and posting career bests in wins (19), goals-allowed average (2.50) and save percentage (.911).
Ally Tarr (Sr.. F): 35 gp; 13g-19a–32p; 4 ppg, 4 gwg
Taylor Kuehl (Jr., F): 37 gp;13g-13a–26p; 6 ppg, 1 gwg
Kari Schmitt (Jr., D): 37 gp; 5g-23a-28p; 2 ppg
Sara Schmitt (Jr., D): 37 gp; 2g-22a-24p; 1 ppg
Julia McKinnon (So., F): 37 gp; 12g-8a-20p; 6 ppg, 1 gwg
Danielle Gagne (Jr., F): 37 gp; 8g-10a-18p; 1 ppg, 2 gwg
Annie Svedin (Sr., D): 37 gp; 4g-12a-16p; 2 ppg, 3 gwg
Chelsea Knapp (R-Sr., G): 36 gp/gs, 19-14-3, .911 sv%, 2.50 gaa
No. 9 Mercyhurst is coming off a 29-7-3 season in which they finished the year ranked fifth in the final USCHO.com DI Women’s Hockey Poll. Head coach Michael Sisti has been with the program for 15 years and has compiled a successful record of 364-100-30. They return 17 letterwinners from last season but lost seven players, including six seniors. They have been to the NCAA tournament nine times in 14 seasons and returned once again last year after winning the CHA. The Lakers upset Cornell in the quarterfinals to reach the Frozen Four where they eventually fell to Boston University in the semifinals. Their 2013-14 captain Christine Bestland was the leading scorer on last season’s squad as she racked up 72 points on 28 goals and 44 assists. Mercyhurst is coming off a season-opening series split with Minnesota State of the WCHA.
New Look Staff
Two new assistant coaches and a new volunteer assistant join head coach Nate Handrahan’s staff for 2013-14. Assistant coach Carson Duggan comes to Ohio State after spending the last two seasons as head women’s hockey coach at Trinity College (CT). Keith Maurice spent the last ten years as an assistant coach at Norwich University before coming to the Buckeyes as an assistant. Mikhael Horowitz enters his first season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Buckeyes after spending a year as an assistant coach and personal development coach for the Vierumaki A Juniors, a team located at the Finnish National Sports Institute in Vierumaki, Finland.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes played host to the Toronto Junior Aeros of the PWHL in an exhibition contest at the OSU Ice Rink Sept. 28. The Aeros edged the Buckeyes 2-1 in overtime despite being outshot 26-12. Junior Kari Schmitt scored the lone Buckeyes goal in the third period with an assist going to senior Annie Svedin.
Ohio State will kick off WCHA play next weekend as they open up their home schedule hosting St. Cloud State at the OSU Ice Rink. Game times are set for 7:07 p.m. ET Friday and 4:07 p.m. ET Saturday.
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