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UM @ theOSU (sold out)

Ohio State Men's Hockey Games vs. Michigan Sold Out This Weekend

Buckeyes and Wolverines will meet for two games in Value City Arena

Jan. 20, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey games vs. Michigan in Value City Arena (17,500) in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend are sold out. The games, which will be held at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, pit the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, in second place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, against the No. 3-ranked and first-place Wolverines.

Fans should plan to arrive early to allow time to park, take a shuttle if necessary, enter the arena and get seated. Doors will open one hour prior to faceoff. Fans are encouraged to use the Ackerman Road exit off State Route 315 to reach the arena parking lots. Free parking is available around the arena, with the majority north of Borror Drive. Free shuttles will run from the Buckeyes Lots, located at the intersection of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive.

At the game Friday, the Ohio State band will perform Script Ohio on the ice. Saturday, free rally towels will be handed out to the first 10,000 fans courtesy of Nationwide Insurance. Following the series with Michigan, Ohio State has five regular-season home games remaining, including a two-game set with Western Michigan Jan. 28-29, a series with Bowling Green Feb. 11-12 and the regular-season finale against Miami March 5. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS or online at hangonsloopy.com.
a little preview

As Easy As One Vs. Two

Three conferences see top two teams collide this weekend

Jan. 20, 2005

By Dave Starman
Special to CollegeSports.com

The CCHA, CHA, and ECACHL gird up for big weekends, as each conference will see its first place team play its second place team. These three sets of games make for a unique few days in college hockey.

In the CCHA second place Ohio State hosts #1 Michigan, CHA leader Bemidji State travels south to face #2 Alabama-Huntsville, and ECAC front-runner Colgate hosts #2 Vermont. Of the three matchups, only Vermont and Colgate have played each other so far this season, with Vermont winning that contest 3-1 in Burlington.

It starts in Columbus, Ohio as the famed Ohio State-Michigan rivalry gets renewed on ice. It's their first meeting since OSU beat the Wolverines in the CCHA Championship game last March, and the Wolverines are on a roll with just one conference loss (15-1-0).

The Maize and Blue come into Columbus after sweeps of Alaska-Fairbanks and Western Michigan. They are 9-1 in their last ten, with the lone loss being to Michigan State in the Great Lakes Championship game in Detroit. Michigan boasts depth, explosive scoring, and the ability to turn a mundane situation into a goal. They are strong in goal with Al Montoya, who has been up and down but has led Michigan to an overall 18-5-1 record. Led by their legendary coach Red Berenson, the Wolverines are a team that still feels that they have something to prove to both themselves and the nation.

The question mark with Michigan has been goalie Al Montoya. The first round choice of the New York Rangers has had what many feel is a sub par season, yet he is 17-4-1 on the season. Despite that, Coach Berenson still fields questions regarding Montoya.

"Montoya is fine," said Berenson. "Despite giving up a lot of goals in the Western Michigan series, he was a factor in both wins."

Another promising youngster is T.J. Hensick, who leads the team in scoring with 32 points. Earlier this season, the coaching staff benched Hensick for lackluster defensive play.

"When you are so offensively skilled, you don't get taught how to play without the puck," said Berenson. "So we benched him. He took it the right way. He's a plus seven since then."

Junior forward Jeff Tambellini has also picked up his game. Possibly thinking back to his Rangers's days, Berenson thought Tambellini could be a G-A-G player, as in a goal a game. After a slow start, he has also cranked it up, especially since the Christmas break.

Ohio State comes into this weekend at 12-3-1 and have been remarkable despite the losses of key players such as Paul Caponigri, Dave Steckel, and star goalie Mike Betz. Goalie David Caruso has stepped in and backstopped the team to 13 of their 15 wins. Paced by youth and speed, the Buckeyes are led up front by the trio of Kenny Bernard, Mark Beaudoin, and Andrew Schembri. Beaudoin, a converted winger who was moved to the pivot by head coach John Markell, has made the most of the opportunity with 2-11=13. Freshman Tom Fritsche and fellow first year forward Domenic Maiani rank first and third on the team in scoring.

For this weekend to mean something for the Buckeyes, they needed to rebound off a poorly played win against Ferris State two weeks ago, and a loss the following night. Ohio State did just that, sweeping Notre Dame in South Bend. One of the areas that is clicking for Ohio State is the power play, a big factor in its recent success.

"We know that we have shot more, and have had more chances," said Markell. "We must be better in burying our chances."

Against the Wolverines, Markell knows that team defense is a huge key for victory. Earlier this season against Michigan State in East Lansing, the Spartans outplayed the Wolverines for most of the game, yet lost on three turnovers that wound up in the back of the MSU net.

Ohio State plans to keep the puck out of dangerous areas, and prevent bad turnovers. One such way is to drive the net and shoot the puck, which they will be eager to do on Montoya.

"A kid like Beaudoin shoots the puck from anywhere, and a good shot on net is always a good play."

Look for the Buckeyes to unleash the up-tempo game that typifies their head coach this weekend. They'll drive the net, be quick in their transition, and keep the puck in safe areas in the neutral zone. Caruso should be excited for the challenge of outdueling Montoya, who in my opinion is still as good as anyone in the NCAA. Look for the Buckeye defense to be active to counter Michigan's forwards trying to fly the zone.

Stat Lines

TJ Hensick (15-17=32), Jeff Tambellini (12-18=30), Milan Gajic (11-14=25), David Moss (7-17=24), Al Montoya (17-4-1, 2.68, .897).

Ohio State: Tom Fritsche (4-21=25). Rod Pelley (13-11=24), Domenic Maiani (8-15=23), Dan Knapp (8-13=21) Sean Collins (5-12=17, defenseman), David Caruso (13-4-3, 2.12, .920).

Scouting report: Michigan. If the World Juniors is any indication, expect the Buckeyes to go to the net and shoot from everywhere. Montoya showed vulnerability to low shots this season, and traffic will further test him down low. Michigan is a great transition team, in the same league with the Gophers and BC Eagles in that regard. They will make you pay for turnovers at the bluelines and in the neutral zone so puck control is important for the Buckeyes. If there is a chink in the armor, it might be their defensemen against the size and strength of the OSU forwards in their down low play. Look for OSU to work low, cycle and jam the net. Michigan might be looking to get OSU to take some undisciplined penalties, as they will be at home with a young team in front of a sold out Buckeye crazy crowd.

Ohio State: Their special teams have been carrying them, especially their penalty killing, which is just over 90% and leads the CCHA. Their power play is a shade over 20% to rank fourth in the conference. They are strong defensively and in goal with Caruso, who sits third in goals against average, and fifth in save percentage. The Buckeyes are a +23 goals scored to goals allowed, behind only Michigan and are getting balanced scoring. Their youth has been a plus as they have been energetic and up-tempo all season.

Notes: Michigan has the top power play in the CCHA at 24.3%, with four players striking four times with the extra man. The Buckeyes and Wolverines are second and third in team defense with 2.19 and 2.38 goals against averages respectively. Michigan's 80 goals scored leads the conference, and they are a +42 goals scored to goals allowed. Michigan comes in with the sixth-ranked penalty killing unit, sitting at 82.4% which they have talked about wanting to raise a bit higher. Ohio State is paced on their power play by Kitimat, BC native Rod Pelley who has 8, followed by 4 from Beaudoin, and two apiece from Fritsche, Maiani, Knapp, Bittner, Schembri, and Anderson. Quotable: "We know what bad penalties can do to us. We have to convince our guys that they are the ones that have to keep moving their feet so that we can draw penalties." Ohio State Coach John Markell.
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I have talked to Nate Guenin, Dan Knapp, and Dave Caruso about it already and I can tell you they are JACKED UP for this weekend. None of them have ever played in front of a crowd this big, infact I would venture to say no one on the ice has played in front of a crowd this big ever. This will be the most attended weekend series until the Frozen Four. Expect good defensive hockey and the key is Al Montoya. He has been very inconsisstant lately (a microcosm of his career so far) if he is on then OSU will not win, but if he is human then it will be a great series. meechigan probably has more talent and more expierence, but OSU is solid on the blue line that they can beat anyone. Look for michigan natives Dan Knapp and Sean Collins to have good weekends.
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some intrest apparently so ill add todays dispatch stuff

Crunch time for OSU
Games vs. Wolverines will tell Buckeyes how they stack up with nation’s elite
Friday, January 21, 2005
Michael Arace
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The Michigan hockey team, ranked No. 3 in the country and sitting atop the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, is writing another chapter in its long and storied history. Coach Red Berenson has won 551 games, participated in nine Frozen Fours and won two national championships in 21 seasons.

He and the Wolverines have made it a habit to play in the type of games they will encounter this weekend.

Tonight and Saturday night, Michigan meets Ohio State in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes (15-6-3, 12-3-1) are ranked No. 10 and they sit just behind Michigan (18-5-1, 15-1-0) in the league standings. Coach John Markell’s program is an emergent one and, as such, there is an undeniable weightiness to the next 48 hours.

Michigan is not only a rival — the archrival — it is the measuring stick.

"I think the rest of the league is looking at us as the team that can catch them — or, at least, slow them down," Markell said. "I think they’re looking for us to do their dirty work. Well, we’ve got to do our own dirty work."

Markell has won 135 games in his 10 seasons. He took the Buckeyes to the Frozen Four in 1997-98. Last season, his team shocked Michigan in the Super Six championship game and the Buckeyes claimed their first league title since 1972.

Unprompted, Markell took a wide view as he assessed this weekend. Markell thought of the man who hired him, outgoing athletics director Andy Geiger, and said it was Geiger’s vision to put the hockey team in Value City Arena. The vision realized is two packed houses with 17,000-plus fans paying witness to one of the biggest series the country will see this weekend.

"We average between 6,000-8,000," Markell said. "All of a sudden, we’ll have 17,500 in the building. You get the idea that there might be a little more to this game. That’s not us talking, that’s other people."

Markell has won at least 20 games in each of the last three seasons. He and his assistants, Casey Jones and Steve Brent, have retooled with a large and talented freshman class. This weekend — Michigan weekend, if you will — has been the ultimate recruiting pitch.

For a hockey player of note to come to Ohio State, he must envision the largest arena crowd in the country drawn to see two games pitting two of the best teams in the CCHA, and two of the top-10 teams in the nation. This weekend might be just another in a long string for Michigan players, but it is one of the biggest reasons for a Buckeye to strap on his blades.

"It’s going to be a playoff-type atmosphere, I think," said junior Rod Pelley, OSU’s leading scorer. "I think it’s the biggest (weekend) of the year, for both teams. It’s not only important for us in the league, it’s huge for the PairWise Rankings (which impact NCAA selection). You try not to think about it that way, but it’s there in the big picture. These games have some weight to them."

The first challenge for the Buckeyes was not to get ahead of themselves. Last weekend, they had to play two at Notre Dame and, if they didn’t sweep, the import of the Michigan games would have been lessened. As it went, the Buckeyes beat the Irish twice to remain five points behind the Wolverines.

"Like the coach said, we’re the only team that can catch Michigan," sophomore forward Bryce Anderson said.

The next challenge for the Buckeyes will be handling their sellout crowd. They’ve had three crowds of 17,000-plus for Michigan games in Value City Arena; they’re 1-1-1 in those games. In 2002-03, the teams split the series, and the Buckeyes weren’t good the first night.

"On that Friday, we were so excited we were a little nervous," junior forward Dan Knapp said. "I don’t know if any of us have ever played in front of a sellout (at home). We’re going to have to channel that crowd energy in the right direction."

The ultimate challenge will be handling Michigan. The Wolverines not only remember what happened to them in the CCHA championship game, they have 21 returning lettermen and designs on another national championship.

This year, the Frozen Four will take place in Value City Arena. The Wolverines know it. And the Buckeyes, while not overt in their sentiment, are not shy about stating their desire to hang on to their locker room in April.

"No one is really giving us a chance to make it to the Frozen Four," OSU captain JB Bittner said. "No one is really talking about us in that way. This weekend could definitely put us on the map. . . . It might open some people’s eyes."

[email protected]

Friday, January 21, 2005

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Buckeyes 1 other team 0 11:21 left in period 1

Buckeyes 1 other team 1 7:35 remaining in period 1

Buckeyes 2 other team 1 near end of period 1

Buckeyes 2 other team 1 - end of period 1

2-1 Buckeyes at the end of period 2

3-1 Buckeyes 17:39 left in the game

4-1 Buckeyes Approx 10 minutes left in the game

Final - Buckeyes 4-1. Meeeec.... averaged >4 goals per game coming into this weekend.
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Just got back from the Hockey game. Very aggressive skating and an incredible job by the goalie. OSU shut down Michigan on 9 of 10 powerplays and converted on 4 of 8 (all goals were on power plays).

Got to see the Script Ohio on ice and chant "Just Like Football" at the top of my lungs. Great evening.

However, I do need to look up the definition of "sold out". I have been hearing that all week but the announced crowd tonight was 14,777. Plenty of available seats. I have no clue why they would discourage folks from buying tickets at the gate but that clearly happened.
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Special Teams

Your special teams won you this game. Three of your four goals came on the power play and you succesfully killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage. Anytime you play like that you'll get the W.

We had quite a few chances to tie it up but Curaso gavey ou guys a heck of a game. Hopefully our offense will execute a little better tomorrow night.
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