Well Rested Bucks Face Canisius, St. Cloud

By Aubrey Nelson on October 31, 2014 at 2:30 pm
Tanner Fritz, about to destroy a faceoff.
Ohio State University Photo
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The hockey Bucks are back at it after a bye week. The ladies host St. Cloud at the Ice Rink with conference points on the line. Meanwhile the men are up at Canisius to face the Golden Griffins.


Ohio State returns to the ice this week at Canisius. The Buckeyes have been off since being swept by Miami. Despite their 1-3-0 record they are still receiving votes in both polls. Yeah, I don’t know why either.

1-3-0 Overall Record 4-2-0
RV Polls --
2.00 (T-40th) Avg Goals Scored 3.00 (T-23rd)
3.25 (T-37th) Avg Goals Against 2.67 (T-25th)
33.3% (T-3rd) Power Play 26.9% (10th)
76.9% (T-40th) Penalty Kill 73.9% (T-43rd)

The Buckeyes swept the Golden Griffins at the Schott last season. Freshman goaltender Logan Davis stopped 42 of 43 shots in the series. He earned both wins, including his first collegiate shutout. Another OSU rookie, Josh Healey, scored his first collegiate goal.

The Griffins fell just one win short of making back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament last season. They return a large group of experienced upperclassmen this year. However, expectations were not high for the team due to the loss of key seniors at every position.

Canisius has a number of players off to a good start statistically. Senior Cody Freeman (3-4--7) is the team’s leading point-getter and one of the NCAA’s reigning players of the week

He’s joined at the top of the stat sheet by freshman Nolan Sheeran (1-5--6), junior Ralph Cuddemi (4-1--5), and seniors Tyler Wiseman (3-2--5) and Shane Conacher (2-3--5). Senior Keegan Asmundson (3.23 GAA, .889 SV%) tends the Griffs’ nets.

It’s a little difficult to get a read on this series. Canisius’ team numbers are sexier than Ohio State’s, but its strength of schedule isn’t. The Griffins’ opponents this season are a combined 4-11-2. The Bucks battled a couple of the country’s top teams however their results have been spotty.

Judging by the respective special teams’ stats, you do not want to be down a man in this series. Both teams have had success with their power play units. Both have struggled on the penalty kill. This could present more of a challenge for OSU than Canisius as the Bucks may have to deal with some rustiness from the bye week.

The Griffs will also likely have some extra jump due to the fact that they’re opening their new arena. It’s crucial that the Buckeyes find their legs early. Chasing Canisius will only lead to the penalty box and that’s a recipe for disaster. I think Ohio State brings at least one win home from this series, with a little better chance for victory on Saturday.

Game times are tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. There isn’t any Buckeye-based coverage of this series so you’ll need to check out the Griffs’ website for info on following along via streaming audio or video. 

rk  overall records w l t this week
13/15 Michigan  2 3 0 at Michigan Tech
  Michigan State 1 3 0 vs Ferris State
1 Minnesota  4 0 0 vs St. Cloud State
RV Ohio State 1 3 0 at Canisius
RV Penn State 4 1 2 vs Bentley
  Wisconsin  0 4 0 Bye


The lady Bucks battle the Huskies tonight at 6pm and Saturday at 1pm for six big conference points. Both games will be played at the Ice Rink. Parking is going to be wacked out again on Saturday because football is at home. Check out OSU’s series info for more on parking as well as link for following the games online. 

2-3-1  Overall Record 4-2-0 
-- Polls RV
2.50 (T-11th) Avg Goals Scored 1.83 (22nd)
2.50 (T-21st) Avg Goals Against 2.17 (17th)
17.2% (13th) Power Play 3.7% (T-31st)
77.3% (T-26th) Penalty Kill 81% (22nd)

Both St. Cloud and Ohio State are coming off bye weeks. The Huskies’ last action was against Minnesota State. They cruised to a lopsided 5-1 win in Friday’s contest, outshooting MSU 54-22. St. Cloud completed a five-point series by picking up a shootout victory on Saturday.  

Goal scoring looked to be the big question mark for the Huskies this season. St. Cloud lost four of the top five point-getters from its 2013-14 lineup, a group that finished next-to-last in the nation in goals per game (1.33). Senior Abby Ness is the team’s only returning player to register more than ten points last season.

The Huskies have shown signs of offensive improvement this year. Sophomore Paige Peyna, and senior Amanda Arbogast have each recorded three goals already this season, matching or bettering their scoring output in 2013-14. They share the team lead in goals with junior transfer Molly Illikainen. St. Cloud is led by a senior corps which includes leading scorers Ness (1-3--4) and Audrey Hanmer (2-5--7) and netminder Julie Friend (2.73 GAA, .904 SV%).

While the on-ice leadership is familiar, the man behind the bench is new. Head coach Eric Rud, formerly an assistant coach with the men’s teams at St. Cloud and Colorado College, is in his first season with the ladies of St. Cloud.

On the other bench, Ohio State is receiving votes in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey polls after sweeping Bemidji State in its last outing. Juniors Julia McKinnon (3-1--4) and Kendall Curtis (2-2--4) netted their first goals of the season against the Beavers.

Freshman goalie Kassidy Sauve (2.10 GAA, .925 SV%) recorded the second shutout of her career in the Bemidji series. The Buckeye nets were an area of concern coming into the 2014-15 season, but Sauve has been a pleasant surprise in the early going of the campaign.

The Huskies are an improved, veteran team. The Buckeyes will need a couple of smart, disciplined, hard-working games in order to walk away with those all important conference points. I think they’ll do it. My second official prediction of the season is that this will be a successful weekend for the lady Bucks.

rk wcha standings w l t sow pts this week
2/3 Wisconsin 6 2 0 0 18 at North Dakota
1 Minnesota 5 0 1 0 16 vs Bemidji State
10  North Dakota 3 3 0 0 9 vs Wisconsin 
RV Ohio State 2 2 0 0 6 vs St. Cloud
  St. Cloud 1 0 1 1 5 at Ohio State
RV Minnesota-Duluth 1 4 1 1 5 vs Minnesota State
  Minnesota State  0 3 1 0 1 at Minnesota-Duluth
  Bemidji State 0 4 0 0 0 at Minnesota


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