>It’s Ohio State Week
>It’s the official start to the 2008-2009 campaign this Friday night as our RedHawks will make the trek up I-71 into Ohio’s capitol to take on an Ohio State team that is looking to make some much needed adjustments after a dismal performance last season. Like Miami, OSU opened with an exhibition win over the York on Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink, defeating the Lions 9-3 and outscoring them 6-1 in the second period.
While Miami won’t have to contend with the dilapidated former home of the OSU men’s hockey program this Friday night in Columbus, they will have to keep a watchful eye on highly-touted freshman Zac Dalpe. If you don’t know the story of Dalpe, allow me to bring you up to speed.
Dalpe was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round (# 45 overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Some “prognosticators” have contested that Dalpe could have gone in the late first round, as the skill set and true hockey ability are visibly apparent in the Paris, Ontario native. As his stock began to rise, some began to waiver on whether or not he would honor his commitment to coach John Markell and the Buckeyes due to the fact that Peter Karmanos Jr. (the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes) also owns the Plymouth Whalers, the OHL team that retained Dalpe’s rights. If he would have gone the OHL route, he would most assuredly be playing professional hockey sooner, rather than later, but he chose to make good on his word and attend Ohio State.
While Dalpe will be one focus of the RedHawks defense other Buckeye forwards to monitor are senior co-captain Zach Pelletier, who missed last season with an injury, and sophomore Kyle Reed. Pelletier notched a hat trick in Saturday’s exhibition win and Reed added a goal. Coach Markell says that, having Pelletier back, is a great thing.
“I’m glad to have him back this year. He had a decimating injury last year and he chose to come back (for a fifth year) even though he didn’t have to because he already has his degree. He is a captain and he leads by example.”
Understandably, Pelletier was, himself, excited to be back on the ice.
“It was awesome. It’s almost the best feeling in the world. I’ve just been itching to go out there and play hockey.”
Faceoff in Columbus is at 7:05pm on Friday night and 7:05 Saturday night in Oxford. Saturday night’s game will be televised live on ONN.
(Player quotes provided by The Ohio State University Athletic Department)
FROM THE GAME NOTES…
“CHECKING” THE BUCKEYES
The Buckeyes are a young team packed with talent as they feature 22 underclassmen (13 sophomores and nine freshmen). Zach Pelletier is the captain of this youthful Scarlet and Gary squad after sitting out last season with injury. The co-captain is Peter Boyd, Ohio State’s top-returning scorer. Boyd is also a clutch player as he finished with four game-winning goals a season ago and five game-winning points. Miami has won six-consecutive games against Ohio State and has not lost to the Buckeyes since Dec. 30, 2006. The RedHawks have only lost once in the last 11 meetings between the two schools. During this run, Miami has taken the all-time lead in the series for the first time and now leads 56-55-10. In the 2007-08 season, Miami outscored Ohio State 20-8 in games between the conference foes.
SENIORS LOOKING TO STAY PERFECT
The RedHawk senior class of Brian Kaufman, Bill Loupee, Kevin Roeder, Michael Findorff, Alexandre Lacombe,Justin Mercier and Ray Eichenlaub has never lost a home game to Ohio State. The senior class also holds an overall record of 10-2-3 against the Buckeyes.
In 10 career games against the Scarlet and Gray, Jarod Palmer has scored five goals and passed out three assists. Carter Camper has four assists in three career games against Ohio State. In only two career games against the Buckeyes, Andy Miele has one goal and three assists.
RECAPPING THE EXHIBITION
The roar in Steve Cady Arena as Alexandre Lacombe scored the game-winning goal against Ryerson made the game feel almost like regular season. Miami defeated Ryerson on Oct. 4, 4-3, in a thrilling back-and-forth game that ended with a goal by Lacombe with five seconds remaining on the clock. “We had some guys who made plays, some guys who played hard and some guys who just aren’t in sync yet,” Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. “We have a lot of work to do and now we know what we need to do. Come Monday, we will get it started.”