a sub-par campaign in 1999-2000, the new Buckeyes as well as the
veterans are looking for a big season in Columbus. Ohio State was
destined to be a national power after a Frozen Four Appearance in
1997-98 and another apperance in the NCAA tournament in 98-99. Last
year everything derailed. Finishing in 9th place in the CCHA. If this
years captain’s practice are any indictication of what’s going to happen
this year, things should be on the rise in Buckeye country. The team
has been working extremely hard in preseason practice as far as
conditioning goes, they want to be ready to go when official practice
starts. As for the recruits, Umberger is the big gun but there is
plenty of others who are looking to contribute. Paul Camponigri, a
small but highly skilled forwawrd netted 61 points in Omaha should help
add scoring to the lineup. David Steckel is more of a steal, wasn’t the
most highly recruited player out of Ann Arbor with the Development
Program but he will turn into a solid role player for the Buckeyes.
Steckel has a great work ethic and should be a effective penalty killer
as well. The incoming defenseman are Doug Andress, Carter Trevisiani,
and Reed Whiting.
an offensive defenseman who should get a chance to see some ice time,
should help out on the power play. Andress is the name to remember
along with Umberger. He is 21 years old and just passed his SAT’s this
summer. Rumor has it he was offered a scholarship at Boston University
and other top schools but stuck with Ohio State because they stuck with
him. Michael Betz, a goalie from Sioux City of the USHL is looking to
be the starter this year. He spent the summer in Columbus preparing for
the upcoming season and many of the players are excited about him.
Kelly Holowaty, will solidify the goaltender position as the third
goalie. Other forwards include Scott May and Daymen Bencharski. May is
out of the BCHL where he was an all star and should help with the
offensive production. Bencharski, out of the AJHL, is a proven scorer
in the AJHL and the Ohio State coaching staff hope it carries over to
the college ranks. Finally, the blue chipper, the big gunner, RJ
Umberger. Umberger is expected to be a big offensive threat. Look for
him to skate with Jean-Francois Dufour, last years leading scorer.
Umberger had a big year last year in the USHL with the National
Development Program as he was the 4th leading scorer in the USHL. He is
a big plan for OSU’s future success. With a solid year, Umberger will
find himself drafted in the first round of the NHL entry draft. Let’s
hope RJ stays around long enough to complete the task of bringing back
the glory to Buckeye hockey. He certainly has the talent and ambition,
so let’s sit back and watch it unfold.