Ohio State Report

By Josh Caton

Ohio State won’t play again in the friendly confines of Value City Arena
for another month, but the Buckeyes gave fans a performance to remember
in their last home game of 2000. The Bucks pasted Findlay 10-0 Nov. 28.
That’s no misprint: Ten goals for Ohio State, zero for Findlay. The
score is what happens when a fledgling Findlay program (the school is at
the front end of a two-year transition to Division I hockey status)
collides with a Buckeye team that’s starting to put it together. And
with the next six games on the road, Ohio State (8-4-0, 5-3-0 CCHA)
couldn’t have picked a better time to get a shot of offensive
confidence.

Freshmen center R.J. Umberger had his run of the rink, creating space
for himself and his teammates with his wheels and blowing by Findlay
checkers for a pair of breakaways. He fanned on the first attempt and
was stoned on the second, but Umberger still finished with 2-1-3 for the
game. Meanwhile, the hot line of C Dave Steckel, LW Jean-Francois
Dufour and RW Paul Caponigri continues to torment opposing goaltenders
with a combined 2-5-7 against Findlay. The trio has racked up 23 points
in the last five games.

Of course, with ten goals on the board, everybody gets in on the action.
Thirteen players tallied at least one point. Four goals came from
defenseman, including two by sophomore blueliner Eric Skaug, playing in
just his fifth game of the season after sitting out a year and eight
games because of eight games of he played in major junior hockey.
Captain Andre Signoretti netted his third of the year and also pocketed
an assist. Struggling junior defenseman and Los Angeles Kings prospect
Jason Crain also notched his first of the season. Standing at the
blueline after two minutes in the box for holding, Crain took a feed
from Jaisen Freeman and skated in all alone to Oilers goalie Kevin
Fines. Crain deked to his backhand and roofed the puck. Crain, who
entered the Findlay game a team-worst -7, tripled his season point
production from one assist to 1-2-3 and finished +3 for the game.

Snap shots: Despite the goal explosion, the Buckeyes are still seeking
consistency on the power play. Prior to the Findlay game, Ohio State was
connecting on just 14.9 percent of its power play chances in CCHA
action. Against the Oilers, only two of the ten goals came with the man
advantage. Coach John Markell has experimented with the unit trying to
find a group that clicks, including using five forwards at times …
Senior Co-Captain Dufour is one point shy of 100 for his Ohio State
career after a three-point performance against Findlay … Freshman Goalie
Mike Betz was out of the net for the first time this season against
Findlay, but the Bucks’s didn’t need him. Understudies Peter Wishloff
and Kelly Holowaty combined for the shutout, as OSU outshot the Oilers
50-19. Sophomore Wishloff was credited with his first career victory.

Leaders:

Goals
J.F. Dufour, 7
Dave Steckel, 7
Nick Ganga, 7

Assists
J.F. Dufour, 7
Andre Signoretti, 7
Paul Caponigri, 7

Points 
J.F. Dufour, 14
Dave Steckel, 12
R.J. Umberger, 12

Next up: Dec. 1-2 at Ferris St.