Hunter Returns to Alaska Looking For Wins
Friday, May 1, 2009, 10:55 PM
Hunter Returns to Alaska Looking For Wins
By Craig Merz
Some people can see Russia from their Alaskan backyards, or so it’s been said.
All Fairbanks native Hunter Bishop wants to see is Ohio State end it’s mini-slide in front of his many family members and friends when the Buckeyes face Alaska at 11:05 p.m. (Columbus time) Friday and Saturday in the Carlson Center.
“It’s going be awesome to go home and play in my hometown,” said the sophomore transfer.
“I was lucky enough to play there in juniors for the Ice Dogs. It was one of the best years of my life. I’ve watched the Nanooks all my life so it’s going to be quite the experience.
Hunter Growing up in Fairbanks Alaska
“It’s really easy to get motivated for these types of games. I’m excited to go play and see a lot of people I know and hopefully put on a good show for family and friends.”
Fairbanks FAHA Hockey Hunter Bishop
He can hold his head high for the homecoming as a major contributor on the 14th ranked Buckeyes (16-7-3, 9-6-3-3 Central Collegiate Hockey Association). He is tied with Corey Elkins for second in goals (10) and is tied for third in points (21).
Bishop attended West Valley High School before graduating from Seaton High School in Vernon, British Columbia, while playing junior hockey in the BCHL. He played for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the North American Hockey League in 2003-04 and had 14 assists and 21 points in 52 games. He also won a Pee Wee state championship while growing up in Fairbanks. He started his college career at North Dakotatwo seasons ago but returned to juniors after four games before eventually deciding on Ohio State where his sister, Teal, is a sophomore defenseman on the OSU women’s hockey team.
Fairbanks Alaskan Hunter Bishop, Trinity Stack, and Vivian Bishop growing up playing hockey everyday!
“He’ll be excited. He’ll have extra jump in his step,” Elkins said.
Hot And Cold
The whole team could use a boost. A week ago, the Buckeyes were riding the second longest unbeaten streak in the country. But after a 3-2 shootout win against Western Michigan (it counts as a win in the CCHA but a tie in NCAA records) and a 4-1 loss Saturday to snap a 11-0-2 stretch, OSU is now officially winless (0-1-2) in the past three games.
“We didn’t play as a team. We played more as individuals,” sophomore forward John Albert said of the loss to the Broncos.
“That’s the first time all year. We’ve got to stick to our systems put the weekend behind us.”
This is a big series with the Nanooks (11-9-6, 9-8-5-3). While Notre Dame is far atop the standings, the battle for spots two through four and a first-round bye is tight. Miami has 28 points followed by Alaska at 26. OSU, Nebraska-Omaha and Michigan are tied for fourth at 24.
The Buckeyes have played two fewer games than Miami and has a whopping four games in hand on the Nanooks. A sweep or even a split this weekend would put the Buckeyes in great position to surpass the Nanooks with eight games left.
“We’ve got to come away with at least six wins and four losses in the last 10, however that ends up,” OSU coach John Markell said.
“We’ve got to win Friday. I’m not looking any further than that. The pressure should be on them but is it really?
“With this team we can’t look too far ahead. Maybe that was the problem last weekend. We were looking at the standings (Western Michigan was last), not the opponent. We told them they had beaten some good teams. We weren’t mentally sharp or physically sharp. We got a severe lesson.”
Take Your Best Shot
The series with the Nanooks will feature the Buckeyes’ offense vs. the stingy Alaska defense. OSU, despite scoring three times in the past two games is still sixth in the country at 3.58 goals per game. Alaska has allowed the second-fewest nationally (1.50).
That could be bad news for the Buckeyes unless they’re willing to work harder. They put nearly 40 shots on goal in the loss to Western but lacked good second chances and didn’t seem to have the fight to get to rebounds.
“To be honest with you, we didn’t have much of a second jump,” Markell said.
“Western Michigan had a lot to do with it but it was mainly us. We didn’t have that second effort we needed. Our goal scoring wasn’t where it had been in the past. If you score some goals you can make up for some mistakes. It’s effort based. For some reason that second effort wasn’t where it had been in the previous 14 games.”
“It was a bitter taste when we lost,” co-captain Peter Boyd said.
"We weren’t happy or satisfied. We want to get right back on track. We know we’re not going to have a perfect season, everybody realizes that, but we didn’t bring our A game for two games last week. We’ve got find a way to play 60 minutes. That’s the lesson the team has to take away from that.
“We’re trying make run at them this weekend. It’ll be a big weekend, for sure. It’s going to be a like a playoff mentality, which should be fun.”
Freshman Zac Dalpe, who leads the team with 12 goals, will miss his second straight weekend because of a leg injury. He is expected back for the Notre Dame series Feb. 6 and 8… Elkins leads with 27 points (10-17) and is tied with Albert for most assists (17)… Dustin Carlson has started 17 of the past 18 games. For the season he is 14-4-2 with a 2.24 GAA… Speaking of Carlson, the Carlson Center has a 200 feet by 100 feet surface rather than the normal 200 by 85. The last time the Buckeyes played on an Olympic-sized rink they split at Northern Michigan in November… OSU leads the series 21-18-3 and is 6-3-1 in the past 10… The Nanooks are 2-0-1 in the past three home games in the series.
Bishop discusses decision to leave UND 2007
Friday, May 1, 2009, 10:52 PM
Until he returned home in June from a trip to Mexico, Hunter Bishop planned to play this season with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL. But after receiving a call from UND coaches, who offered the Fairbanks, Alaska, native a scholarship, Bishop changed those plans and enrolled at UND.
After a semester in Grand Forks, his father, Bill, said that he made the jump to college toosoon.
Hunter talked about his decision to return to the BCHL.
Why did you decide to leave UND?
Bishop: To be honest, I played three years in juniors and last year in Vernon was the first time I had any bit of success. The two years before that, I had a hard time. I was in and out of the lineup. I wasn't sure how soon an opportunity would come here. I just didn't think I was prepared to possibly another two years to have some success. I didn't know if I would only have one successful year in my time here.
What is the next step? Is it possible you will be back?
Bishop: The idea of coming back was not brought up. I really don't know if it would even be an option. Looking at other options would be the idea right now.
So you are going back to Vernon?
Bishop: Everyone in that organization has been great to me. It's the best place I know.
It sounds like there are no hard feelings.
Bishop: Oh no. Not at all. North Dakota is an amazing program. Besides being in and out of the lineup, I loved everything about it here. The whole coaching staff was really understanding. They wished me the best of luck. I'm really thankful I got the opportunity to see what it's like here and I wish it would have worked out.
Was this a difficult decision or did you maybe have an idea this was coming?
Bishop: It definitely wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision. I'd say it was building. But leaving a school like North Dakota... it's the toughest decision I've ever had to make in my life.
Weekend in Fairbanks by CCHA
Friday, May 1, 2009, 10:48 PM
- Ohio State sophomore Hunter Bishop — a Fairbanks native — had a nice homecoming last weekend as the Buckeyes split with the Nanooks. Bishop scored a goal in Saturday’s Ohio State win, with plenty of family and friends on hand to see it in person.
- Ohio State Buckeyes beginning of 2008-09 Season
Friday, May 1, 2009, 10:46 PM
- Ohio State Buckeyes
Last season, the Buckeyes finished 11th in the CCHA and won a grand total of 7 league games. Wow, it is amazing how far the once mighty Bucks have fallen. It’s hard to say 2008-09 will be much better. The club lost its one star player in Tommy Goebel (31 pts). But the good news is that the Buckeyes will also have some young forwards back after a year under their belt. Plus Joe Palmer is back in goal. Joe is a potential NHL goalie, but playing on Ohio State has just not made him look as good as in true reality. So he’s going to be a very key player in determining whether the Buckeyes can move up the standings and take a step forward from a disasterous CCHA season. All eyes will be on BCHL Player of the Year and incoming freshman Hunter Bishop. This guy is a grade-A stud. Even though a couple other Buckeye recruits were drafted and he was left off, Hunter is a sniper, something the Buckeyes badly need.But don’t expect the Buckeyes to win too many more games than last season–maybe just a few more.
Key Players to Watch: Peter Boyd F, John Albert F, Kyle Reed F, Shane Sims D, Hunter Bishop F (Freshman), Joe Palmer G
Key Series for Success: A/H-Miami (10/10, 11/1), H-Michigan State (11/7, 11/8), H-Michigan (2/20, 2/21)