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The Battle of Ohio on LeafsTV

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

You can watch the best hockey from the CCHA and Hockey East all winter long on Leafs TV!

Brian Bileski
January 5, 2006

How many hockey games have you been to where a brass band blasts fight songs in perfect sync with a singing, sold-out crowd featuring college sport's biggest homers?

In Toronto, you won't find many games like that, but just south of the border, every hockey-playing American school features a band that leads the crowd's roar every time a goal is scored.

In all my years of watching hockey I can honestly say that the NCAA hockey experience has a personality unlike any other game on ice.

Sure Europe has crazy fans dancing around while singing funny songs in unison, but that just doesn't cut it.

Yes, Calgary Flames fans are famous for being loud, drunk and obnoxious, which adds to the players' love for playing in Cowtown.

Even the Central Hockey League's Laredo Bucks have a mad following of Mexican, puck-loving fans.

However, nothing compares to the sight of seeing college hockey's biggest rivalries. Some college fans are so obsessed with their school's success they spend thousands of dollars buying team clothing just so they can dress like their heroes. They memorize the university's fight song, singing it note for note into the faces of their most-hated rivals. These same fans scream obscenities at talented players warning them that they may not get out of the rink alive. They're mad, they're crazy, they're the biggest homers in all of sports

This is NCAA Hockey. It is fast, it's furious, and it is passionate hockey at its best.

LeafsTV is your home for the most competitive and talented college conference in all of NCAA hockey - the Central College Hockey Association (CCHA).

Saturday the preseason favourite Ohio State Buckeyes travel cross-state to Bowling Green in another episode in the huge rivalry between two very talented programs. The Buckeyes are defending CCHA champions, but have struggled mightily this season trying to regain their form from a year ago.

Iona Catholic (Mississauga) graduate, Andrew Schembri, is having a great year with the Buckeyes, scoring five goals and nine assists in 19 games. Schembri was CJHL MVP in 2003, scoring 113 points for the Cornwall Colts.

Meanwhile, Bowling Green has fallen off the college hockey map of late, however coach Scott Paluch has the team playing as best as they have all year going into Saturday night's tilt.

The Falcons have quite a history of developing some top-notch blueline prospects. Rob Blake, Greg DeVries and Ken Klee all honed their skills playing for BGSU. This year they've found another talented defenceman in Markam's Kevin Schmidt. He's a big defenceman who plays great in his own end and has a smooth scoring touch as well.

Johnathan Matsumoto from Orleans, Ontario, is backing up his breakout season as a freshman with another huge year as he's netted 12 goals and 16 assists in only 19 games. Matsumoto is still undrafted, but if he keeps putting up numbers like those it won't be long before he hears his name called in June.

If you like hockey and love Canadian talent, be sure to tune in all season long to CCHA hockey on LeafsTV. All the big names like Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame will face off in the weeks to come.

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