Jan. 18, 2018
The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team is off this weekend. The squad will then close the regular season with five-straight Big Ten series, hosting Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin and traveling to Notre Dame and Minnesota.
Up Next for the Buckeyes
The Buckeyes will host No. 20 Michigan at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 and 8 p.m. Jan. 27, followed by 7 p.m. games vs. Michigan State Feb. 2-3. Ohio State swept both the Wolverines and the Spartans on the road earlier this season.
The No. 6-ranked Buckeyes are off this weekend.
🔜Next up is a series vs. No. 20 TTUN in @TheSchott Jan. 26-27!
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) January 16, 2018
The Buckeyes of Late
Ohio State is 7-1 in its last eight games, ranking third among NCAA teams in wins (7) and winning percentage (.875) over the stretch. The Buckeye power play is 10-for-32 (.312) during that time, with 3.62 goals scored per game and 1.88 goals allowed per contest. The penalty kill is 27-for-32 (.875).
Since games of Dec. 28 (when the second half of the season started around the country), Ohio State has a 5-1 record, is tied for seventh in the NCAA in scoring offense (3.83 goals per game), ranks 14th in team defense (2.17 goals allowed per game) and is fifth on the power play (9-for-25, .360). Laczynski is tied for second in points (11), with Matthew Weis tied for fourth (10).
In the B1G
Through 14 games, Ohio State stands in second place in the Big Ten with 25 points, two ahead of Penn State (23). Michigan has 18 points, followed by Wisconsin (17), Minnesota (14) and Michigan State (11). Notre Dame, which has two games in hand on the other six teams, is in first place with 36 points.
This weekend, Penn State travels to Michigan for a Friday-Saturday series. Minnesota and Michigan State face off in East Lansing Thursday and in Madison Square Garden in New York Saturday. Wisconsin takes on Notre Dame Friday in South Bend and the teams will meet Sunday in the United Center in Chicago.
This year, the Big Ten Tournament will be held on campus. The No. 1 seed will receive a first round bye, with Nos. 2-4 hosting 5-7 in best-of-three first round series. The Top 2 remaining seeds will host semifinal games, with the top remaining seed hosting the championship game, with the tournament winner receiving the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Buckeyes in the Rankings (through Jan. 17)
Ohio State leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 90.1 percent of opponent opportunities (82-of-91). The Buckeyes are the only team above 90 percent nationally.
The Buckeyes are limiting teams to 2.12 goals per game, tying for fourth in the NCAA (and second in the Big Ten) in team defense.
With a 15-5-4 record, Ohio State is tied for fifth in the NCAA in team winning percentage (.708). The squad is second nationally in road winning percentage (.808) and road wins (10).
Individually, sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski is second in points (34) and sixth in points per games (1.42) among NCAA players, with a national-best 23 assists (ranking second in assists per game with .96). Junior Mason Jobst is tied for fifth in the nation with seven power play goals. Sasha Larocque is tied for second in total blocks (56) and ranks ninth in blocks per game (2.33).
Goalie Sean Romeo ranks 10th in the NCAA in goals-against average (2.04) and is eighth with a .924 save percentage.
Among Big Ten players, Ohio State is the only school with three players among the Top 9 scorers – Laczynski is first (34), Weis is eighth (26) and Jobst is ninth (23). Jobst and Laczynski are tied for fourth with 11 goals each, while Laczynski has a league-high 23 assists (and ranks second with a +16 rating), with Weis tied for sixth (18). Larocque is first in blocks and blocks per game among Big Ten players. Dakota Joshua leads the Big Ten in faceoff winning percentage (145-94, .607). Romeo’s goals-against average and save percentage are both second among B1G goalies.
In league games only, Laczynski is second with 20 points, with Jobst and Weis tied for fifth with 14 points each and Freddy Gerard tied for seventh with 13 points. Jobst is tied for third with eight goals and Laczynski is second with 14 assists, followed by Weis tied for third with 12. Larocque is tied for second with 29 blocks and 2.07 blocks per game. Joshua (85-54, .612), Ronnie Hein (20-15, .571), Jobst (113-89, .559) and John Wiitala (25-20, .556) are all among the Top 6 in faceoff winning percentage. Romeo ranks second with a 2.57 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in league games.
As a team, the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten on both the power play (13-for-55, .236) and the penalty kill (46-for-50, .920) in conference games only. The squad is second in defense (2.57 goals allowed per game) and fourth in scoring offense (3.07 goals per game).