Jan. 6, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team begins a stretch of 18-consecutive Big Ten games to close the regular season with a series at Wisconsin this weekend. The Buckeyes (5-11-0, 0-2-0-0 B1G) and Badgers (4-7-5, 1-2-1-0 B1G) will meet at 7 p.m.CT/8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
• The game Friday will be streamed through the BTN Plus subscription service on BTN2Go.
• Saturday’s contest will be available on BTN2Go for cable subscribers who have BTN as part of their cable package.
• BTN2Go is available via the web, smartphones and tablets. More information on BTN2Go and/or BTN Plus is available online on BTN2Go.com.
• Ohio State radio will carry the action both nights through 1460 AM in Columbus, online through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and through the TuneIn app. Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat will call the action.
• Links for video, radio and live stats are available on the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and on the Buckeyes’ gameday page (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday).
• Ingame updates will also be available on the program’s Twitter page @OhioState_MHKY.
Last Time Out
• Ohio State claimed the Florida College Hockey Classic title with two wins over Top 10 teams. It was the team’s first tournament title since winning the Catamount Cup in Vermont in January 2011.
• First Round (Ohio State 3, No. 4 Boston College 2): In the first round of the tournament, Ohio State posted a 3-2 victory over No. 4-ranked Boston College. The Buckeyes trailed 2-0 less than three minutes into the contest but scored the game’s final three goals – with tallies in the second from seniors Anthony Greco and Tyler Lundey and the gamewinner from freshman John Wiitala on the power play in the third – for the win. Junior goalie Christian Frey made 30 saves for the Buckeyes. The Ohio State penalty kill was 2-for-2, including stopping a full five-minute advantage for the Eagles that started late in the first period.
• Championship (Ohio State 8, No. 9 Cornell 0):In the tournament’s championship game, Ohio State downed No. 9 Cornell, 8-0, with eight different goal scorers, 13 players getting at least one point and Frey making 27 saves for his first career shutout. The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first period on goals from defensemen Sasha Larocque and Josh Healey. In the second, Nick Schilkey and David Gust scored 26 seconds apart, followed by a goal from Lundey 1:04 later, to extend the lead to 5-0. At 18:57 of the second, Greco scored shorthanded, putting Ohio State up 6-0 after 40 minutes. Wiitala and Matthew Weis scored in the third for the 8-0 final. The Buckeye power play was 2-for-5 in the win and the penalty kill was 7-for-7.
• The Buckeyes are averaging 3.06 goals scored and allowed a game. The squad has taken 33.9 shots on goal per night and given up 31.5 a contest. Ohio State is averaging 10.9 penalty minutes a game.
• On the power play, Ohio State is 15-for-72 (.208) and the penalty kill is 53-for-64 (.828).
• Junior Nick Schilkey leads the Buckeyes with nine goals and 17 points, with junior David Gust first with 13 assists and second with 16 points. Senior Anthony Greco is second with eight goals and third with 13 points, while sophomore Matthew Weis (6g, 6a, 12p) and freshman Mason Jobst (3g, 7a, 10p) also have hit double digits.
• In goal, junior Christian Frey has seven starts and eight appearances (including starting the last four games), with a 2.46 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. Junior Matt Tomkins has started nine games and has a 3.20 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
B1G, NCAA First Star Honors for Frey
• After stopping 57-of-59 shots in two wins against two Top 10 teams in the Florida College Hockey Classic (including the last 57 he faced), Buckeye junior goalie Christian Frey was named First Star of the Week by both the Big Ten and the NCAA.
• Frey was named the Florida College Hockey Classic MVP as the Buckeyes claimed the team title. He had 30 saves in a 3-2 come from behind win over No. 4 Boston College and then stopped all 27 shots he faced in an 8-0 win over No. 9 Cornell for his first career shutout.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
• Ohio State is 5-14-1 all-time vs. Wisconsin but 4-3-1 in Big Ten Conference regular season play against the Badgers.
• Last season, the teams split a series in Columbus, with Ohio State winning 2-1 Feb. 13, 2015 and Wisconsin winning 3-2 Feb. 14, 2015. In Madison, the teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie March 13, 2015, with Ohio State winning the shootout, and the Buckeyes then won 2-0 March 14, 2015.
• The first eight games between the teams were between 1965-69, with the next three matchups all neutral site games from 2004-07. The squads met in the first round of the NCAA tournament March 26, 2004 in Albany, N.Y. a 1-0 Badger win. Feb. 11, 2006, the Buckeyes and Badgers played outside on Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., a 4-2 UW victory. Ohio State topped Wisconsin, 5-3, in the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational Oct. 13, 2007 in Dayton, Ohio.
• The teams did not face off again until the Big Ten Conference added hockey. In the first year as Big Ten foes, the squads split their two regular season series. In Madison Jan. 24-25, 2014, UW won the first game 5-3 before a 3-1 Buckeye victory in game two. In Columbus Feb. 14-15, 2014, Ohio State won the opener 2-1 and UW won game two, 4-2. The squads then met in the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship game. Wisconsin came from behind to top the Buckeyes in overtime, 5-4.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin – The Last Series
• Ohio State closed the 2014-15 regular season against Wisconsin in the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., March 13-14, 2015, with a 2-2 overtime tie (4-3 shootout win in 10 rounds) and 2-0 victory over the Badgers.
• Game 1 (Ohio State 2, Wisconsin 2 OT): Ohio State and Wisconsin skated to a 2-2 overtime tie (the first between the teams in series history) before the Buckeyes won the shootout, 4-3 in 10 rounds, to earn the extra point in the league standings. Wisconsin native Tyler Lundey scored the only goal through the first 40 minutes, with a tally at 13:21 of the second period. Wisconsin tied the game early in the third before Matthew Weis put Ohio State back ahead at 9:36. The Badgers tied the game for the second time with less than four minutes left in regulation. Neither team scored in overtime, combining for seven shots on goal. Wisconsin shot first in each round of the shootout, with Ohio State answering three times (Nick Schilkey, Tanner Fritz and Christian Lampasso) before senior Clark Cristofoli had the winner in the 10th round. Buckeye goalie Christian Frey, who ended the game with 22 saves, had four saves in the shootout, including one to open the 10th round.
• Game 2 (Ohio State 2, Wisconsin 0): Ohio State again had goals from Lundey and Weis, as the team shut out the Badgers 2-0 for its second shutout of the year, with goalie Matt Tomkins stopping all 17 shots he faced. The teams were scoreless after the first and Lundey opened the scoring at 8:54 of the second and Weis tallied at 10:50 of the third for a 2-0 Buckeye lead. Shots were 42-17 in favor of Ohio State, who posted the first road shutout for the squad since Brady Hjelle had 29 saves at Miami March 1, 2013.
• Wisconsin is 4-7-5 overall this season and 1-2-1-0 in Big Ten play. The team last played regular season games Dec. 11-12 at Michigan State, losing 4-3 before a 3-0 win. The Badgers took on Trinity Western in an exhibition game Jan. 1, winning 1-0. Wisconsin’s first Big Ten series was at Michigan Dec. 4-5, where the Badgers lost 6-4 and then tied 6-6 before losing the shootout.
• The Badgers are averaging 2.75 goals a game and allowing 3.31 a contest. The power play is 13-for-58 (.224) and the penalty kill is 51-for-58 (.879). Wisconsin averages 30.2 shots a night, allowing 31.8 a game, and has taken 10.4 penalty minutes per outing.
• Grant Besse leads the Badgers with 14 points and shares the team assist lead with Seamus Malone with 10 each. Malone and Ryan Wagner are tied for second with 13 points each and Luke Kunin is second with six goals, followed by Wagner, Tim Davison and Matthew Freytag with five each. In goal, Matt Jurusik has played in 15 games and has a 4-6-4 ledger, 3.11 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Adam Miller is 0-1-1, playing in two games (69:20), with a 3.46 gaa and .896 save percentage.
Buckeye – Badger Connections
• Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik was a four-year letterwinner at Wisconsin (1987-90) and a two-time captain, wearing the C when the team claimed the 1990 NCAA Championship. He was an assistant coach for the Badgers in 1990-91.
• Ohio State associate head coach Mark Strobel played four years with the Badgers (1992-95) and was team captain as both a junior and senior.
• Both Rohlik and Strobel received Wisconsin’s Fenton Kelsey Jr. Most Competitive Award. Rohlik was the WCHA Tournament MVP in 1990 and Strobel was a 1995 WCHA All-Tournament Team selection. Wisconsin competed in the NCAA Tournament all four years of both Rohlik and Strobel’s careers.
• Former Ohio State captain and assistant coach JB Bittner is in his first year as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. The winner of the team’s Best Defensive Player award in 2005, Bittner was a captain for the Buckeyes in both 2004 and ‘05 and competed in the NCAA Tournament three times. He was on the Buckeye staff as both a video coordinator and assistant coach from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
• Ohio State senior Tyler Lundey is a native of Middleton, Wis., about a 15 minute drive from the Kohl Center in Madison.
• Freshman John Wiitala’s father, Martin, played at Wisconsin from 1983-86, serving as captain as a senior. He was drafted by the North Stars in the fifth round of the 1982 NHL Draft and played professionally in Vienna, Austria.
• Buckeye freshmen Freddy Gerard, Tyler Nanne, and Miguel Fidler all played for the Madison Capitols in the USHL during 2014-15 before coming to Ohio State, while Sam McCormick, who signed an NLI with Ohio State this fall, currently skates for the Capitols.
Complete notes and statistics are in the PDF above