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Oct. 8, 2014

OHIO STATE VS. PROVIDENCE (Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m., Value City Arena) 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team will host No. 3/4-ranked Providence for two games this weekend to open the regular season. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena.

Follow Along
The Buckeyes’ radio coverage on 1460 AM Columbus and online through Buckeye Vision subscriptions begins with the series against Providence, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat on the call. Both games will be streamed online through Buckeye Vision, the subscription service on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Live stats will be available through OhioStateBuckeyes.com, as well as on the national scoreboard on CollegeHockeyInc.com, with in-game updates on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY. Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio, Ohio State’s student-run online radio station, will have the games on OhioStateSports.net.

Family4Pack Available for Saturday
Family Four Packs are available for the Saturday game vs. Providence. The deal includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four small sodas and two popcorns for $34 (plus fees). The deal is available online only go.osu.edu/osuprovtix14 (Find Seats for Me tab).

Meet and Greet the 2014-15 Buckeyes Saturday
After the game Saturday, fans will have the chance to meet the 2014-15 Buckeye team at a meet and greet on the concourse level of Value City Arena (by the team shop).

Meet and greets with select Buckeyes are Nov. 8 vs. Nebraska-Omaha, Nov. 21 vs. Michigan State, Feb. 14 vs. Wisconsin and Feb. 28 vs. Penn State.

Youth Hockey nights will be held Nov. 21 and Feb. 28. Children (8th grade and younger) wearing a youth hockey jersey will receive a FREE popcorn and access to a lockerroom tour and meet and greet with the Buckeyes.

For the 2014-15 promotional schedule, visit: go.osu.edu/mhkypromo1415.

Ticket Talk
Tickets for all home games can be purchased at the arena on game night, from the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office or a Ticketmaster outlet in person, through Ticketmaster online (ticketmaster.com) or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS. For more information, call 1-800-GOBUCKS or look under tickets on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

For adults, single-game tickets are $11 for non-conference games and $15 for Big Ten games, while senior citizen/youth tickets are $8 and $10, respectively. A Power Play pack is available, with fans able to choose any four regular season games for $8 (non-conference) or $12 (B1G) each. (Note service fees may apply.) Ohio State students are admitted free to all home games with a valid BuckID.

Group tickets are available for $6 for non-conference games and $8 for Big Ten games for groups of 10 or more. For information on group tickets, contact the Ohio State Athletic Ticket Sales office at 1-800-GOBUCKS (select option 2) or email AthleticSales@osu.edu to speak with an account executive. The ticket sales staff can also provide information on season ticket packages.

Buckeyes vs. Friars
Ohio State and Providence have met just three times, all in Columbus, with Ohio State winning two of the three games. The squads first faced off Nov. 4-5, 1977, as Ohio State posted a sweep with 8-4 and 6-4 victories. The last meeting was Dec. 21, 1990, a 7-4 Friar win.

Ohio State vs. Providence Games part of B1G/Hockey East Challenge
For the second year in a row, the Big Ten/Big East Challenge will be contested. Nine of 12 Hockey East will join five of the six Big Ten schools in 20 designated games to be played between Friday and Nov. 29, with 10 games in Big Ten venues and 10 in Hockey East arenas. Ohio State’s two home games vs. Providence this weekend are included in the challenge.

Providence Preview
The Friars enter the weekend ranked third in the USCHO poll and return 19 letterwinners from last season, including two goalies, five defensemen and 12 forwards. Leading the way for the team is goaltender Jon Gillies, who has a career goals-against average of 2.12 entering his junior season. Senior Ross Mauermann has led the team in scoring each of the last three years, including 36 points a season ago. The squad, guided by fourth-year head coach Nate Leaman, advanced to the NCAA tournament regional final a year ago, marking the first NCAA appearance for the team since 2001.

For Openers
• The Buckeyes are 26-22-3 all-time in season openers, including a loss to Miami last season in Value City Arena.
• Since 1999-00, the Buckeyes’ first full season in Value City Arena, the squad is 6-5-4 in its first home game of the season.
• This is the third time in four seasons the Buckeyes are opening the year with a home game. Ohio State hosted Miami in 2013 and Quinnipiac in 2011, while traveling to Minnesota Duluth in 2012.

Preseason Tuneup
Ohio State took on Guelph in an exhibition game in Value City Arena last Saturday, posting a 7-1 win over the Gryphons. Twenty-two Buckeye skaters – including all seven freshmen – saw action in the contest, with 13 picking up at least one point. Senior Tanner Fritz led the way with four points, on a goal and three assists, and sophomore Drew Brevig had a goal and two assists for three points. Sophomore Nick Schilkey posted two points on a goal and an assist, with freshman Matthew Weis setting up two goals. In goal, Matt Tomkins and Christian Frey split time, combining for 19 saves on 20 shots.

Four Buckeyes Recognized by B1G
Four Buckeyes were tabbed as Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch, the Big Ten Conference announced at the league’s Media Day at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Sept. 24. Buckeye senior forward Tanner Fritz, a 2013 All-CCHA pick, was joined by sophomores and 2014 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selections defensemen Drew Brevig, goalie Christian Frey and forward Nick Schilkey as conference players to watch heading into the 2014-15 campaign in a vote by the league’s six head coaches. Ohio State ranked second with four players on the 16-player team, with Minnesota first with five selections. Each league team placed at least one player on the list.

Frey One to Watch
Buckeye sophomore goalie Christian Frey was one of 20 goaltenders named to the Mike Richter Award Watch List. The award, presented by Let’s Play Hockey, annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s hockey. Five of the six Big Ten teams have a goaltender on the list, with Frey joined by Jake Hildebrand of Michigan State, Zach Nagelvoort of Michigan, Joel Rumpel of Wisconsin and Adam Wilcox of Minnesota. Big Ten goalies had four of the Top 8 save percentages in the nation last season.

Fritz, Jardine Voted Team Captains
Senior Tanner Fritz is serving as the Buckeyes’ captain this season after wearing an “A” as an alternate captain a season ago. Junior Sam Jardine dons the “A” for the squad this year. The duo was selected in a vote by their teammates. Fritz and Jardine (along with head coach Steve Rohlik) represented Ohio State at Big Ten Media Day in Detroit Sept. 24. For photos and more from media day, visit: go.osu.edu/14B1Gptw.

Coming to a TV Near You
During the 2014-15 Big Ten campaign, at least 13 Ohio State games will be televised, with contests airing on BTN, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports North. Of the Buckeyes’ 10 conference two-game series, nine will have at least one game televised. Six broadcasts will originate from Columbus, with seven Ohio State road games from four schools slated to be televised.

Games from Value City Arena not scheduled to be televised will be streamed through either the Buckeye Vision or BTN Plus subscription packages. Coverage of road games is dependent on the home schools. Links to streams will be available on the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

In the Pros
Five Buckeyes are on NHL opening-day rosters: Ryan Kelser (Anaheim), RJ Umberger (Philadelphia), Matt Bartkowski (Boston), Nate Guenin (Colorado) and Tyson Strachan (Buffalo).

Nine other Buckeyes began the year at NHL camps: John Albert (Winnipeg), Ryan Dzingel (Ottawa), Max McCormick (Ottawa), Curtis Gedig (Calgary), Cal Heeter (Toronto), Chris Crane (San Jose), Dave Steckel (Anaheim), Zac Dalpe (Buffalo) and Rod Pelley (New Jersey).

Who’s Back
Ohio State returns 19 letterwinners from the 2014 Big Ten Tournament runner-up squad, including nine forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies.

Senior Tanner Fritz is the leading returning scorer after posting 32 points, tying for the team high with 24 assists, a season ago. He is the Big Ten’s leading returning scorer in points per game, averaging 1.00 an outing last season. Senior Nick Oddo had 30 points, with nine goals and 21 assists, last year, while sophomore Nick Schilkey was among the rookie scoring leaders in the Big Ten with 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points. Sophomore goalies Christian Frey (2.27 gaa, .929 sv%), Matt Tomkins (2.78 gaa, .911 sv%) and Logan Davis (2.21 gaa, .909 sv%) all saw game action as rookies last year.

Behind the Bench
Steve Rohlik is in his second year at the helm of the Buckeyes, joined by associate head coach Brett Larson and assistant coach Joe Exter. Rohlik is in his fifth full season on the Buckeye staff, while Larson is in his second year with the Scarlet and Gray and Exter is in his fourth year with the program.

Buckeye This and That
• Seven freshmen have joined the Buckeye roster this season – Victor Björkung (Stockholm, Sweden), Nicholas Jones (Edmonton, Alberta), Christian Lampasso (Amherst, N.Y.), Janik Möser (Mannheim, Germany), Kevin Miller (Stony Plain, Alberta), Luke Stork (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Matthew Weis (Freehold, N.J.).
• Björkung and Möser could become just the second and third Buckeye letterwinners to hail from a European country, joining Finland native Mark Kreus, who earned a letter in 1989.
• With Jones and Miller added to the Buckeye squad, Ohio State now has six Alberta natives on the roster, the most of any province or state. Minnesota is next with four, while two Buckeyes each call Ohio, Ontario and New York home. Eight other states and provinces are represented on the Buckeye roster.
• Blake Doerring, who spent his first two collegiate years at Vermont before transferring to Ohio State and sitting out last year because of NCAA transfer rules, is now eligible to play for the Buckeyes.