March 15, 2018

Buckeyes vs Irish for Big Ten Tournament Title

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March 15, 2018

Big Ten Tournament Championship Game
No. 2 seed Ohio State vs. No. 1 seed Notre Dame

Big Ten Tournament Central

Saturday, March 17, 8 p.m. | Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame, Ind.
📺 BTN | 💻 📱 BTN2Go | 📻 1460 AM, TuneIn app, Buckeye Vision | 📊 Live Stats  

Setting the Scene
• The No. 5/4-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team will face No. 3 Notre Dame in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at 8 p.m. Saturday in South Bend, Ind. The Buckeyes (24-8-5, 14-8-2-1 B1G) are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, while the Irish (24-9-2, 17-6-1-1 B1G) are the No. 1 seed.
• In the semifinals Saturday, the Buckeyes downed No. 3 seed Michigan in overtime, 3-2, and the Irish scored a late goal to top No. 4 seed Penn State by the same score.
• Ohio State reached the B1G Tournament championship game once prior to this season, falling to Wisconsin in overtime in the inaugural tourney in 2014. This year is the first for the Irish as a member of the Big Ten.
• Ohio State has two conference postseason tournament titles, winning the CCHA crown in 1972 and 2004. The team is 2-3 in single game tournament championship game matchups.
• Ohio State was 1-3 vs. Notre Dame in the regular season. The Irish won the first games as Big Ten foes, sweeping a series in Columbus Nov. 3-4 (4-1, 3-2). On the road Feb. 9-10, Ohio State dropped the opener 2-1 before a 5-1 Buckeye victory.
• The Buckeyes enter the game on five-game winning and six-game unbeaten streaks.

Follow Along
• The game will be televised by BTN and available for cable subscribers with BTN as part of their cable package on BTN2Go. Fred Pletsch, Ben Clymer and Michelle McMahon will call the action.
• Ohio State radio will carry the game on 1460 AM in Columbus, on the TuneIn app and through Buckeye Vision, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat on the call.
• Live stats will be available on GameTracker on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
• Radio, video and live stats links can be found on the men’s hockey schedule and gameday pages on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with ingame updates on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY as well.

Coach Rohlik talked about Saturday’s Big Ten Tournament final at Notre Dame, the Buckeye season so far and OSU’s B1G honors. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/PDLtsitJHu

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 15, 2018

Just the Stats
• Ohio State is averaging 3.22 goals a game (ranking 11th in the NCAA) and is allowing 2.08 goals per outing to rank fourth nationally in scoring defense.
• The Buckeye power play is 36-for-148 (.243) on the year, with a power play goal in 14 of the last 18 games. The squad is seventh in the NCAA with the man advantage.
•The penalty kill has stopped 116-of-129 opponent opportunities (.899), ranking first in the NCAA. The squad averages 8.7 penalty minutes per game.
• Ohio State is averaging 32.9 shots on goal a game and allowing 28.5 shots on goal a night.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski is first on the squad with 27 assists and Mason Jobst has a team-best 19 goals. Laczynski is first with 42 points and second with 15 goals. Jobst is second with 41 points and is third with 22 assists. Matthew Weis is second with 25 assists and third with 37 points. Dakota Joshua is fourth with 14 goals and 24 points and Freddy Gerard (11g, 11a, 22p) has also hit the 20-point mark.
• Sophomores Wyatt Ege (16a) and Matt Miller (6g, 10a) share the scoring lead among defensemen with 16 points each.Junior Sasha Larocque has a team-high 67 blocked shots and +19 rating.
• In goal, redshirt junior Sean Romeo has started 33 games and has a 2.07 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and 20-8-5 record. Freshman Tommy Nappier has four starts and six appearances, posting a 1.33 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, with a 4-0-0 mark.

Ohio State’s Road to the B1G Tourney Final
• The No. 2 seed Buckeyes swept No. 7 Michigan State in a best-of-three quarterfinal series in Value City Arena March 2-3, with a 6-2 win in the opener and 4-3 overtime victory to clinch the series.
• Saturday in Nationwide Arena, Ohio State notched a second straight overtime win, topping No. 3 Michigan, 3-2.
• Junior Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with three goals and six points in postseason play. Sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege has a team-high four assists and +6 rating.
• Seventeen of 19 Buckeye skaters have posted at least one point during postseason play.
• The Buckeye power play is 6-for-11 (.545) during the three postseason games combined, with the penalty kill 4-for-6 (.667). Ohio State had four penalty minutes in each of the three games.
• The squad averaged 39.0 shots on goal a game through the semifinals, limiting opponents to 23.0 shots on goal a night.

Last Time Out – OSU Posts Semifinal Win over UM in Overtime
• Ohio State defeated Michigan in overtime Saturday in Nationwide Arena in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
• Ohio State led 1-0 after the first period on a power play goal by defenseman Gordi Myer, his first tally of the season. The Wolverines notched the only goal of the second for a 1-1 game after 40 minutes. In the third, Ohio State went ahead on a Dakota Joshua power play goal at 4:01, but the Wolverines’ Cooper Marody scored his second goal of the night, converting on the power play, to tie the game at 7:37.
• Just 32 seconds into overtime, Wyatt Ege brought the puck up through the neutral zone and passed to Tanner Laczynski on the right wing. He found Matthew Weis in the slot and he scored for the Buckeye victory.
• Ohio State outshot the Wolverines, 35-31, in the game. The Buckeyes were 2-for-4 on the power play, with Michigan 1-for-2.

Buckeyes in the B1G Tourney
• This is the fifth edition of the Big Ten Tournament and Ohio State is 8-4 in B1G tourney play, leading league teams in tournament wins. The Buckeyes will have faced all seven conference teams in B1G postseason action after the championship game at Notre Dame Saturday.
• This is the first time the Buckeyes are the No. 2 seed. The squad was the third seed last season, the fourth seed in 2014 and ’16 and No. 5 in 2015.
• The first B1G tournament was held March 20-22, 2014, at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., with Ohio State advancing to the inaugural championship game. The No. 4 seed Buckeyes topped Michigan State, 2-1 in overtime, in the quarterfinals before beating No. 1 Minnesota, 3-1, in the semifinals. Against No. 2 Wisconsin in the championship, the Badgers rallied for a 5-4 win in overtime.
• The 2015 edition of the B1G tournament was played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Ohio State, the No. 5 seed, posted a 3-1 win over No. 4 Penn State in the quarterfinals before falling to top seed Minnesota in the semifinals, 3-0.
• In 2016 in Saint Paul, Minn., the No. 4 seed Buckeyes downed the No. 5 Spartans in overtime in the quarterfinals, 4-3, before falling to No. 1 seed Minnesota in the quarterfinals, 4-2.
• At Joe Louis Arena in Detroit last year, No. 3 seed Ohio State won 6-3 over No. 6 Michigan State before falling to No. 2 seed Wisconsin, 2-1.

Conference Tourney Talk
• Ohio State has two conference postseason titles, winning Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournaments in 1972 (at St. Louis Arena in St. Louis, Mo.) and 2004 (at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit).
• All-time, Ohio State is 2-6-1 in in conference tournament final games – 0-1 in Big Ten play and 2-5-1 in CCHA action.
• On the road, the squad is 11-42-0 all-time in postseason play.
• Ohio State is the No. 2 seed for the sixth time in a postseason conference tournament. The last time the team was seeded second was 2005. That squad beat No. 11 Ferris State in three games in the quarterfinals in Value City Arena (4-2, 0-1 OT, 5-4 OT) to advance to The Joe. The Buckeyes then defeated No. 5 Michigan State in the semifinals 4-1 before losing to No. 1 seed Michigan in the championship game, 4-2.
• The Buckeyes’ last appearance in a tournament final was a 5-4 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament in St. Paul, Minn.
• The squad played in the CCHA final at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit three times – a double overtime loss to Michigan State in 1998, a 4-2 win over Michigan in 2004 and a 4-2 loss to the Wolverines in 2005.
• The Buckeyes beat St. Louis, 3-0, in the inaugural CCHA Championship game March 4, 1972 in St. Louis Arena in St. Louis, the Billikins’ home rink.
• In 1979 and ’81 the CCHA championship was a total goals series hosted by the higher seed. The Buckeyes were 0-2 at Bowling Green in 1979 and 0-1-1 at Northern Michigan in 1981.

Buckeyes vs. Irish
• Ohio State and Notre Dame met for the first time Feb. 13, 1965. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, 36-35-10, but trail on Irish home ice, 14-18-4.
• The teams met in Columbus Nov. 3-4, with Notre Dame posting 3-1 and 3-2 wins. It was the first series between the teams as Big Ten foes.
• The second meeting was Feb. 9-10 on Irish ice. Notre Dame won game one, 2-1, to clinch the Big Ten regular season title. Ohio State claimed the second game, 5-1.
• Prior to November’s matchup, the last game between the teams was Nov. 29, 2014 in Notre Dame’s Shillelagh tournament at Thanksgiving, a 5-1 Buckeye victory.
• Ohio State and Notre Dame skated as members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association until 2012-13 when the league was disbanded. Ohio State was a founding member of the conference in 1971-72 and played for two years before leaving for three seasons (1973-74, `74-75, `75-76) and skating as an independent. Ohio State then rejoined the CCHA for the 1975-1976 campaign and remained until 2013. The Irish were in the league in 1981-82 and `82-83 and then rejoined in 1992-93. The Buckeyes and Irish last met as CCHA foes March 23, 2013 in the CCHA Tournament semifinals, a 3-1 win for Notre Dame at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Buckeye – Irish Connections
• Paul Pooley, Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer, is the associate head coach at Notre Dame, a position he has held since June 3, 2005. Pooley, who played for the Buckeyes from 1981-84, was the Bauer National Player of the Year and CCHA Player of the Year in 1984 when he also earned First Team All-America honors. An Academic All-American as well, he had 270 points (114g, 156a) during his collegiate career. Ohio State retired Pooley’s sweater in November 2006 and he was inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame in 1994. He began his coaching career as an assistant on the Ohio State staff from 1988-91.
Austin Pooley, who is a nephew of Paul Pooley, is a freshman for the Buckeyes. Austin’s father, Perry, Paul’s twin brother, was also an All-American and Academic All-American for the Buckeyes.
• Buckeye director of operations Layne LeBel spent 2003-05 on the coaching staff at Notre Dame. He was with the squad when it made the first NCAA appearance in program history.

Buckeyes vs. Irish in the Postseason
• Ohio State and Notre Dame have met seven times in postseason play, all in the CCHA Tournament. Ohio State has the edge, 4-3. The teams have never met in a tournament final.
• The last postseason game between the teams was the last game as CCHA foes, as the Irish won 3-1 in the CCHA Tournament semifinals March 23, 2013 in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
• The Buckeyes and Irish met in the CCHA quarterfinals at The Joe twice, with Ohio State winning both games – 3-2 in 2003 and 6-5 in overtime in 2004 (en route to the CCHA title).
• The teams met in CCHA best-of-three first round series twice. In 2010 the Buckeyes swept the Irish, 3-1 and 8-2, in Columbus. In 2012 the Irish swept the Buckeyes, 2-0 and 4-2, in Notre Dame, Ind.