Feb. 17, 2018
Setting the Scene
• The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team wraps up the regular season series with No. 10/9 Minnesota today. The Buckeyes (19-8-4, 12-8-1-0 B1G) and Golden Gophers (19-13-1, 10-10-1-1 B1G) will meet at 5 p.m. ET at 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis.
• The contest will be broadcast by ESPNU and streamed through Watch ESPN, with John Buccigross and Sean Ritchlin providing commentary. TSN Go will also carry the stream in Canada.
• Ohio State radio will broadcast the game on 1460 AM in Columbus, through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and on the TuneIn app for mobile devices. Herb Howenstine and John Mowat will be on the call.
• Live stats will be available on GameTracker on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
• 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.
In the B1G
• The Buckeyes are in second place in the Big Ten with 37 points, two ahead of Michigan and five in front of Minnesota. The Buckeyes and Gophers have three games remaining and Michigan plays its last B1G game of the regular season Sunday vs. Notre Dame, the regular season champion. Ohio State hosts Wisconsin next weekend, while Minnesota travels to Penn State.
• Ohio State has clinched a Top 4 spot in the final Big Ten standings and will host a first round series of the Big Ten Tournament March 2-4 in Value City Arena. A win, either regulation or overtime, or a tie/shootout win, over Minnesota tonight would clinch second place for Ohio State. The Buckeyes would clinch third with one point, or Michigan earning two or less points tomorrow.
• Minnesota won the series opener Friday, 2-1. The Gophers led 1-0 after the first period and extended the lead to 2-0 midway through the second. The Buckeyes got on the board late in the second on a Matt Miller power play goal for a one-goal game entering the final period. The Buckeyes outshot the Gophers 9-7 in the third, but were unable to net the equalizer. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo made 26 saves in the game. The Buckeyes were 1-for-3 on the power play and did not face a Gopher chance with the man advantage.
Buckeyes vs. Gophers
• The series between Ohio State and Minnesota dates to 1968 but 29 of the 35 games have been since 1999. Ohio State is 7-27-1 all-time vs. the Gophers and 5-13-1 in Big Ten regular season play.
• In December Ohio State posted two wins over Minnesota in Columbus, with a 2-1 overtime victory and 4-1 win. It was the first sweep in program history of the Gophers.
• The teams last met in Minneapolis Dec. 2-3, 2016, splitting the series, with a 5-3 Minnesota win and 8-3 Ohio State victory.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State ranks in the Top 20 in the NCAA on the penalty kill (1st/.904), team defense (6th/2.16 goals allowed per game), power play (11th/.228), penalty minutes per game (5th/9.3) and scoring offense (19th/3.06 goals scored per game).
• Three Buckeyes are on the Hobey Baker Award fan ballot and rank among the Top 9 scorers in the Big Ten – Tanner Laczynski is first with 37 points, Matthew Weis is tied for fifth with 33 and Mason Jobst is tied for seventh with 30. In Big Ten play only, all three rank in the Top 7, with Laczynski second with 23 points and Weis and Jobst tied for fourth with 21 points each. Jobst tied for the Big Ten scoring title a year ago and is second all-time in points in Big Ten games, while Weis ranks seventh all-time in B1G points.
• Ohio State, which is 11-4-1 on the road this year, has lost the opener in three straight road series. The squad fell at Penn State 5-2 Jan. 12 and lost 2-1 at Notre Dame Feb. 9. In both of those series, the Buckeyes won game two 5-1 for a series split.
• When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (13-0-2). The squad is 6-8-2 when allowing the first tally.
• The Buckeyes scored once Friday, just the second time in the last 14 games they did not score at last two goals. The team is averaging 3.06 goals per game on the season.
• The game Friday marked the 20th time this season Ohio State allowed two or fewer goals. The team is sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 2.16 goals per contest.
• Goalie Sean Romeo has a 2.10 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, ranking ninth in the NCAA in both categories.
• Ohio State was not assessed a penalty in the game Friday. It was the first time the team did not face a power play since Jan. 26, 2017 vs. Wisconsin and the first game with zero penalties since March 19, 2015 vs. Penn State. The squad is averaging 9.3 penalty minutes per game, the fifth-lowest total nationally.
• The Buckeye power play was 1-for-3 Friday, notching a power play goal for the 10th time in the last 12 games. The team is 18-for-51 (.353) with the man advantage over the last 12 games. On the year, the squad is 29-for-127 (.228). Since starting the year 0-for-20 with the man advantage in its first four games, the Buckeyes are 29-for-107 (.271) on the power play, ranking fifth in the NCAA since Oct. 19.
• Matt Miller scored his sixth goal of the year Friday. He leads the Buckeye blueliners and is tied for 10th among conference defensemen with 13 points. Defenseman Gordi Myer assisted on the goal, giving him a helper in three straight games. He has eight assists this year.
• In Big Ten games only, Ohio State ranks first among league teams in scoring offense (3.14 goals per game), power play (22-for-84 (.262) and penalty killing (68-for-74, .919) and is second in scoring defense (2.48 goals allowed per game). The squad has averaged a league-low 8.2 penalty minutes per game.
• The Buckeyes close the regular season with two home games vs. Wisconsin next weekend. The Buckeyes and Badgers opened the year with a series in Madison. Ohio State won the opener, 3-2 and the Badgers won game two by the same score.