COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 15 Ohio State men’s hockey team closes out the regular season with a home-and-home series with No. 7/9 Miami this weekend. The Buckeyes (19-11-4/11-10-4-3 CCHA) and RedHawks (18-9-5/16-6-4-2) will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio, and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Click on the links above to hear audio from Coach Markell, Peter Boyd and John Albert.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES
WOSU Radio (820 AM Columbus/wosu.org) will carry both Buckeye games live this weekend. The game in Oxford Friday will be televised by The Ohio News Network in Ohio, with NHL Network in both Canada and the United States carrying the game live. The contest Friday will be webcast through a subscription basis on MURedHawks.com.
The game Saturday in Value City Arena will be carried online through the Buckeye Vision Subscription package. For information or to sign up, click on the multimedia link at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Live stats from both games can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS
This weekend closes out CCHA play, with the playoffs beginning next weekend. Ohio State will finish the CCHA regular-season slate in fourth or fifth place, depending on the outcome of the series with Miami.
Ohio State enters the final weekend in fifth place, three points behind fourth-place Alaska, which has completed its league schedule. With four points against Miami, from any combination of regulation, overtime or shootout wins, Ohio State will move past the Nanooks and into fourth place. With three points, Ohio State will end the year tied with Alaska. The first tiebreaker is league wins, so two of those points must come from a regulation or overtime victory. The teams would remain tied and also match on the second tiebreaker, which is head-to-head, as the teams split a series in Fairbanks Jan. 30-31. The third tiebreaker is goals for and against head-to-head and Ohio State would come out on top, 7-6, and earn the No. 4 seed. Two points or less and the Buckeyes will finish fifth.
If the Buckeyes finish as the No. 4 seed, the squad will have a bye in the first round and will host a quarterfinal series March 13-15 in Value City Arena. If the Buckeyes are the No. 5 seed, the team will host a first-round series March 6-8 in the OSU Ice Rink and that series winner will travel for the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal series winners advance to the 2009 CCHA Championship at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit March 20-21. Teams are reseeded after each round. Both the first and quarterfinal rounds are best-of-three series. The “Joe” includes just semifinal and final games.