March 21, 2018

No. 1 Seed Ohio State Heads to NCAA Midwest Regional

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Setting the Scene

– The No. 5-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team heads to the NCAA Midwest Regional at PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., this weekend. The No. 1 seed Buckeyes (24-9-5, 14-8-2-1 B1G) will face No. 4 seed Princeton (19-12-4, 10-10-2 ECAC) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the first round.

– The other Midwest Regional first round matchup features No. 2 seed Denver (22-9-8, 12-6-6 NCHC) vs. No. 3 seed Penn State (18-14-5, 9-10-5-2 B1G) at 7 p.m. The first round winners will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with the winner moving on to the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four in Saint Paul, Minn.

– The Buckeyes are making their second consecutive NCAA appearance and the eighth in program history. The squad reached the Frozen Four once, in 1998. This is the fourth NCAA trip for Princeton and the first since 2009.

– The Buckeyes are a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Last season, Ohio State was the No. 4 seed in the West Regional, where it fell to Minnesota Duluth in overtime.

– Ohio State is coming off an overtime loss in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Notre Dame. Princeton captured the ECAC Tournament crown with an overtime win against Clarkson.

– In their last 10 games, the Buckeyes are 6-3-1, while the Tigers are 8-1-1. Ohio State had a six-game unbeaten streak end with the Big Ten Tournament loss to Notre Dame. Princeton enters the NCAA Tournament on an eight-game unbeaten streak.

– Ohio State leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 89.3 percent of its opponents chances. Princeton is first in the NCAA on the power play, converting 28.5 percent of its opportunities.

Follow Along

– The game between the Buckeyes and Tigers will be televised by ESPNU and available on Watch ESPN and the ESPN app. Kevin Brown and Colby Cohen will be calling the action from the Midwest Regional. The Denver vs. Penn State game will be on ESPN3 and the regional final will be broadcast on ESPNU

– Ohio State radio will carry all Ohio State action in the postseason 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 through a link 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.

Buckeye Notes to Know

– Ohio State is 24-9-5 on the year, the most wins for the program since the 2009 team was 23-15-4. The team was 21-12-6 last year, giving the squad back-to-back 20+ win seasons for the first time since the Buckeyes had four straight years with 20 or more wins from 2002-05.

– Ohio State, which lost back-to-back games just twice during the season, ranks in the Top 11 in the NCAA in penalty kill (1st/.893), penalty minutes per game (4th/8.6), team defense (5th/2.11 goals allowed per game), winning percentage (5th/.697), wins (6th/24), power play (7th/.242) and scoring offense (11th/3.18 goals scored per game).

– The Buckeyes, an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time, along with an automatic bid in 2004, were an NCAA Tournament No. 2 seed in both 2003 and ’04, along with a No. 3 seed in 2005. This year is the first as a No. 1 seed.

– Steve Rohlik was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, the first Ohio State coach to win the award since 1998. Forward Tanner Laczynski, a finalist for league player of the year honors, was a First Team All-Big Ten selection, while forward Mason Jobst, junior Sasha Larocque and goalie Sean Romeo were named Second Team All-Big Ten and Matthew Weis was an honorable mention selection. Goalie Tommy Nappier was named to the B1G All-Freshman Team and Christian Lampasso received the Sportsmanship Award. Romeo is also a semifinalist for the Mike Richter national goaltender of the year award.

– Six Buckeyes have notched double-digit goals, led by Jobst with 19, while 10 have double-digit assists, led by Laczynski with 28. Laczynski (43) and Jobst (41) have both crossed the 40-point mark and lead the team in scoring.

– When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (17-0-3). The squad is 7-9-2 when allowing the first tally.

– Ohio State is second in the country in third period goals and has outscored opponents 55-27 in the third period.

Just the Stats

– Ohio State is averaging 3.18 goals a game (ranking 11th in the NCAA) and is allowing 2.11 goals per outing to rank fifth nationally in scoring defense.

– The Buckeye power play is 36-for-149 (.242) on the year, with a power play goal in 14 of the last 19 games. The squad is seventh in the NCAA with the man advantage.

– The penalty kill has stopped 117-of-131 opponent opportunities (.893), ranking first in the NCAA. The squad averages 8.5 penalty minutes per game.

– Ohio State is averaging 33.2 shots on goal a game and allowing 28.7 shots on goal a night.

– Sophomore Tanner Laczynski is first on the squad with 28 assists and Mason Jobst has a team-best 19 goals. Laczynski is first with 43 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.

– Sophomore Matt Miller leads the Buckeye defensemen in scoring with 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists. Classmate Wyatt Ege is second with 16 points (on 16 assists). Junior Sasha Larocque has a team-high 69 blocked shots and +19 rating.

– In goal, redshirt junior Sean Romeo has started 34 games and has a 2.09 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and 20-9-5 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.

Buckeyes in the 2018 Postseason

– Ohio State is 3-1 in postseason play this year, including three overtime games (with two OT wins).

– The No. 2 seed Buckeyes swept No. 7 Michigan State in a Big Ten Tournament 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.

– Ohio State hosted the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Nationwide Arena March 10. Ohio State notched a second straight overtime win, topping No. 3 Michigan, 3-2.

– In the B1G Tournament Championship Game at Notre Dame Saturday, the Buckeyes overcame a 2-0 first period deficit, with Brendon Kearney scoring in the second and Matt Miller tying the game in the third. The Irish prevailed in overtime, 3-2.

– Junior Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with three goals and six points in postseason play this year. Sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege has a team-high four assists and +6 rating. Sophomore blueliner Matt Miller, Kearney and sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski all have four postseason points with a goal and three assists.

– Jobst, Laczynski and Miller were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

– Seventeen of 20 Buckeye skaters have posted at least one point during postseason play.

– The Buckeye power play is 6-for-12 (.500) during the four postseason games combined, with the penalty kill 5-for-8 (.625). Ohio State faced two power plays in each of its first four postseason games and had six penalty minutes or less in each outing.

–  The squad averaged 40.0 shots on goal a game through the Big Ten Tournament final, limiting opponents to 26.8 shots on goal a night.

Buckeyes in the NCAA Tourney

– Ohio State is making its eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

– The squad’s first trip was in 1998, when it defeated Yale and Michigan State (in 2OT) in the West Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., to reach the NCAA Frozen Four, where it fell to Boston College in Boston.

–  The Buckeyes returned in 1999, suffering a first round loss in the East Regional to Maine, 4-2, in Worcester, Mass.

– The team made three consecutive trips from 2003-05. The 2003 squad fell to Boston College 1-0 in Providence, R.I., and lost in overtime to Wisconsin by the same score in Albany, N.Y., in 2004. The 2005 team suffered a 3-2 loss to Cornell in Minneapolis.

– In 2009 the Buckeyes traveled to Manchester, N.H., for the Northeast Regional, falling to Boston University, 8-3.

– Last season, Ohio State rallied to force overtime against eventual runner-up Minnesota Duluth in Fargo in the West Regional. The Bulldogs prevailed, 3-2, in the extra period.

– This is the Buckeyes’ first trip to the Midwest Regional.

– The Buckeyes have been an at-large team all but one year. The squad won the 2004 CCHA Tournament to claim the league’s automatic bid that season.

– Ohio State is one of four Big Ten teams to earn a spot in the 2018 tournament, leading the NCAA. Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional, Michigan is the No. 2 seed in the Northeast Regional and Penn State is the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional (with Ohio State).

– Sixteen current Buckeyes skated in the NCAA Tournament game a year ago. Matt Joyaux and Gordi Myer scored the team’s goals in the 3-2 overtime loss to UMD.

– Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik was the captain on Wisconsin’s 1990 NCAA Championship team. Associate head coach Steve Miller was on the staff of two NCAA championship teams at Denver (2004, ’05) and an assistant coach with Providence’s title winning squad in 2015.

– Ohio State is 7-6-1 against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams – 5-0 vs. Michigan, 1-4 vs. Notre Dame and 1-2-1 vs. Penn State.

Buckeyes vs. Tigers

– Ohio State and Princeton have met three times, all at neutral sites.

– The last meeting was Jan. 3, 2003 in Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, a 4-1 Ohio State victory.

– The squads also met in 1985, a 6-5 OSU win in the Schwepps Invitational in Cincinnati. The first meeting was Dec. 22, 1971, a 3-2 overtime win for OSU in the Cleveland Cup Holiday Festival.

– Princeton is joined in the ECAC by Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union and Yale.

– RPI is the only ECAC team Ohio State faced this year. The teams skated to back-to-back 1-1 OT ties Oct. 13-14 in Columbus.

– JB Bittner, Buckeye assistant coach, played in the 2003 game vs. Princeton in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He had an assist (on the gamewinner 2:28 into the third period) and +1 mark in the game.

Buckeyes in the 2018 Postseason

– Ohio State is 3-1 in postseason play this year, including three overtime games (with two OT wins).

– The No. 2 seed Buckeyes swept No. 7 Michigan State in a Big Ten Tournament 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.

– Ohio State hosted the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Nationwide Arena March 10. Ohio State notched a second straight overtime win, topping No. 3 Michigan, 3-2.

– In the B1G Tournament Championship Game at Notre Dame Saturday, the Buckeyes overcame a 2-0 first period deficit, with Brendon Kearney scoring in the second and Matt Miller tying the game in the third. The Irish prevailed in overtime, 3-2.

– Junior Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with three goals and six points in postseason play this year. Sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege has a team-high four assists and +6 rating. Sophomore blueliner Matt Miller, Kearney and sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski all have four postseason points with a goal and three assists.

– Jobst, Laczynski and Miller were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

– Seventeen of 20 Buckeye skaters have posted at least one point during postseason play.

– The Buckeye power play is 6-for-12 (.500) during the four postseason games combined, with the penalty kill 5-for-8 (.625). Ohio State faced two power plays in each of its first four postseason games and had six penalty minutes or less in each outing.

– The squad averaged 40.0 shots on goal a game through the Big Ten Tournament final, limiting opponents to 26.8 shots on goal a night.

Buckeyes in the NCAA Tourney

– Ohio State is making its eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

– The squad’s first trip was in 1998, when it defeated Yale and Michigan State (in 2OT) in the West Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., to reach the NCAA Frozen Four, where it fell to Boston College in Boston.

– The Buckeyes returned in 1999, suffering a first round loss in the East Regional to Maine, 4-2, in Worcester, Mass.

– The team made three consecutive trips from 2003-05. The 2003 squad fell to Boston College 1-0 in Providence, R.I., and lost in overtime to Wisconsin by the same score in Albany, N.Y., in 2004. The 2005 team suffered a 3-2 loss to Cornell in Minneapolis.

– In 2009 the Buckeyes traveled to Manchester, N.H., for the Northeast Regional, falling to Boston University, 8-3.

– Last season, Ohio State rallied to force overtime against eventual runner-up Minnesota Duluth in Fargo in the West Regional. The Bulldogs prevailed, 3-2, in the extra period.

– This is the Buckeyes’ first trip to the Midwest Regional.

– The Buckeyes have been an at-large team all but one year. The squad won the 2004 CCHA Tournament to claim the league’s automatic bid that season.

– Ohio State is one of four Big Ten teams to earn a spot in the 2018 tournament, leading the NCAA. Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional, Michigan is the No. 2 seed in the Northeast Regional and Penn State is the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional (with Ohio State).

– Sixteen current Buckeyes skated in the NCAA Tournament game a year ago. Matt Joyaux and Gordi Myer scored the team’s goals in the 3-2 overtime loss to UMD.

– Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik was the captain on Wisconsin’s 1990 NCAA Championship team. Associate head coach Steve Miller was on the staff of two NCAA championship teams at Denver (2004, ’05) and an assistant coach with Providence’s title winning squad in 2015.

– Ohio State is 7-6-1 against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams – 5-0 vs. Michigan, 1-4 vs. Notre Dame and 1-2-1 vs. Penn State.

Buckeyes vs. Tigers

– Ohio State and Princeton have met three times, all at neutral sites.

– The last meeting was Jan. 3, 2003 in Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, a 4-1 Ohio State victory.

– The squads also met in 1985, a 6-5 OSU win in the Schwepps Invitational in Cincinnati. The first meeting was Dec. 22, 1971, a 3-2 overtime win for OSU in the Cleveland Cup Holiday Festival.

– Princeton is joined in the ECAC by Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union and Yale.

– RPI is the only ECAC team Ohio State faced this year. The teams skated to back-to-back 1-1 OT ties Oct. 13-14 in Columbus.

– JB Bittner, Buckeye assistant coach, played in the 2003 game vs. Princeton in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He had an assist (on the gamewinner 2:28 into the third period) and +1 mark in the game.