November 30, 2016

No. 10/11 Buckeyes Open B1G Slate at No. 11/9 Minnesota

Share

Nov. 30, 2016

RELATED INFO:  Ohio State Game Notes |  Coach Rohlik and Healey Video Preview | Season Stats | Player Pronunciations |  2016-17 Team Guide | 2016-17 Roster | 2016-17 Schedule | Tickets |  Meet the Buckeyes | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

No. 10/11 Ohio State at No. 11/9 Minnesota | Friday, Dec. 2 | 9 p.m. ET
📺 BTN |  BTN2Go | 📊 Live Stats | 📻 Radio 1460 AM |  Twitter Updates

No. 10/11 Ohio State at No. 11/9 Minnesota | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 8 p.m. ET
📺 FS North+/SportsTime Ohio |  BTN2Go | 📊 Live Stats | 📻 Radio 1460 AM |  Twitter Updates

Setting the Scene
• The No. 10/11-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team (8-1-4, 0-0-0-0 B1G) begins its Big Ten Conference schedule this weekend at No. 11/9 Minnesota (6-4-2, 0-0-0 B1G).
• The game Friday will be televised by BTN, with the Saturday tilt broadcast by FS North+ and carried by SportsTime Ohio.
• Both games will be available through BTN2Go online and for mobile devices for subscribers with BTN as part of their cable package.
• Ohio State radio will carry both games in Columbus on 1460 AM and online through the Buckeye Vision subscription package on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
• Audio, 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.
• Ohio State is coming off a bye weekend. The squad won two games at Rensselaer Nov. 18-19 in its last game action. Last weekend Minnesota split two games out east, falling at Northeastern 6-4 Friday before winning 4-2 at Boston College Sunday.

In the Rankings
• Ohio State moved up to No. 10 in the USCHO poll this week, its first time in the Top 10 of the poll since January 2012. The squad has been in the Top 20 of the poll each of the last eight weeks and has been received votes for nine consecutive weeks.
• In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, the Buckeyes moved up to No. 11. The squad has been in the Top 15 of the poll each of the last six weeks and seven total weeks this season, while receiving votes in all nine polls.
• Minnesota is slotted 11th in the USCHO poll this week and is ninth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.

Welcome to Conference Play
• This marks the fourth season for men’s hockey as a Big Ten conference sponsored sport.
• Ohio State was picked second in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll behind Minnesota. Michigan was third, followed by Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
• In the league standings, teams receive three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a regulation or overtime loss.
• Conference games that remain tied after a five-minute overtime will again go to a shootout to determine which team receives the extra point in the standings. The shootout is a best of three and will then go to sudden-victory if it is tied after three rounds.
• Ohio State finished fourth in the Big Ten last year with an 8-8-4-1 record. Minnesota has won the first three regular season titles, including in 2016 after posting a 14-6-0 record to edge Michigan by one point.

Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is second in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.38 goals per game. The team has scored four or more goals in seven of the last 10 games.
• The squad is second in the NCAA with 43 even strength goals and ranks first with 3.31 goals per game at even strength. Buckeye opponents have scored 16 goals when the teams are even.
• The Buckeyes have had balanced scoring throughout the lineup – 14 Buckeyes have at least one goal and all 23 skaters have at least one assist and point. There are eight Buckeyes with 10 or more points and 12 with five or more. Buckeyes make up three of the top four scorers in the Big Ten.
• Ohio State played eight of its first 13 games away from Columbus and in all will play 11 of its 15 games on the road during the first half of the season.
• Ohio State is 8-1-4 on the year. The Buckeyes closed last season with a 6-1-2 mark, giving the squad a 14-2-6 ledger in its last 22 games combined. Twenty letterwinners returned from last year’s team, which was eighth nationally in scoring offense (3.56).
• The Buckeyes are undefeated in their last five games (3-0-2). The streak started after a loss to Robert Morris, which ended the team’s seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) to start the year. It was the best start for the program since the 1983-84 squad won its first 13 games. The team last year lost its first seven games.

Just the Stats
• Ohio State is averaging 4.39 goals a game this season, ranking second in the NCAA, and allowing 2.62 per outing. The squad averages 35.7 shots on goal a game, with its opponents putting 26.5 on net a night.
• The Buckeye power play is 11th nationally, converting 22 percent (13-for-59), while the penalty kill is 44-for-60 (.733). Ohio State averages 11.5 penalty minutes a game, the 11th-lowest average in the NCAA.
• Freshman Tanner Laczynski leads the team with 13 assists and 18 points, while senior Nick Schilkey is first with 12 goals and second with 17 points. Senior David Gust is second with eight goals, followed by sophomore John Wiitala with six. Junior Matthew Weis, sophomore Dakota Joshua and senior Josh Healey are tied for second with 11 assists each.
• In goal, Matt Tomkins has started nine games, playing in 10, and has a 2.28 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Christian Frey, who missed time with an injury, has played in four games, has a 3.21 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. Logan Davis has two appearances and stopped all six shots he faced.

Buckeyes vs. Gophers
• The series between Ohio State and Minnesota dates to 1968 but 22 of the 28 games have been since 1999. Ohio State is 3-24-1 all-time vs. the Gophers and has lost the last six games to Minnesota. Ohio State’s last win over Minnesota was March 7, 2015 in Columbus, 5-2.
• Ohio State and Minnesota met five times last season, with the Gophers winning all five games. The Buckeyes and Gophers met in Minneapolis to open the Big Ten schedule Dec. 4-5, with Minnesota winning both games in overtime (3-2, 5-4). The Gophers then won the first game in Columbus in overtime, 5-4, Feb. 12. Feb. 13, Minnesota posted a 4-3 victory in Columbus. The teams then met in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the third year in a row, with Minnesota prevailing 4-2 March 18 in Saint Paul.
• The teams will close the regular season series Feb. 10-11 in Columbus.

Gopher Glance
• Minnesota enters the weekend 6-4-2 overall and 4-2-2 in its last eight games. The squad is 2-1-1 at home this year.
• The Gophers are averaging 3.5 goals a game and allowing 2.83 an outing. The power play is tied for sixth in the NCAA, converting 23.5 percent (12-for-51). The penalty kill is 42-for-52 (.808). Minnesota averages 11.0 penalty minutes per game.
• The Gophers are averaging 3.5 goals a game and allowing 2.83 an outing. The power play is tied for sixth in the NCAA, converting 23.5 percent (12-for-51). The penalty kill is 42-for-52 (.808). Minnesota averages 11.0 penalty minutes per game.
• In goal, Eric Schierhorn is 6-4-2, with a 2.79 goals-against average and .896 save percentage while playing in all 12 games.

Last Time Out – Ohio State Sweeps RPI
• The Buckeyes posted their second road sweep of the season, posting 4-0 and 3-2 wins at Rensselaer Nov. 18-19.
• Game 1 (Ohio State 4, RPI 0): Ohio State opened the scoring late in the first on a goal by Dakota Joshua and Nick Schilkey scored on a 5-on-3 power play in the second for a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. Schilkey extended the lead to 3-0 less than eight minutes into the third and Tanner Laczynski sealed the win with an empty net goal. Matt Tomkins stopped all 28 shots he faced and backstopped the Buckeyes’ 5-for-5 night on the penalty kill, including stopping a 5-on-3 early in the third when it was a two-goal game.
• Game 2 (Ohio State 3, RPI 2): The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Luke Stork. In the second, the Engineers tied the game twice. They deadlocked the score at 1 at 4:58 with a power play goal. The Buckeyes went ahead 2-1 at 9:51 of the stanza on Sam McCormick’s first collegiate goal, but RPI again converted with the man advantage for a 2-2 game after two. In the third, Tanner Laczynski tallied at 9:56 with the teams skating 4-on-4 to put the Buckeyes ahead for a third time. Ohio State held the Engineers off the rest of the way, including when RPI skated with the extra attacker for the final 1:40. The Buckeyes outshot Rensselaer 40-24, with goalie Matt Tomkins making 22 saves, including 11 in the third period.

Complete notes, statistics and season bios in the PDF above