January 19, 2017

No. 11 Buckeyes vs. No. 1/2 Nittany Lions in B1G Series

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Jan. 19, 2017

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No. 11 Ohio State at No. 1/2 Penn State | Friday, Jan. 20 | 7 p.m. ET
  BTN Plus on BTN2Go | 📻 1460 AM | 📊 Live Stats |  Twitter Updates

No. 11 Ohio State at No. 1/2 Penn State | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 7 p.m. ET
 BTN Plus on BTN2Go | 📻1460 AM | 📊 Live Stats |  Twitter Updates

Setting the Scene
• The No. 11-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team (11-4-5, 2-2-0-0 B1G) will take on No. 1/2-ranked Penn State (16-2-1, 5-1-0-0 B1G) in a two-game Big Ten Conference series this weekend. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa.
• The games will be streamed live through BTN Plus on BTN2Go online and on mobile devices.
• Ohio State radio will carry the contests on 1460 AM and online through Buckeye Vision 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 Rankings
• Ohio State is ranked 11th in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week.
• The squad has been in the Top 20 of the USCHO poll each of the last 14 weeks, in the Top 10 five of the last seven weeks and has received votes for 15 consecutive weeks.
• In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, the Buckeyes have been in the Top 15 each of the last 12 weeks and 13 total weeks this season and in the Top 10 four of the last six weeks, while receiving votes in all 15 polls.
• Penn State is ranked No. 1 in the USCHO poll for the first time in its history and is ranked second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

Last Time Out
• Ohio State hosted Arizona State in its final nonconference games of the regular season last weekend, winning the opener 6-1 before a 2-2 overtime tie.
• Penn State is coming off a sweep of Michigan State at home with 5-1 and 5-3 victories.

Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is second in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.20 goals per game, and second in scoring margin (+1.45). Penn State, Ohio State and Harvard are the only three teams averaging 4+ goals a game.
• The Buckeyes rank third nationally on the power play, converting 25.6 percent of their chances (22-for-86).
• The squad is second in the NCAA with 3.00 even strength goals per game and tied for first with 60 even strength goals. Buckeye opponents have scored 29 goals when the teams are even.
• The Buckeyes have had balanced scoring throughout the lineup – 16 Buckeyes have at least one goal and all 23 skaters have at least one assist and point. There are four Buckeyes with 20 or more points, 10 with 10 or more and 16 with five or more.
• Ohio State has scored first in all but four games this season, with an 11-3-2 ledger when opening the scoring. The team has scored in the first period in all but three contests and is averaging 1.55 first period goals a game to rank second in the NCAA.
• Senior goalie Christian Frey has earned back-to-back Big Ten Star of the Week honors. He has 35+ saves in three of his last four games, with a 1.48 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in the four games combined.
• Senior forward Nick Schilkey, who is second nationally with .85 goals per game and third in the NCAA with a Big Ten best 17 tallies, is one of 15 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and finance major has 114 career points for the Scarlet and Gray.

Just the Stats
• The Buckeyes are 11-4-5 overall this season, with a 7-1-3 ledger in games away from Columbus. The series at Penn State marks the Buckeyes’ first games away from home since splitting a series at Minnesota Dec. 2-3.
• Ohio State is averaging 4.20 goals a game this season, ranking second in the NCAA, and allowing 2.75 per outing. The squad averages 31.5 shots on goal a game, with its opponents putting 29.3 on net a night. Ohio State leads the nation in shooting percentage, converting 13.3 percent of its shots.
• The Buckeye power play is third nationally, converting 25.6 percent (22-for-86) of its opportunities, while the penalty kill is 70-for-92 (.761). Ohio State averages 12.0 penalty minutes a game.
• Senior Nick Schilkey leads the team with 17 goals and 25 points, with freshman Tanner Laczynski and sophomore Mason Jobst tied for first with 17 assists each. Jobst is second in points (24), followed by Laczynski (23). Senior Senior David Gust is second with 12 goals and ranks fourth with 20 points. Senior Josh Healey is third with 14 helpers, followed by sophomore Dakota Joshua with 12 and junior Matthew Weis with 11. Jobst and sophomore John Wiitala are tied for third with seven goals each.
• In goal, senior Christian Frey, who missed time with an injury, has played in 11 games, starting 10, has a 2.61 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. Matt Tomkins has started 11 games, playing in 10, and has a 2.60 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Logan Davis has two appearances and stopped all six shots he faced.

Last Time Out – Ohio State 1-0-1 vs. ASU
• The Buckeyes were 1-0-1 vs. Arizona State last weekend in the first series between the teams.
Game One (Ohio State 6, Arizona State 1): Ohio State used four first-period goals and 35 saves from goalie Christian Frey to post a 6-1 win over Arizona State. The Buckeyes four times in a 5:05 span in the first 10:03 of the game, with goals from David Gust, Nick Schilkey, Miguel Fidler and Kevin Miller, for a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes. Each team scored once in the second, with Schilkey notching his second power play goal of the night. Buckeye Ronnie Hein had the only goal of the third. Ohio State was 3-for-5 on the power play, with ASU 1-for-5. Gust added two assists for a three-point night, while Mason Jobst and Matt Joyaux each had two helpers in the win.
Game Two (Ohio State 2, Arizona State 2 OT): A late Arizona State extra attacker goal led to a 2-2 tie for the Buckeyes and Sun Devils. Neither team scored in the first period. In the second, Arizona State took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal but the Buckeyes scored twice in less than a minute late in the stanza, with Kevin Miller and Mason Jobst (shorthanded) tallying, to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. With 26 seconds left in regulation and their net empty, the Sun Devils tied the game. The teams combined for five shots in overtime, but neither team could pull out the win.

In the B1G
• All six teams are in conference action this week. In addition to the Buckeyes’ series at Penn State, Wisconsin hosts Minnesota and Michigan and Michigan State play a home-and-home series.
• Penn State and Minnesota are tied for first in the B1G standings with 15 points with matching 5-1 records. Wisconsin is third with nine points (3-1), with Ohio State fourth (6 points, 2-2), Michigan fifth (3 points, 1-5) and Michigan State sixth (0-6). Ohio State and Wisconsin have two games in hand on the other four teams.
• This marks the fourth season for men’s hockey as a Big Ten Conference sponsored sport. 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.
• All six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held March 16-18 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
• 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.
• 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.

Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
• Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 10-6, with the series tied in University Park, 3-3-0. Ohio State is ahead 9-5 in Big Ten regular season play. The teams have split each of the last four series.
• The teams met two weeks ago in Columbus. The Buckeyes posted a 3-0 shutout in the opener before Penn State won game two 4-2.
• The squads split two series last year. In Columbus Jan. 22-23, 2016, Penn State won the first game in overtime, 3-2, before Ohio State posted a 5-1 victory. In a series in State College Feb. 19-20, 2016, the Nittany Lions won the opener 6-1, followed by a 7-4 Buckeye victory.
• The first matchup between the teams was Dec. 29, 2012 in the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, a 5-4 Nittany Lion win. The other matchup between the teams was in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, a 3-1 Buckeye victory in Detroit.
• Senior Nick Schilkey leads the current Buckeyes with nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points in 15 career games vs. Penn State. Junior Matthew Weis has 10 points, with five goals and five assists in nine games. Senior Josh Healey is second on the squad with six assists and has skated in 15 games vs. the Nittany Lions. Luke Stork is third with four goals vs. the Nittany Lions while playing in 11 games.

The Nittany Lions
• Penn State is 16-2-1 on the year and 13-1-0 at home, with a 5-1-0 record in Big Ten play.
• The team is averaging an NCAA-best 4.58 goals a game and is fourth in team defense, giving up 2.00 goals a game. The power play is 23-for-103 (.223) and the penalty kill is 73-for-82 (.890) to rank fourth nationally. The squad averages an NCAA-high 47.78 shots a game (11.95 more than second-place Wisconsin) and gives up 24.37 a night. The squad averages 11.4 penalty minutes a game.
• Denis Smirnov leads the team with 18 assists and a Big Ten best 29 points on the year, ranking second on the team with 11 goals. Andrew Sturtz is first with 14 tallies. Ten Nittany Lions have 11 or more points.
• In goal, Peyton Jones is 14-1-1, with a 1.84 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.

The Last Time – Buckeyes Split with Penn State
• In a matchup of two of the top three scoring teams in the NCAA, Ohio State and Penn State (who entered the series averaging 4.4+ goals a game each) combined for just nine goals on the weekend. The Buckeyes won game one, 3-0, before the Nittany Lions claimed game two, 4-2.
• Game One (Ohio State 3, Penn State 0): Ohio State scored once in the final three minutes of each period en route to the victory over the Nittany Lions. Drew Brevig scored in the first, Luke Stork scored in the second and John Wiitala added an empty net goal in the third. Brendon Kearney had two assists and Stork had a helper for a two-point night. Christian Frey made 46 saves for the third shutout of his career and his fifth career game with 46 or more saves. Ohio State’s penalty kill was 4-for-4 in the win. The Buckeyes had just one power play chance.
• Game Two (Penn State 4, Ohio State 2): Penn State led 3-0 before the Buckeyes made it a one-goal game. The teams were scoreless through the first period and Penn State took a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the second. The Nittany Lions scored at 3:10 and shorthanded at 7:57 of the third to go ahead by three before Buckeye senior Nick Schilkey scored two power play goals in a 43-second span, at 9:42 and 10:25, to draw the Buckeyes within one. The Buckeyes had chances late but could not even the score and Penn State ended the scoring with an empty net, power play goal with less than a second remaining. Shots were 43-26 in favor of Penn State, with Frey making 39 saves.

Complete notes, bios and statistics in the PDF above