Oct. 5, 2017
RELATED INFO: Ohio State Game Notes | Release online | Video preview with Coach Rohilk, Jobst, Laczynski and Ege | 2017-18 Team Guide | 2017-18 Schedule | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Setting the Scene
• The No. 19-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team opens the season with two games at No. 12 Wisconsin (1-0-0) this weekend. The Buckeyes and Badgers will meet at 8 p.m. ET Friday and 6 p.m. ET Saturday in Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
• The game Friday will be televised by Fox Sports Wisconsin and available on BTN2Go for cable subscribers with BTN as part of their cable package. The Saturday contest will be streamed through the BTN Plus subscription service on BTN2Go.
• Ohio State radio will carry both games on 1460 AM in Columbus and on Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The Friday game will be available through the TuneIn app as well.
• Video, radio 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 was 21-12-6 last season and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. The squad lost to eventual national runner-up Minnesota Duluth in overtime, 3-2.
• The Buckeyes return 19 letterwinners from the 2016-17 squad, adding two eligible transfers who sat out last season and six freshmen. The squad last year led the NCAA on the power play (31.6 percent) and ranked third in scoring offense, averaging 3.92 goals per game.
• Junior Mason Jobst, an All-American a season ago, was voted team captain by his teammates, while senior Luke Stork and junior Sasha Larocque were elected alternate captains.
• Steve Rohlik is in his fifth year as the head coach of the Buckeyes. Steve Miller joined the program as associate head coach over the summer, while alum JB Bittner is the team’s assistant coach. In addition, alums Dustin Carlson and Dave Caruso joined the program as volunteer assistant coach and goaltending coach, respectively, and Lee Harris is a conditioning coach for the squad. Layne LeBel returns as the director of operations and Brian Seitz is the strength and conditioning coach again this year.
• Ohio State and Wisconsin met five times last season, with the Badgers winning the series, 3-2-0. The Badgers swept the first series, winning 3-1 in Columbus and 3-2 OT in Madison Square Garden. The Buckeyes swept the Badgers in Madison to close out the regular season, with 5-1 and 3-1 victories. The teams then met in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, with Wisconsin winning, 2-1.
• Jobst and Matthew Weis were named Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch. Each has 85 career points entering the season, tying for 10th among current NCAA players.
• The series between the Buckeyes and Badgers marks the first Big Ten Conference games to be played in October. With the addition of Notre Dame to the league, schedules were adjusted, pushing some league games earlier in the year. The Buckeyes’ next six games will be vs. nonconference foes.
Starting the Season
• Ohio State is 28-23-3 all-time in season openers, including a 3-2 win at then-No. 3 Denver last season.
• This is the second straight year, and third time in five years, the season is kicking off away from home.
• The last time Ohio State opened the year with conference games was in 2009, when the squad tied Miami at home Oct. 10 before falling on the road to the RedHawks Oct. 11 in CCHA contests.
• Ohio State and Wisconsin met on the first weekend of the Buckeyes’ season in 2007-08, facing off in the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational in Dayton. The teams met on the second day of the tournament, with Ohio State prevailing, 5-3.
• The last time the Buckeyes opened their season with road conference games was a two-game set at Northern Michigan to start the 2000-01 campaign. Ohio State won game one of that series before dropping game two.
• Last season, the Buckeyes’ first B1G games were Dec. 2-3 at Minnesota, a 5-3 loss followed by an 8-3 win.
• Ohio State is looking for its first win in a Big Ten opener. The squad lost to Michigan 4-3 in overtime Nov. 29, 2013, in the inaugural Big Ten Conference game, fell at home to Michigan State Nov. 20, 2014, and lost at Minnesota 3-2 in overtime Dec. 4, 2015, along with the loss to the Gophers last year.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State started the year ranked 19th in the USCHO preseason poll, while Wisconsin was slotted No. 12.
• In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, Ohio State was the second team receiving votes in the preseason and moved to the third team out this week. Wisconsin was tied for 11th in the preseason and is No. 10 this week.
• Ohio State began the year with an exhibition game vs. Ryerson Sunday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes lost 7-4, with Ryerson rallying for the victory.
• In the game, Janik Moser, Gordi Myer, Tanner Laczynski and Freddy Gerard scored for the Buckeyes, with Brendon Kearney picking up two assists. Sean Romeo played the whole game in goal for the Buckeyes, making 26 saves.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
• Ohio State is 9-17-3 all-time vs. Wisconsin with an 8-5-3 ledger in Big Ten Conference regular season play against the Badgers.
• In Madison, the series between the teams is tied, 5-5-2. Wisconsin leads 6-3-1 in Columbus and 6-1-0 at neutral sites.
• Last year, the teams met five times, with each squad posting a sweep before the Badgers won in the Big Ten Tournament.
• The teams met in Columbus Feb. 26, a 3-1 Badger win. The series moved to Madison Square Garden Feb. 28, with the Badgers winning in overtime, 3-2, after the Buckeyes tied the game with two goals in the final two minutes.
• The Buckeyes and Badgers met to close the regular season March 10-11 in Madison, with Ohio State posting 5-1 and 3-1 victories.
• The first eight games between the teams were between 1965-69, with the next three matchups all neutral site games from 2004-07. The squads met in the first round of the NCAA tournament March 26, 2004 in Albany, N.Y. a 1-0 Badger win. Feb. 11, 2006, the Buckeyes and Badgers played outside on Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., a 4-2 UW victory. Ohio State topped Wisconsin, 5-3, in the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational Oct. 13, 2007 in Dayton, Ohio. The teams did not face off again until the Big Ten Conference added hockey.
Buckeye – Wisconsin Connections
• Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik was a four-year letterwinner at Wisconsin (1987-90) and a two-time captain, wearing the C when the team claimed the 1990 NCAA Championship. He was an assistant coach for the Badgers in 1990-91.
• Ohio State assistant coach JB Bittner, a Buckeye alum, was an assistant coach at Wisconsin in 2015-16.
• Junior John Wiitala’s father, Martin, played at Wisconsin from 1983-86, serving as captain as a senior. He was drafted by the North Stars in the fifth round of the 1982 NHL Draft and played professionally in Vienna, Austria.
• Juniors Miguel Fidler and Freddy Gerard, sophomore Sam McCormick and freshman Eugene Fadyeyev all played with the Madison Capitols in the USHL. New Buckeye associate head coach Steve Miller, a native of Sun Prairie, Wis., was the first general manager and coach of the franchise.
• Junior Sam McCormick is a native of De Pere, Wis.
The Last Meetings – Buckeyes vs. Badgers
• Last season, Ohio State faced off against Wisconsin in three of its final five games of the year, sweeping the final regular season series before losing in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
• March 10 (Ohio State 5, Wisconsin 1): The Buckeyes won the series opener, 5-1, with five goal scorers and 28 saves from goalie Matt Tomkins. The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first period, with Drew Brevig and David Gust scoring. At 7:04 of the second Dakota Joshua extended the lead to 3-0. The Badgers answered less than three minutes later with a power play goal, but Ohio State scored once more in the period (Miguel Fidler) for a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Mason Jobst scored the lone goal of the third on the power play at 7:36. Tomkins made 14 of his 28 saves in the final stanza.
• March 11 (Ohio State 3, Wisconsin 1): Ohio State led 1-0 just 2:46 into the game when Mason Jobst scored on the power play. The lead grew to 3-0 after 40 minutes, with Kevin Miller and Brendon Kearney (shorthanded) scoring in the second. The Badgers got on the board with a power play goal midway through the third, but the Buckeyes did not let them get any closer. Buckeye goalie Matt Tomkins had 27 saves in the game, including nine in the third period.
• March 17 – B1G Tournament Semifinals (Wisconsin 2, Ohio State 1): Wisconsin led 1-0 after the first period but the Buckeyes tied the game at 13:48 of the second when they converted their first power play chance of the night with a Dakota Joshua goal. Just 1:30 into the third the Badgers went ahead and the Buckeyes could not find the back of the net the rest of the way, despite outshooting UW 11-4 in the third. Tomkins had 24 saves for the Buckeyes, who were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
A Look at the Badgers
• Wisconsin started its season with a 3-2 win over Michigan Tech in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game last Sunday.
• The Badgers were picked to finish third in the Big Ten in the preseason coaches poll.
• Wisconsin had three players named to the Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch list – forwards Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes and goalie Kyle Hayton.
• Last season, the Badgers were 20-15-1 overall and finished second in the Big Ten with a 12-8-0-0 ledger.
Leading the Way
• Junior Mason Jobst was voted captain for the Buckeyes, while junior Sasha Larocque and senior Luke Stork were tabbed alternate captains for the squad.
• Jobst, from Speedway, Indiana, was a Second Team All-American, First Team All-Big Ten selection and the Big Ten co-Scoring Champion last season after posting a B1G-best 55 points, with 19 goals and 36 assists. He ranked in the Top 8 in the NCAA in points and assists per game overall last season. A B1G All-Freshman Team choice, he has posted 85 points through his first two seasons, tying for 10th nationally among current players in total points. He is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten choice.
• Larocque, a native of Calgary, Alberta, played in 34 games a season ago and had eight assists and nine points. He was in the Top 10 in the Big Ten in blocks (68), blocks per game (2.0) and plus/minus (+18). In his Buckeye career, Larocque has skated in 66 games and has 19 points, with 15 assists. He has earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete honors twice and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team.
• Pittsburgh native Stork has skated in 102 games for the Scarlet and Gray to lead the current Buckeyes in career games played. He saw action in all 39 games a season ago and had 14 points, with six goals and 14 assists. The team’s 2017 Unsung Hero, Stork has 38 points with 17 goals and 21 assists, in his three years with the Buckeyes.
B1G Preseason Picks
• Forwards junior Mason Jobst and senior Matthew Weis were selected to the 17-player Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch list.
• Jobst is a B1G Preseason Player to Watch for the second consecutive year, while Weis, a native of Freehold, New Jersey, is recognized for the first time. Both are Academic All-Big Ten selections (the only two on the B1G Preseason Team) who enter the year with 85 career points.
• Jobst, who was named to the College Hockey News Preseason First Team, had 55 points a season ago, ranking third among the top returning scorers nationally and first among B1G skaters. Weis had 31 points, with nine goals and 22 points, last year.
On the Offense
• Ohio State, which ranked third nationally in goals per game a season ago, returns the fifth-most goals (102) and third-most points (293) among all NCAA teams this year (per College Hockey Inc).
• Four of the team’s Top 6 scorers return, with all four posting 30+ points a season ago – Mason Jobst (55), Dakota Joshua (35), Tanner Laczynski (32) and Matthew Weis (31).
• Of the seven Buckeyes with 10+ goals a season ago, five are back – Jobst (19), Joshua (12), Kevin Miller (11), Laczynski (10) and John Wiitala (10).
• Six Buckeyes had 20+ assists in 2016-17, with four returning – Jobst (36), Joshua (23), Laczynski (22) and Weis (22).
• Four Buckeyes were on NHL opening night rosters.
• Matt Bartkowski is with the Calgary Flames, Zac Dalpe is with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Dzingel is with the Ottawa Sentaors. Anaheim Duck Ryan Kesler it out with injury.
• Another 13 Buckeyes started the season at NHL camps around the league.
• Mike Bales, who was the goaltending coach with the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins the last two years, is now with the Carolina Hurricanes in the same role.
• All seven of the Buckeye seniors from last year earned their Ohio State degrees. Five of the seven signed pro contracts to continue their hockey careers.
Break it Down
• The Buckeye roster this season includes 27 players, who hail from four countries, with 23 from the United States (totaling 11 states), two from Canada and one each from Germany and Ukraine.
• A team-high six Buckeyes are Ohio natives, with five from Michigan and three from Minnesota. Two call Alberta home and two are natives of Illinois. Buckeyes also come from Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
• The squad has six members in the freshman, sophomore and senior classes, with nine juniors.
Follow the Buckeyes
Keep up with the Buckeyes throughout the year online on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, Twitter (@OhioState_MHKY), Instagram (@OhioState_MHKY), facebook (/OhioStateMensHockey) and Snapchat (@OhioState_MHKY).
• The Buckeyes will return home to host Rensselaer Oct. 13-14 in Value City Arena.
• The Friday night game, which starts at 7 p.m. kicks off with Hockey Hour. From when doors open (one hour prior to game time) to puck drop, the concourse will include fun activities for all ages. There will be games to play and interactive activities throughout the concourse. In addition, all drinks will automatically be upgraded to the next size up free of charge.
• The Saturday game faces off at 4 p.m. and is Social Media Night. The first 350 fans will receive a Buckeye Leaf phone popper. Check the team’s social media accounts before the game for special ticket offers. In-game there will be multiple promotions including Tweet Your Seat for Prizes.
• Following the Saturday game, there will be a full-team postgame meet and greet on the concourse.
• Single game, mini plan, group and season tickets are all available for this season’s Buckeye hockey home games.
• To purchase season, mini plan, or group tickets, fans can call 1-800-GOBUCKS or email Athleticsales@osu.edu to speak with an Ohio State Ticket Sales Representative.
• Single game tickets can be purchased online go.osu.edu/MIH17single.