January 31, 2018

No. 5/6 Buckeyes Set for Two Games vs. the Spartans

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Jan. 31, 2018

No. 5/6 Ohio State vs. Michigan State (Ohio State Game Notes | MSU Game Notes | OSU Preview Video with Coach Rohlik, Jobst and Romeo)

Date: Friday, Feb. 2 | Time: 7 p.m.  | Venue: Value City Arena | Location: Columbus, Ohio
Watch Online/Mobile: BTN Plus on BTN2Go | Live Stats  | Radio: 1460 AM, Buckeye Vision, TuneIn app

Date: Saturday, Feb. 3 | Time: 7 p.m.  | Venue: Value City Arena | Location: Columbus, Ohio
Watch Online/Mobile: BTN Plus on BTN2Go | Live Stats  | Radio: 1460 AM, Buckeye Vision, TuneIn app

SETTING THE SCENE
• The No. 5/6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team closes out a four-game homestand with two games vs. Michigan State this weekend. The Buckeyes (17-5-4, 10-5-1-0 B1G) and Spartans (9-16-1, 3-12-1-1 B1G) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
• This is the second series between the teams this year. Ohio State posted 4-1 and 5-3 victories in East Lansing Jan. 5-6.
• The Buckeyes are 9-1 in their last 10 games and are on a six-game home winning streak. The squad is coming off two victories over Michigan last weekend. The Spartans were off last weekend and dropped two games to Minnesota in their last series Jan. 18/20.
• Ohio State is in second place in the Big Ten with 31 points, six ahead of Wisconsin in third place and seven ahead of Michigan and Penn State who are tied for fourth, with Minnesota one back of them. Notre Dame is first with 42 points and Michigan State has 11 points in seventh. The Buckeyes, Irish and Spartans have two games in hand on the other four schools. The first place team in the final standings earns a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament, while teams 2-4 host Nos. 5-7 in best-of-three series. Semifinal and final games will also be on campus sites, with the highest remaining seeds hosting. A win is worth three points in the standings. In a tie, each team receives one point and a shootout is held for an extra point.

FOLLOW ALONG
• The games this weekend will be streamed through BTN Plus on BTN2Go online and on mobile devices.
• Ohio State radio will carry the games on 1460 AM in Columbus, through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and on the TuneIn app for mobile devices. Herb Howenstine and John Mowat will call the action.
• Live stats will be available on GameTracker 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.

PROMOTIONAL CALENDAR
Friday promotions include …
• Military Appreciation. All current and former military members receive two free tickets by showing their ID at the ticket office on game night. Military members will also receive 10 percent off concessions at the game.
• Shoe Drive. Fans are encouraged to bring gently used shoes for donation to Soles4Souls.
• Hockey Hour. From 6-7 p.m., there will be fun activities on the concourse and discounts on drinks at the concession stands.
• Postgame Goals. Youth are invited to shoot on the Buckeye goal following the game. No skates needed!
Saturday promotions include …
• Teddy Bear Toss. Bring a new stuffed animal (wrapped in a plastic bag) to throw on the ice during the first intermission. All animals collected will be donated to Ronald McDonald House in Columbus.
• Family and Friends Packs. Ticket packages, which include a game ticket, hot dog, 16 ounce soda and popcorn, are available for groups of 3-9. The packages must be purchased online by noon Friday. Use the code FAMILY on Ticketmaster to access the deal.
• $1 Dog Day. Hot dogs will be available for just $1 (while supplies last).
• Meet and Greet. Select Buckeyes will be available on the concourse for a meet and greet postgame.

TICKETS AND PARKING
• Single game tickets can be purchased online go.osu.edu/MIH17single and at the arena on game night. Ohio State students are admitted free to all regular season home games with a valid BuckID.
• Group tickets are available for Buckeye hockey home games. To purchase, fans can call 1-800-GOBUCKS or email Athleticsales@osu.edu to speak with an Ohio State Ticket Sales Representative.
• Parking is free in designated lots around the arena on game night.

BUCKEYE NOTES TO KNOW
• The Buckeyes are 9-1 in their last 10 games, with the loss on the road at Penn State Jan. 12.
• Ohio State is averaging 3.12 goals per game overall this season and is scoring 3.8 goals a night over its last 10 games.
• Ohio State is first in the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 89-of-98 (.908) opponent power play chances (including all seven vs. Michigan last weekend). The squad averages 9.7 penalty minutes a night (the fifth-lowest average nationally).
• The Buckeyes had a streak of six straight games with a power play end Saturday vs. Michigan with an 0-for-5 night. In the previous six games, the squad converted 11-of-25 (.440) opportunities, with two extra man tallies in five of the six outings. The team is 22-for-106 (.208) this year. Since starting the season 0-for-20 through its first four games, the team is 22-for-86 (.256), ranking seventh nationally since Oct. 19.
• When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (11-0-2). The squad is 6-5-2 when allowing the first tally.
• The Buckeyes are holding teams to 2.08 goals per game to rank fourth nationally in team defense. The team has allowed two or fewer goals in 17 games overall. Sean Romeo is in the Top 10 in the NCAA in goals-against average and save percentage.
• Three Buckeyes – Tanner Laczynski, Matthew Weis and Mason Jobst – are on the Hobey Baker Award fan ballot. The trio leads the Buckeyes in scoring, with Laczynski three points off the NCAA lead with a Big Ten best 36 points. Ohio State is the only school with three of the Top 10 scorers in the Big Ten. • Laczynski (6g, 10a, 16p) and Weis (3g, 12a, 15p) each enter the series with the Spartans on 10-game point streaks. They are two of eight point streaks of 10 or more games by the Buckeyes since 1998.

JUST THE STATS
• Ohio State is averaging 3.12 goals a game and is allowing 2.08 goals per outing, ranking fourth nationally in scoring defense and 19th in scoring offense.
• The Buckeye power play is 22-for-106 (.208) on the year, with a power play goal in six of the last seven games. The squad is tied for 18th in the NCAA with the man advantage.
•The penalty kill has stopped 89-of-98 opponent opportunities (.908), ranking first in the NCAA. The squad averages 9.7 penalty minutes per game.
• Ohio State is averaging 32.8 shots on goal a game and allowing 28.2 shots on goal a night.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski is first on the squad with 24 assists and 36 points and junior Mason Jobst is first with 13 goals, followed by Laczynski with 12. Senior Matthew Weis is second with 20 assists and 28 points, with Jobst third with 13 helpers and 26 points. Junior Freddy Gerard is fourth with nine goals and junior Dakota Joshua and Weis are fifth with eight goals each.
• Sophomore Matt Miller leads the Buckeye blueliners with 11 points and junior Sasha Larocque has a team-high 57 blocked shots.
• In goal, redshirt junior Sean Romeo has started 23 games and has a 1.99 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, with a 14-5-4 record. Freshman Tommy Nappier has three starts and four appearances, posting a 1.92 goals-against average and .940 save percentage, with three wins.

IN THE RANKINGS
• Ohio State has been in the Top 10 for six consecutive polls, ranked in the USCHO Top 20 for 12 straight polls (and 13 weeks overall) and in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 for eight straight rankings. The squad has received votes in every edition of both polls this season.
• Ohio State moved up to No. 5 in the USCHO poll this week, the first time the team has been in the Top 5 since January 2012. The Buckeyes remained sixth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings for the third consecutive week.
• Ohio State moved into the Top 10 in both national polls in the last rankings of 2017, coming in at No. 9 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released Dec. 11 and was No. 8 in the first rankings of 2018.
• The Buckeyes started the year ranked 19th in the USCHO poll, but dropped into the receiving votes category for three polls in a row. The squad moved back into the Top 20 at No. 16 Oct. 30 and remained ranked, moving to a then-high of 11th Nov. 27.
• Ohio State was in the receiving votes category of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 poll through each of the first nine polls. The Buckeyes entered the poll Nov. 27 at No. 13.
• In the latest USCHO poll, six Big Ten teams are ranked – No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 17 Penn State, No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 20 Michigan.
• In the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, Notre Dame is No. 2, Ohio State is No. 6 and Minnesota is No. 12. Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan are receiving votes.

IN THE B1G
• Four of the seven Big Ten teams have played 18 conference games entering the weekend, while Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State each have two games in hand.
• In addition to the Buckeyes vs. Spartans series this weekend, Notre Dame travels to Penn State and Michigan hosts Wisconsin.
• Notre Dame is first in the Big Ten with 42 points and a 14-2-0 ledger. Ohio State is in second with 31 points (10-5-1-0), with Wisconsin standing third with 25 points (7-8-3-1). Michigan (7-9-2-1) and Penn State (6-8-4-2) are tied for fourth with 24 points each, one ahead of Minnesota (23 points, 7-10-1-1). Michigan State has 11 points with a 3-12-1-1 ledger.
• With the addition of Notre Dame to the league this year, the conference has changed its postseason format, going to a three-round format on campus sites. The No. 1 seed will receive a first round bye, with Nos. 2-4 hosting 5-7 in best of three quarterfinal series March 2-4. The highest remaining seeds will then host single game semifinals March 10 before a championship game hosted by the highest remaining seed March 17.
• Teams face each other four times – twice at home and twice on the road. Penn State was the first Big Ten team Ohio State wrapped its season series with, followed by Michigan last weekend and Michigan State this Friday and Saturday.
• In Big Ten games only, Ohio State leads the conference teams in scoring offense (3.25 goals per game), power play (15-for-63, .238) and penalty kill (53-for-57/.930) and ranks second in scoring defense (2.44 goals allowed per game).
• Individually, Tanner Laczynski is first in the conference with 22 points and 1.38 points per game. Mason Jobst has a 10-7-17 line to tie for fourth among league skaters in points and rank second in goals, while Matthew Weis is tied for sixth with 2-14-16 totals and Freddy Gerard is tied for eighth with 15 points, tying for third with nine goals.

BUCKEYES VS. SPARTANS
• In a series that dates to 1964, Ohio State trails the all-time series with Michigan State, 40-87-12, but has the edge in the last 10, 8-1-1.
• In Columbus, the Spartans have the advantage, 34-19-6. The teams have split the last three series on the Buckeyes’ home ice. In all three, Michigan State won the first game and Ohio State won the second game for the split.
• Last year, in Columbus March 3-4, 2017, the Spartans won game one, 5-4, before a 5-3 Buckeye victory in the finale.
• Five Buckeyes call Michigan home – juniors Dakota Joshua (Dearborn) and Brendon Kearney (Northville), sophomore Ronnie Hein (Chelsea) and freshmen Grant Gabriele (Brighton) and Michael Rounds (Mt. Pleasant).
• Among current Buckeyes against Michigan State, junior Mason Jobst has a team-best seven goals and 13 points (in 12 games), while senior Matthew Weis has a team-high eight assists and is second with 12 points (in 14 games). Sophomore Dakota Joshua has a 4-7-11 line to rank third while skating in 12 games. Senior Luke Stork has played a team-high 16 games vs. Michigan State, with classmate Kevin Miller skating in 15 games vs. the Spartans.

THE BUCKEYES LATELY
In the last 10 games … The Buckeyes were 9-1-0, averaging 3.8 goals per game and allowing 1.8 goals per game in the stretch. The power play converted 30 percent of its chances and the penalty kill stopped 89.7 percent of opponent opportunities.
During January … Ohio State was 5-1, averaging an NCAA-best 4.17 goals per game and holding opponents to 2.17 per night. The power play converted 36 percent of its opportunities and the PK stopped 87 percent of its opponents’ chances.
At home … The squad is on a six-game home winning streak after sweeps of Minnesota, Niagara and Michigan. The team averaged 3.68 goals a game and allowed 2.33 goals per night during the six-game run. Overall, the Buckeyes are 7-3-3 at home.
Since Dec. 28 (when the second half of the season started around the country) … Ohio State is 7-1-0, ranking second nationally in winning percentage. The squad is tied for second in scoring offense, scoring 4.0 goals a game, and is allowing 2.0 a night to tie for eighth. The power play is 11-for-33 (.333), tied for third in the NCAA, and the penalty kill is 25-for-29 (.862). In the stretch, the Buckeyes have three of the Top 4 players in points per game in the Big Ten – Tanner Laczynski (1.62), Matthew Weis (1.5) and Mason Jobst (1.14). Laczynski is tied for sixth and Weis tied for 10th nationally.

SPECIAL TEAMS SYNOPSIS
• The Buckeyes rank first in the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 89-of-98 (.908) opponent chances. The squad was 7-for-7 vs. Michigan last weekend, the sixth time this year the team was perfect on the PK in a two-game series.
• Ohio State’s power play has 22 goals on 106 chances (.208) this season. Against Michigan, the Buckeyes were 2-for-3 in game one but 0-for-5 in game two, ending a stretch of six-straight games with at least one power play goal (with multiple power play goals in five of those games).
• The Buckeyes started the season scoreless on the power play in their first four games, going 0-for-20. Since then (starting Oct. 20 at UMass), the squad is 22-for-86 (.256) to rank seventh nationally in that time.
Mason Jobst has seven of the Buckeyes’ power play goals, tying for ninth nationally. Matthew Weis, Dakota Joshua and Tanner Laczynski each have three and John Wiitala has two. Freddy Gerard, Ronnie Hein, Kevin Miller and Christian Lampasso have scored the others.
• Last season, the Buckeyes led the NCAA on the power play, converting 31.6 percent of their chances (49-for-155). On the penalty kill in 2016-17, Ohio State was 120-for-161 (.745).

LACZYNSKI LEADING THE WAY
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski has a team-high 24 assists and 36 points and is second with 12 goals, all career highs.
• He is three points off the NCAA lead, ranking fourth (tied) in total points, and ranks sixth (tied) in points per game, averaging 1.38 per night. His 24 assists are tied for second in the NCAA and he ranks third (tied) nationally in assists per game (.92).
• All 36 of his points have come in the last 22 games (1.64 ppg, ranking first in the NCAA among all players in their last 22 teams games). He has a point in all but two of the last 22 games and is on a current 10-game point streak, with 6-10-16 totals during the current streak.
• He is second nationally with 25 even strength points and .96 even strength points per game.
• Eight of his points have been on gamewinning goals, tying for second in the NCAA. He scored the gamewinning goal with 6.3 seconds left vs. Niagara Dec. 29. It was his second late gamewinner, as he put the Buckeyes ahead with 2:31 left at Robert Morris. He also had the GWG at Michigan Nov. 26.
• In his Buckeye career, Laczynski has a 22-46-68 line in 60 games. He is fifth among current NCAA sophomores/juniors/seniors (second among sophomores) with 1.13 points per game.

Complete notes in the PDF above