Dec. 27, 2017
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Setting the Scene
• The No. 9-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team hosts Niagara this weekend to open the second half of the schedule. The Buckeyes (10-4-4, 5-4-1-0 B1G) and Purple Eagles (9-7-1, 8-4-1 AHA) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
• The games will be streamed through BTN Plus on BTN2Go online and for mobile devices.
• 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.
Youth Hockey Jersey Weekend, Promotions, Tickets and Parking
• All youth (12 and under) who wear a hockey jersey to a Buckeye game this weekend will receive the youth ticket rate of $8 for tickets to the game that night for everyone in his or her family.
• Friday kicks off with Hockey Hour. From 6-7 p.m., fun activities for all ages will be available on the concourse, with games to play and interactive activities. In addition, all drinks will be discounted.
• Saturday is a Brutus Buddies game. All Brutus Buddies will receive free admission to the game. For more information or to sign your child up for Brutus Buddies, visit BrutusBuddies.com.
• Single game, mini plan and group tickets are available for Buckeye hockey home games. To purchase 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 and at the arena on game night. Ohio State students are admitted free to all regular season home games with a valid BuckID.
• Parking is free in designated lots around the arena on game night.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State moved into the Top 10 in both national polls in the final rankings of 2017, coming in at No. 9 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released Dec. 11.
• 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, five Big Ten teams are ranked – No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 13 Wisconsin, and No. 15 Penn State. Michigan is receiving votes.
• In the last USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, Notre Dame is No. 3, Ohio State is No. 9, Minnesota is No. 10, Penn State is No. 13 and Wisconsin is No. 15, with Michigan receiving votes.
Last Time Out
• Ohio State last played Dec. 8-9, sweeping Minnesota in Columbus. The Buckeyes won the opener in overtime, 2-1, and claimed a 4-1 victory in game two.
• Niagara’s last series was also Dec. 8-9. The squad lost two games to Canisius in a home-and-home series, with a 4-2 loss at home and 8-2 defeat on the road.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State last played Dec. 8-9, sweeping then-No. 7 Minnesota with a 2-1 overtime win and 4-1 victory. It was the squad’s fourth sweep of the year (second in league play) and third time this year allowing two or fewer combined goals in a two-game series.
• Ohio State is in the midst of a six-game homestand. The Buckeyes are 3-3-3 at home this season and are 7-1-1 on the road, ranking second nationally in road winning percentage (.833) behind 8-0-0 Notre Dame.
• The series vs. Niagara closes nonconference play for the Buckeyes. The squad is 5-0-3 in out of league games this season (1-0-2 at home, 4-0-1 away), joining 5-0-0 St. Cloud State as the two teams nationally without a nonconference loss. The Buckeyes rank third in the NCAA in nonconference winning percentage (.812).
• The Buckeyes, 10-4-4 this season, are averaging 2.72 goals per game and allowing 2.11 a game, while the power play is 11-for-73 (.151) and the penalty kill is 64-for-69 (.928). In the first half of the season last year, the squad was 9-2-4, scoring 4.53 goals a game and giving up 2.8 per contest. The power play was 16-for-68 (.235) and the penalty kill was 53-for-71 (.746).
• Ohio State leads the NCAA on the penalty kill and ranks fifth in scoring defense. The team has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 games this season. The squad was 10-for-10 on the penalty kill vs. Minnesota in the last series (5-for-5 each night).
• When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (6-0-2). The squad is 4-4-2 when allowing the first tally. The team has nine first period goals this year and has led after the first period in five of 18 games.
• Buckeye associate head coach Steve Miller is currently with Team USA on the staff for the World Junior Championship as an assistant coach. He was part of the gold medal winning team last year, along with current Buckeye sophomore Tanner Laczynski.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski leads Ohio State with 15 assists and 23 points, with all 21 points coming in his last 14 games. Since Oct. 19, Laczynski is tied for first in the NCAA with 1.64 points per game. Laczynski is averaging 1.06 career points per game as a Buckeye, standing eighth among current NCAA sophomores/juniors/seniors.
• Junior Mason Jobst hit the 100-point mark in the series vs. Minnesota, joining Ryan Dzingel (2014) and RJ Umberger (2003) as Ohio State players to hit triple digits in three years since 2001. He is tied for fourth among current NCAA sophomores/juniors/seniors with 1.12 points per game and has a 9-9-18 line this year.
• Redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo has started 17 of 18 games and is in the Top 10 nationally in goals-against average (1.93) and save percentage (.928, with 30 or more saves in six straight games.