SETTING THE SCENE
– The Ohio State men’s hockey team heads to Saint Paul, Minnesota and the Xcel Energy Center this week for the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four. The No. 1 seed Buckeyes (26-9-5) will take on No. 3 seed Minnesota Duluth (23-16-3) at 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET Thursday.
– No. 1 seed Notre Dame (27-9-2) faces No. 2 Michigan (22-14-3) in the other semifinal at 8:30 p.m. CT/9:30 p.m. ET Thursday. The national championship game is set for 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
– Ohio State won the Midwest Regional, with victories over Princeton (4-2) and Denver (5-1) to advance. The Bulldogs defeated Minnesota State in overtime (3-2) and Air Force (2-1) in the West Regional to reach the Frozen Four for the second straight year.
– The Buckeyes and Bulldogs met in the NCAA Tournament last year, with UMD winning in overtime, 3-2, in Fargo, North Dakota.
– The Buckeyes are making their second consecutive NCAA appearance and the eighth in program history. This is the squad’s second trip to the Frozen Four and first since 1998.
– Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan all play in the Big Ten. This is the fifth time (first since 2005) a Frozen Four has included three or more teams from the same conference.
"Our goal is two games from now" – Coach Rohlik
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) April 2, 2018
– The Frozen Four semifinal games will be televised by ESPN2 and the final will be on ESPN. All three contests will be available on Watch ESPN, the ESPN app and on TSN Go in Canada. John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich will call the action.
– Ohio State radio will carry the Buckeyes’ NCAA games on 1460 AM in Columbus, on the Tune In app and through Buckeye Vision, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat on the call.
– Westwood One radio, with Brian Tripp, Pat Micheletti and Shireen Saski calling the action, will have the national radio broadcast of the Frozen Four. The broadcasts can be heard on Sirius/XM College Sports Nation (Channel 84), Tune In Radio and online through westwoodonesports.com and ncaa.com.
– Live stats will be available through a link on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and NCAA.com.
– Radio, 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.
BUCKEYE NOTES TO KNOW
– The Buckeyes are making their second NCAA Frozen Four trip and the program’s first since 1998. Ohio State, a No. 1 seed for the first time, downed Princeton and Denver, 4-2 and 5-1, respectively, in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
– Ohio State is 26-9-5 on the year. The last time the team had 25 or more wins was a stretch of three years from 2003-05 when the squad won 25, 26 and 27 games, respectively. The team was 21-12-6 last year, giving the squad back-to-back 20+ win seasons for the first time since the Buckeyes had four straight years with 20 or more wins from 2002-05.
– Ohio State ranks in the Top 10 in the NCAA in penalty kill (1st/.893), wins (3rd/26), winning percentage (4th/.712), penalty minutes per game (4th/8.7), team defense (3rd/2.08 goals allowed per game), power play (7th/.239) and scoring offense (10th/3.25 goals scored per game). Ohio State is one of two teams (Minnesota State) to rank in the Top 10 nationally in GF, GA, PP and PK.
• When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (19-0-3). The squad is 7-9-2 when allowing the first tally.
– Six Buckeyes have notched double-digit goals, led by junior Mason Jobst, who notched goals 20 and 21 in the regional. Ten Ohio State players have double-digit assists, led by sophomore Tanner Laczynski with 30. Laczynski (46) and Jobst (43) have both crossed the 40-point mark. Fourteen Buckeyes have 10+ points this season. In the NCAA Midwest Regional, 12 Buckeyes got on the scoresheet.
– Steve Rohlik was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, the first Ohio State coach to win the award since 1998, and is a finalist for national coach of the year. Forward Tanner Laczynski, a finalist for league player of the year honors, was a First Team All-Big Ten selection, while forward Mason Jobst, junior Sasha Larocque and goalie Sean Romeo were named Second Team All-Big Ten and Matthew Weis was an honorable mention selection. Goalie Tommy Nappier was named to the B1G All-Freshman Team and Christian Lampasso received the Sportsmanship Award. Romeo was also a semifinalist for the Mike Richter national goaltender of the year award.
– Ohio State is second in the country in third period goals and has outscored opponents 60-30 in the third period.