This Week in Buckeye Hockey
The No. 6/7 Ohio State men’s hockey team, after opening the second half of its season with a sweep of Colgate, heads to Las Vegas this weekend for the Fortress Invitational at T-Mobile Arena.
Friday, Ohio State will take on Cornell in the first round at 11:30 p.m. ET, with Army West Point and Providence facing off in the first game at 8 p.m. ET. Championship and consolation games will be held Saturday, with the championship game at 8 p.m. ET and the consolation to follow.
The Buckeye squad, on a seven-game unbeaten streak, is 12-4-2 overall and 6-3-1 in Big Ten play, standing in a tie for second place.
In the Rankings
The Buckeyes are ranked sixth in the USCHO.com and seventh in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings this week. Last week, the squad was tied for sixth in the USCHO rankings and it was seventh in the other poll.
Big Ten teams joining the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll include No. 8 Penn State, No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 18 Michigan State.
No. 8 Penn State joins Ohio State in the USA Today Top 15, with Notre Dame the first team receiving votes.
Ohio State is one of five schools with its men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10 of the USCHO polls, with the Buckeye women No. 5. Joining Ohio State are Cornell (No. 2 men, No. 4 women), Clarkson (No. 4/6), Boston College (No. 5/9) and Minnesota Duluth (No. 10/10).
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Sweep Raiders
Ohio State, playing its first games since early December, posted two wins over Colgate in a nonconference series in Value City Arena over the weekend.
Game One (Full Wrapup)
Ohio State scored twice in the third period for a 3-2 win over the Raiders. Colgate opened the scoring just 3:15 into the game but Buckeye sophomore Quinn Preston tied the score with a power play goal at 11:51. The Raiders again scored early, taking a 2-1 lead 1:50 into the second. The score remained 2-1 in favor of Colgate until near the midpoint of the third period. Tanner Laczynski deadlocked the game at 8:58 and Preston scored the eventual gamewinner at 16:48. Gustaf Westlund and Matt Miller each had two assists in the game, while Laczynski had two points on a goal and an assist. Goalie Tommy Nappier had 26 saves for Ohio State.
Game Two (Full Wrapup)
Ohio State notched a third shutout of Colgate in the last four meetings with a 3-0 win Saturday. The Buckeyes scored just 16 seconds into the game, as Quinn Preston put in a rebound. Ohio State held its one-goal edge until the third period. Gordi Myer put Ohio State up by two 1:19 into the third and Tate Singleton scored on a major power play in the final three minutes for the 3-0 final. Ohio State outshot Colgate, 47-25, with Tommy Nappier stopping all 25 Raider attempts for his second shutout of the year. Ohio State’s penalty kill was 4-for-4, allowing just one shot.
Buckeyes vs. the Fortress Invitational Field
Ohio State is 7-6-0 all-time vs. Cornell, with a 5-4-0 edge in neutral site games. The teams last met Dec. 29, 2015 in the Everblades College Classic championship game in Estero, Fla., an 8-0 Buckeye win. That was the first game between the teams in nearly 10 years.
Friday will be the fourth straight neutral site game between the teams. The squads met Dec. 28, 2003, in the Everblades College Classic, a 4-3 Cornell win in overtime and March 27, 2005, the Big Red posted a 3-2 victory in an NCAA Tournament game in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Buckeyes have played Army West Point just twice, with a 6-1 win in Columbus in the Ohio Hockey Classic Jan. 2, 2009 and a 5-3 victory in the Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt., Jan. 2, 2011.
Against Providence, the Buckeyes trail the series, 3-4-0. The squads met in nonconference series back-to-back years. Oct. 10-11, 2014 in Columbus, the teams split overtime games, with a 5-4 OT Buckeye win and 2-1 OT Friar victory. The next year in Providence, the Friars, the defending NCAA champions, swept the Buckeyes, with 2-1 and 6-4 victories. The teams have never met at a neutral site.
Miguel Fidler, a redshirt senior, is the only Ohio State player to skate against any of the Fortress Invitational teams as a Buckeye. His freshman year, he had three assists in the win over Cornell and he skated in game two at Providence, but did not record a point.
Playing for Trophies
This is the second tournament for the Buckeyes this season. The squad opened the year winning the Ice Breaker in Toledo, with a tie (and shootout goal) vs. Western Michigan and a victory over RIT.
The last winter holiday tournament for the squad was the 2015 Everblades College Classic, where Ohio State topped Boston College and Cornell for the title. Providence was also in the field of that tournament.
Just the Stats
The Buckeyes are scoring 2.78 goals a game this season, while allowing 1.78 a night to tie for fourth nationally in team defense. The power play is 13th in the nation, converting 23.1 percent (18-for-78) and Ohio State has stopped 56-of-65 (.862) opponent power play chances to tie for 13th in the NCAA.
Senior Tanner Laczynski is first on the team with 12 assists and 18 points. Sophomore Gustaf Westlund has a team-best nine goals and is second with 17 points. Sophomore Quinn Preston is second with seven goals, followed by Laczynski with six and senior Carson Meyer with five. Westlund is second with eight assists, Meyer has seven and defensemen Wyatt Ege and Grant Gabriele each have six.
Senior Gordi Myer leads the squad with 37 blocked shots, followed by junior Grant Gabriele with 26. Senior Ronnie Hein has 22 to rank third and lead the Buckeye forwards. In goal, junior Tommy Nappier has a 1.78 goals-against average and .937 save percentage, ranking in the Top 10 nationally, posting a 10-4-2 record in 17 games. Freshman Ryan Snowden has a .75 goals-against average and .976 save percentage, notching a 2-0-0 record, in two appearances.
The Buckeyes enter the Fortress Invitational on a seven-game unbeaten streak, with a 6-0-1 record in the stretch. It is the third-longest active streak in the nation and the team’s longest unbeaten streak since a seven-game winning streak Jan. 12-Feb. 9 last season.
During the last seven games, Ohio State is scoring 2.71 goals a game and allowing 1.29 a night. The power play is 3-for-24 (.125) and the penalty kill is 19-for-22 (.864).
Tanner Laczynski has a team-best four assists and seven points in the last seven games combined, while Quinn Preston is first with five goals and tied with Gustaf Westlund (3g, 3a) for second with six points.
3 Goals for No. 16
Sophomore Quinn Preston scored three goals – including both gamewinners – against Colgate. Friday, he opened the scoring with a power play goal in the first period and then he put the Buckeyes ahead 3-2 in the final four minutes. It was his first career two-goal game as a Buckeye and his fourth career multiple-point outing.
Saturday, Preston opened the scoring just 16 seconds into the eventual 3-0 win.
He has a career-high seven goals this season after scoring four as a freshman last year.
The Buckeyes are 8-1-1 at home this season, with a 7-0-1 record in their last eight games in Value City Arena, after their sweep of Colgate.
The squad wrapped up a stretch of six consecutive home games with the sweep of Colgate. The stretch started with a sweep of Michigan State and then a 1-0-1 weekend vs. Minnesota.
In Columbus, the Buckeyes have scored 2.40 goals a game and allowed 1.30 a night. Tanner Laczynski has a team-best seven assists and 10 points at home, while Quinn Preston is first with six goals.
The squad is 3-3-0 in road games this season, with a 1-0-1 ledger in neutral site contests.
The Schedule Ahead
After the Fortress Invitational, Big Ten play resumes for the Buckeyes with two games at Wisconsin Jan. 10-11. Ohio State will be back in Columbus to host Notre Dame Jan. 16-17.
Single game, miniplan, group and quarter season tickets for the Buckeyes’ 2019-20 season are all on sale now. They can be purchased online (HERE) or by contacting a ticket sales representative by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS (select option 2) or emailing AthleticSales@osu.edu.