The No. 7/5 Ohio State men’s hockey team is back in action this week with two home games vs. Mercyhurst. The Buckeyes (9-4-3, 4-2-2-2 B1G) and Lakers (8-8-2, 6-5-1 AHA) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus. The games will be streamed through BTN Plus, with live stats also available. Links are HERE.
The games are the Buckeyes’ first since tying two games 2-2 (and scoring in 3×3 overtime) at Minnesota Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Mercyhurst last played Dec. 7-8, splitting a series at Air Force with a 2-0 loss and 4-1 win.
The Ohio State players were on campus through Dec. 14 before leaving Columbus for their holiday break. The team arrived back earlier this week to start preparations for the second half.
Buckeyes vs. Lakers
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Mercyhurst, 6-2-1, with a 4-2-0 ledger in Columbus.
The teams last met Oct. 30-31, 2015, splitting two games in Value City Arena. The Lakers won game one 2-1 before a 5-1 Ohio State victory in game two.
The first game between the teams was a 5-2 Ohio State win Nov. 30, 1999. The Lakers won 3-2 in Columbus Oct. 24, 2003, followed by a five-game unbeaten streak in the series for the Buckeyes. Ohio State won 2-1 in the Lefty McFadden Invitational in Dayton Oct. 12, 2007, swept a series in Columbus Dec. 28-29, 2013 (6-3, 7-2) and won Jan. 2, 2015 in Erie, Pa., 6-3. The teams tied the next night, 2-2, to close the weekend series.
The Buckeyes enter this year’s series averaging 2.56 goals a game and allowing 2.0 a contest overall. The power play is 12-for-74 (.162) and the penalty kill is 51-for-64 (.797). Ohio State averages 35.2 shots on goal a night, allowing 28.4 a contest, and has been assessed 9.4 penalty minutes a game. The Lakers have scored 2.61 goals a night and allowed 3.22 per game. The power play is 11-for-91 (.121), with the penalty kill 62-for-81 (.765). Mercyhurst has averaged 26.7 shots on goal a game, with opponents averaging 31.7. The Lakers averaged 13.8 penalty minutes per game.
Coach Miller with Team USA
Buckeye associate head coach Steve Miller is an assistant coach for USA Hockey at the World Junior Championship again this year. The squad practiced in Washington before heading to Victoria, British Columbia for its pool play games, opening the tournament with a 2-1 win over Slovakia Wednesday. Team USA plays Kazakhstan Friday, Sweden Saturday and Finland Monday. The quarterfinal round starts Jan. 2, with the semifinals Jan. 4 and gold medal and bronze medal games Jan. 5.
This marks the third consecutive tournament Miller is serving on the United States staff at the World Junior Championship. He was part of the 2017 gold-medal winning squad (that included Buckeye Tanner Laczynski) and coached on the 2018 team that won a bronze medal.
Read about senior Brendon Kearney’s journey to Ohio State, his time in the Scarlet and Gray and more in his own words
Can’t begin to express how special Ohio State has become to me. Never thought I would end up in Columbus but the memories and friends I’ve made here will last a lifetime. Happy holidays to all, and as always.. Go Bucks! https://t.co/RPMghy7IeY
— Brendon Kearney (@bkearney17) December 25, 2018