Buckeye Hockey This Week
The No. 11 Ohio State men’s hockey team opens a homestand with two games vs. No. 20 Michigan State this weekend. The teams will meet at 5 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena. BTN+ will stream game one, with game two televised by BTN. Ohio State radio will have the call on 1460 AM and the TuneIn app. Gameday Links
Ohio State is 7-4-1 and has a 3-3-0-0 Big Ten ledger after splitting a series at No. 6/5 Penn State. Michigan State, which was 1-0-1 vs. No. 3 Notre Dame last weekend at home, is 6-5-1 overall and 4-1-1-0 in Big Ten play.
For the Michigan State series, Family and Friends Packs are available for the Saturday game (purchase here). The Dec. 1 contest includes Chuck-a-Puck and a Postgame Skate for fans with the Buckeyes. Fans can bring their own skates, or rent for $5. Both Chuck-a-Puck and skate rental are cash only.
A Winter Toy Drive, presented by Meijer, is currently taking place at Ohio State Athletics events. Fans are encouraged to bring new and lightly used toys, stuffed animals and games to donate. Donations will be accepted at both games this weekend, as well as next weekend’s series vs. Minnesota.
In the Rankings
For the third week in a row, Ohio State is No. 11 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
Big Ten teams joining the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll include No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 7 Penn State, No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 20 Michigan State. Minnesota is receiving votes.
Conference schools in the USA Today Top 15 are No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 7 Penn State, with Michigan State the first team receiving votes.
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Split Series with Nittany Lions
In University Park, Pa., last weekend, Ohio State and Penn State split two one-goal games. Penn State won 5-4 Friday, with a 4-3 Buckeye victory Saturday.
The teams traded power play goals in the first period, with Carson Meyer tallying for the Buckeyes. Penn State notched the only two goals of the second for a 3-1 advantage. Ohio State made it a one-goal game at 3:08 of the third on a Gustaf Westlund power play goal, but the Nittany Lions answered less than a minute later. The 4-2 score stood until the final 2:15, when the teams scored three times. Penn State tallied an empty net goal at 17:45. At 18:34 Matthew Jennings scored for the Buckeyes and Tanner Laczynski followed with an extra attacker goal at 19:07, but the Buckeyes could get no closer. Each team was 2-for-4 on the power play and the Buckeyes were outshot, 41-32.
4️⃣ goals, 4️⃣ goal scorers for the Buckeyes tonight.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 23, 2019
The teams traded goals in the first period, with Tanner Laczynski scoring for Ohio State in the final minute. Penn State went ahead 2-1 at 2:53 of the second, but Ohio State scored back-to-back, with a Quinn Preston power play goal and Gordi Myer tally, for a 3-2 advantage. The Nittany Lions got a PPG of their own for a tie score after 40 minutes. Gustaf Westlund notched the gamewinner for the Buckeyes with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation, assisted by Laczynski and Preston. Freshman goalie Ryan Snowden played the third period in relief of injured starter Tommy Nappier, stopping all 15 shots he faced in his first collegiate action to pick up the win. Penn State had the edge in shots, 36-34. The Buckeyes were 1-for-3 on the power play, with Penn State 1-for-2.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 24, 2019
Buckeyes vs. Spartans
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Michigan State, 45-89-13, but is 14-7-3 in Big Ten play vs. the Spartans, with a 7-2-1 advantage in the last 10 games. In Columbus, Michigan State has the lead in the series, 36-23-6.
Last season, Ohio State was 2-1-1 vs. Michigan State. In East Lansing Jan. 4-5, the teams skated to a 7-7 OT tie in game one, with the Spartans scoring in 3×3 overtime, before a 6-0 Buckeye game two win. In Columbus March 1-2 to close the regular season, Ohio State claimed game one 5-1 before a 3-2 MSU win.
Senior Tanner Laczynski has played a team-high 15 games vs. Michigan State and leads the Buckeyes with six goals, 10 assists and 16 points vs. the Spartans. Senior Ronnie Hein has a 5-3-8 line in eight games to rank second in goals, points and games played. Senior Wyatt Ege has six assists (in 10 games) to rank second on the squad in helpers.
B1G Star with an NCAA Play of the Week
Tanner Laczynski earned conference weekly honors for the seventh time in his career, as he was named Big Ten Second Star of the Week Tuesday. The senior forward had three points, with two goals, and 29 faceoff wins in the split at Penn State last weekend. Among his goals was the play below, selected as one of the NCAA Plays of the Week.
#NCAAHockey Plays of the Week 🏒
4️⃣ | Tanner Laczynski opened the scoring in @OhioStateMHKY’s 4-3 win at No. 6 Penn State. In the final minute of the first, he took a stretch pass from Layton Ahac, beat the PSU defender, then puts the puck where Grandma hides the 🍪’s. pic.twitter.com/PZAGeudM0c
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) November 26, 2019
Just the Stats
The Buckeyes are scoring 2.92 goals a game this season, while allowing 2.17 a night to rank 13th nationally in team defense. The power play is sixth in the nation, converting 28.1 percent (16-for-57) and Ohio State has stopped 38-of-45 (.844) opponent power play chances.
Senior Tanner Laczynski and sophomore Gustaf Westlund share the team lead with 13 points each. Westlund has a team-best seven goals and Laczynski is first with nine assists. Laczynski and senior Carson Meyer are tied for second with four goals each. Westlund is second with six helpers, followed by senior Wyatt Ege with five.
Gordi Myer leads the squad with 27 blocked shots, followed by Grant Gabriele with 21. Hein has 16 to rank third and lead the Buckeye forwards. In goal, Tommy Nappier has a 2.13 goals-against average and .926 save percentage while starting the first 12 games.
Michigan State is scoring 2.67 goals a night and allowing 2.50. The power play is fifth in the NCAA, scoring 10 goals on 35 chances (.286) and the penalty kill is 37-for-50 (.740). Patrick Khodorenko has a team-best six goals, seven assists and 13 points. Logan Lambdin is second with four goals and eight points. In goal, John Lethemon has played in 10 games, with a 6-2-1 record, 2.12 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and two shutouts.
Matthew Jennings scored his first goal and point as a Buckeye last Friday at Penn State.
Freshman goalie Ryan Snowden stopped all 15 shots he faced playing in relief in the third period for his first collegiate win Saturday.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 25, 2019
John Wiitala (2016-19) notched his first pro hat trick Friday night for the Cincinnati Cyclones.
— Cincinnati Cyclones (@CincyCyclones) November 23, 2019
Mason Jobst (2016-19) scored his first pro goal last Saturday for Bridgeport. First assist on the tally was from #ProBuck Nick Schilkey (2014-17).
Mason Jobst!!! 🔝🧀 pic.twitter.com/pbfH3qZ6Tz
— Bridgeport Sound Tigers (@TheSoundTigers) November 24, 2019
Off the ice, Zac Dalpe of the Cleveland Monsters shared a song, as well as memories of his mother, who he lost to cancer in 2015.
— Zac Dalpe (@ZacDalpe22) November 25, 2019
— AHL (@TheAHL) November 20, 2019
Freddy Gerard (2016-19) joined the ECHL Toledo Walleye this week.
🚨 PLAYER ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
— Toledo Walleye (@ToledoWalleye) November 26, 2019
The Schedule Ahead
The Buckeyes host Minnesota at 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 to close out the first half of the season.
When the Buckeyes host the Gophers, fans will have the chance to take holiday pictures on the concourse. Donations for the Meijer Toy Drive will be collected at both games.
Single game, miniplan, group and half 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.