Buckeye Hockey This Week
The No. 7/8 Ohio State men’s hockey team closes out the first half of its schedule with a home series vs. Minnesota this weekend. The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers will meet at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena. BTN will televise game one, with a stream on the Fox Sports app. Game two will be streamed by BTN+. Ohio State radio will have the call on 1460 AM Friday and the TuneIn app both nights. Gameday Links
Ohio State is 9-4-1 and has a 5-3-0-0 Big Ten ledger after sweeping Michigan State last weekend with 3-1 and 2-0 victories. Minnesota is 5-8-3 on the year and 2-3-3-2 in league play. The Gophers dropped two games to North Dakota (9-3, 3-2) last weekend in Minneapolis.
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.
In the Rankings
After sweeping Michigan State, the Buckeyes moved up to No. 7 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 8 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ranking. Ohio State had been 11th in both polls the last three weeks.
Big Ten teams joining the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll include No. 6 Penn State, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 19 Wisconsin, with Michigan State and Minnesota among the others receiving votes.
Conference schools in the USA Today Top 15 are No. 6 Penn State and No. 10 Notre Dame.
Ohio State is one of five schools with its men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10, with the Buckeye women No. 5. Joining Ohio State are Cornell (No. 2 men, No. 4 women), Northeastern (No. 8/3), Clarkson (No. 5/7) and Boston College (No. 10/8).
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Sweep Spartans
Last weekend, the Buckeyes posted two wins over Michigan State in Value City Arena. Each night, the game was a one-goal contest until a late empty net goal for the Buckeyes.
Game One (Full Wrapup)
After a quiet first period that included just nine total shots (OSU 5, MSU 4), Gustaf Westlund put the Buckeyes on the board with a 4-on-4 goal at 8:50 of the second. Ronnie Hein extended the advantage to 2-0 at 2:10 of the third. The Spartans made it a one-goal game at 15:11 and pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but Hein sealed the win with a goal with eight seconds remaining. Freshman Ryan Snowden had 26 saves for the Buckeyes, who also blocked 17 shots.
Game Two (Full Wrapup)
Tanner Laczynski scored unassisted 13:14 into the game for a 1-0 Buckeye lead. It was the lone goal until Gordi Myer scored an empty net goal from behind the Buckeye goal line in the final minute for a 2-0 lead. Tommy Nappier had 23 saves for the shutout, including 12 stops in the third period. Ohio State blocked 17 shot attempts and the Buckeye penalty kill was 4-for-4, including two stops in the first half of the opening stanza.
Buckeyes vs. Golden Gophers
Just the Stats
The Buckeyes are scoring 2.86 goals a game this season, while allowing 1.91 a night to rank seventh (tied) nationally in team defense. The power play is tied for seventh in the nation, converting 25 percent (16-for-64) and Ohio State has stopped 44-of-51 (.863) opponent power play chances, ranking 14th nationally.
Senior Tanner Laczynski and sophomore Gustaf Westlund share the team lead with 14 points each. Westlund has a team-best eight goals and Laczynski is first with nine assists. Laczynski is second with five goals, followed by seniors Carson Meyer and Ronnie Hein with four goals each. Westlund is second with six helpers, followed by senior Wyatt Ege, Meyer and Hein with five each.
Senior Gordi Myer leads the squad with 31 blocked shots, followed by junior Grant Gabriele with 23. Hein has 20 to rank third and lead the Buckeye forwards. In goal, junior Tommy Nappier has a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage, posting a 7-4-1 record in 13 games. Freshman Ryan Snowden has a .75 goals-against average and .976 save percentage, notching a 2-0-0 record, in two appearances.
Minnesota, 2-2-1 on the road this season and 5-8-3 overall, is averaging 2.56 goals a game and allowing 3.50 a contest. The power play is 9-for-51 (.176) and the penalty kill is 44-for-53 (.830). Sampo Ranta and Scott Reedy each have team-best six goals. Ranta shares the point lead with Brannon McManus with 10 each, while Jackson LaCombe is first on the squad with eight assists. In goal, Jared Moe is 3-4-1, with a 3.01 goals-against average and .898 save percentage and Jack LaFontaine is 2-4-2, posting a 3.54 goals-against average and .895 save percentage.
Hein X 2
Senior captain Ronnie Hein notched two goals in the win Saturday. His second tally (seen below) never actually went in the net. Hein was tripped driving toward the empty net and with a penalty called on the play, was awarded the goal. It was his fifth career two-goal game and his second this year.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 30, 2019
Hein was featured in Saturday’s edition of the Columbus Dispatch. Read his interview HERE.
Cappy and Quinn
During the BTN broadcast Sunday, the first of Buckeye alum Paul Caponigri’s features with the Buckeyes debuted. Cappy chatted with Buckeye sophomore Quinn Preston about being a Buckeye, his trip to Costa Rica and his go-to goal move.
— Paul Caponigri (@cappy27) December 3, 2019
The Buckeye Goal Leader
Sophomore Gustaf Westlund has a team-best eight goals this season, tying for third in the Big Ten (two back of first place). He had a four-game goal-scoring streak end in game two vs. Michigan State. The eight goals are a career best, passing the five he had last season. He shares the team point lead with 14, five shy of the 19 points he scored as a freshman.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 30, 2019
The Schedule Ahead
After hosting the Gophers, the Buckeyes will have finals and then break for a few weeks. The team will return to game action Dec. 27-28, hosting Colgate. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in game one and 5 p.m. in game two.
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.