This Week in Buckeye Hockey
The No. 12 Ohio State men’s hockey team returns from its week off with a series at Michigan State this weekend. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Both games will be streamed through BTN+ and can be heard on Ohio State radio.
Ohio State enters the series vs. the Spartans 16-10-4 overall and 9-8-3-1 in Big Ten play. Michigan State dropped two games to Michigan, falling 5-1 Friday in East Lansing and losing 4-1 Monday in Detroit, and is now 14-15-1 overall and 10-8-1 in Big Ten play. The teams enter the weekend tied for fourth in the B1G standings, two points back of third, five behind first and two ahead of sixth.
The regular season ends for the Buckeyes with two home games vs. Wisconsin Feb. 28-29 in Value City Arena. Puck drop for game one is 6 p.m., with game two at 8 p.m., preceded by Senior Night ceremonies.
Buckeyes vs. Spartans
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Michigan State, 47-89-13, but is 16-7-3 in Big Ten play vs. the Spartans, with a 7-2-1 advantage in the last 10 games. In East Lansing, Michigan State has the lead in the series, 47-17-7.
The teams met in Columbus Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2019, with Ohio State posting a sweep with 3-1 and 2-0 victories. In the last series in East Lansing Jan. 4-5, 2019, 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.
Senior Tanner Laczynski has played a team-high 17 games vs. Michigan State and leads the Buckeyes with 10 assists and 17 points vs. the Spartans. Laczynski and senior Ronnie Hein share the goal assist lead vs. the Spartans with seven each. Hein, in 10 games vs. MSU, is second with 11 points. Senior Wyatt Ege has six assists (in 12 games) to rank second on the squad in helpers. Sophomore Gustaf Westlund has a 3-1-4 line in four games vs. MSU. In four games in goal, with three starts, Tommy Nappier is 3-0-0 vs. the Spartans, with a .30 goals-against average and .988 save percentage.
Ohio State has five Michigan natives on the roster – Quinn Preston (Trenton), Ronnie Hein (Chelsea), Dalton Messina (Macomb), Grant Gabriele (Brighton) and CJ Regula (Bloomfield Hills).
Looking Back at the Last Series Between the Teams
Game One (OSU 3, MSU 1) – Nov. 30, 2019 (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 (OSU 2, MSU 0) – Dec. 1, 2019 (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.
In the Rankings
This week, the Buckeyes moved up one to No. 12 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.
Big Ten teams joining the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll include No. 11 Penn State and No. 18 Minnesota, with Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame receiving votes.
No. 10 (tied) Penn State joins Ohio State in the USA Today Top 15, with Minnesota receiving votes.
Vote Ohio State!
Fans are encouraged to vote daily, with the first phase of balloting open through March 8. The Top 10 finalists will be announced March 18, with the Hobey Hat Trick finalists revealed April 2.
VOTE DAILY: go.osu.edu/OSUVote4Hobey
Last week, Laczynski was named one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The award is given yearly to a senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Full Release
VOTE DAILY: go.osu.edu/votetannerseniorclass
Just the Stats
The Buckeyes, 16-10-4 this season, are scoring 2.70 goals a game this season, while allowing 2.40 a night. The power play is ninth in the nation, converting 25.4 percent (28-for-114) and Ohio State has stopped 74-of-91 (.813) opponent power play chances.
Senior Tanner Laczynski is first on the team with 20 assists and 27 points. Sophomore Gustaf Westlund has a team-best 12 goals and is second with 12 assists and 24 points. Sophomore Quinn Preston and senior Carson Meyer are tied for second with 11 goals each. Meyer is third with 21 points and 10 assists.
Senior Gordi Myer leads the squad with 58 blocked shots. In goal, junior Tommy Nappier has a 2.13 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, posting a 13-9-3 record in 26 games. Freshman Ryan Snowden has a 2.52 goals-against average and .905 save percentage, notching a 3-1-1 record, in five appearances.
In the B1G
The Schedule Ahead
The regular season ends with two games vs. Wisconsin Feb. 28-29, with Senior Night celebrated on night two. The teams will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 and 8 p.m. Feb. 29.
Single game, miniplan and group 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.