This Week in Buckeye Hockey
The No. 9 Ohio State men’s hockey team is back in Columbus, hosting No. 18 Notre Dame in a Big Ten series in Value City Arena this weekend. The teams will meet at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.
The game Friday will be televised by BTN and available through the Fox Sports app, while Saturday’s game will be streamed through BTN+. Both games can be heard on Ohio State radio.
The Buckeyes, coming off a split at Wisconsin, are 14-6-2 overall and 7-4-1-0 in Big Ten play. Notre Dame, swept at home by Michigan last weekend, is 10-9-3 this season, with a 5-5-2-1 record in conference action.
Friday is Military Appreciation night, with free tickets available for military members and their families on VetTix. Youth can shoot on the Buckeye net postgame and there will also be a Chuck-a-Puck (cash only).
Saturday is the First Responders Appreciation game. The team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss is that night and fans are encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to throw on the ice to donate. They will be collected and delivered by the Buckeyes to Ronald McDonald House. Postgame, there will be a meet and greet with half of the Buckeye squad (Nos. 2-18). The day starts with the First Responders Faceoff, a game between Columbus Police and Columbus Fire, which starts at 1 p.m. (doors open at noon at the northeast corner of the arena). A ticket to the Buckeye game also includes the FRF. The First Responders game will be general admission seating.
In the Rankings
This week, the Buckeyes are ranked ninth in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings. This is the sixth consecutive set of polls the Buckeyes are in the Top 10 (dating to Dec. 2).
Big Ten teams joining the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll include No. 6 Penn State, No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 20t Michigan State.
No. 6 Penn State joins Ohio State in the USA Today Top 15, with Notre Dame and Michigan State receiving votes.
Ohio State is one of four 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. 1 men, No. 4 women), Clarkson (No. 7/7) and Minnesota Duluth (No. 8/10).
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Split with Badgers
Ohio State returned to Big Ten play last weekend with two games at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes posted a 4-2 win in game one before falling 5-2 in the series finale. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Buckeyes vs. the Badgers.
Game One (Full Wrapup)
Carson Meyer opened the game with a power play goal at 10:13 of the first, the only goal of the period. In the second, the teams traded goals twice, with Grant Gabriele and Gustaf Westlund each answering a Badger goal, giving Ohio State a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Ronnie Hein pushed the Buckeye lead to 4-2 at 12:19 of the third. Ohio State, which was 2-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, had the shot advantage, 30-28. Meyer led the Buckeyes with an Ohio State career-best three points on a goal and two assists and Westlund had a helper for a two-point night. Wyatt Ege had two assists in the win.
Last night’s goals in the 4-2 win over the Badgers⤵️⤵️
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) January 11, 2020
Game Two (Full Wrapup)
Wisconsin opened the scoring in the first period and Buckeye senior Ronnie Hein scored on the power play late in the stanza for a 1-1 game after 20 minutes. The Badgers took control in the second, scoring four goals in a row to take a 5-1 lead. Sam McCormick tallied for Ohio State to end the run at 17:12 of the second. Neither team scored in the third. The Buckeyes outshot Wisconsin, 29-27. Ohio State was 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Buckeyes vs. Irish
All-time, the series between Ohio State and Notre Dame is tied (according to the Buckeye record book), 39-39-10, with the first game Feb. 13, 1965. In Columbus, Ohio State has the advantage, 20-17-6. Notre Dame is ahead in Big Ten regular season games, 6-4-0, after sweeping the Buckeyes in South Bend Nov. 8-9.
Among the current Buckeyes, Gordi Myer and Austin Pooley have played a team-high 11 games vs. the Irish, followed by Wyatt Ege with 10. Matt Miller leads the team with six points, on two goals and four assists, against Notre Dame (while skating in nine contests). Carson Meyer also has two goals vs. Notre Dame and Ege shares the team assist lead with Miller with four each.
Just the Stats
The Buckeyes, 14-6-2 this season, are scoring 2.73 goals a game this season, while allowing 2.05 a night rank fifth (tied) nationally in team defense. The power play is 10th in the nation, converting 24.4 percent (22-for-90) and Ohio State has stopped 63-of-75 (.840) opponent power play chances. The squad is eighth nationally with 14.18 blocked shots per game.
Senior Tanner Laczynski is first on the team with 14 assists and 21 points. Sophomore Gustaf Westlund has a team-best 10 goals and is second with 20 points. Senior Carson Meyer, sophomore Quinn Preston and Laczynski are tied for second with seven goals each. Westlund is second with 10 assists, followed by Meyer with nine.
Senior Gordi Myer leads the squad with 45 blocked shots, followed by junior Grant Gabriele with 31. Senior Ronnie Hein has 23 to rank third and lead the Buckeye forwards. In goal, junior Tommy Nappier has a 1.86 goals-against average and .933 save percentage, ranking in the Top 10 nationally, posting a 12-5-2 record in 20 games. Freshman Ryan Snowden has a 2.61 goals-against average and .913 save percentage, notching a 2-1-0 record, in three appearances.
The Irish, 10-9-3 on the year, are scoring 2.59 goals a night and allowing 2.77 per contest. The power play is 11-for-64 (.172) and the penalty kill is 49-for-64 (.766). Cam Morrison has a team-best 18 points and 12 assists. Mike O’Leary is first with seven goals and ranks second with 17 points, tying with Cal Burke for second with 10 assists.
In the B1G
Game Time Bingo
Ohio State is on a stretch with varied start times each night. The streak started in Las Vegas, with start times of 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. (which was actually 9:25 p.m. when puck dropped) local time. Last weekend at Wisconsin, puck drop was 8 p.m. local for game one and 7 p.m. local for game two.
This weekend in Columbus, Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m., with the Saturday contest at 5 p.m.
The Schedule Ahead
Ohio State will travel to Minnesota for two games Jan. 24-25. Puck drop for game one is at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET, televised by FSN+, with the broadcast also on FS Ohio and TSN. Game two, slated for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET, will be on BTN. The Buckeyes will then head to Ann Arbor for a pair of 7:30 p.m. games against Michigan Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
The next home games are vs. Penn State Feb. 7-8. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. for game one and 5 p.m. for game two. A snowglobe ticket package is available for the first game, which is also $1 dog night, has Hockey Hour on the concourse pregame and features postgame goals for youth. During game two, Script Ohio on Ice will be performed during intermission and there will be a postgame meet and greet with select student-athletes (Nos. 19-72).
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.