December 27, 2018

Buckeyes Back in Action with Two Games vs. Mercyhurst

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Ohio State PDF Game Notes

Buckeyes vs. Lakers
• The No. 7/5-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team returns to action with a nonconference series vs. Mercyhurst this weekend. 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. ET Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
• Both games will be streamed through the BTN Plus service on BTN2Go.
• Live stats and video links can be found at go.osu.edu/mhkylivestats18.
• 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.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Buckeye Notes to Know

  • The Buckeyes are playing their first home games since going 3-1-0 in a four-game homestand Nov. 16-24, with a sweep of Wisconsin and split with Penn State. The squad is 4-3-0 at home on the year, with a 5-1-3 mark in road games.
  • Ohio State is sixth nationally in team defense, limiting opponents to 2.0 goals per game. The team has given up two or fewer goals in 13 of 16 games this year.
  • The squad is tied for second in the NCAA with five shutouts – Sean Romeo has three and Tommy Nappier, who is second nationally in save percentage (.951) and goals-against average (1.43), has two. The goalie tandem split starts the first eight series of the year. Romeo recently posted a program-record shutout streak of 204:27 and Nappier had a streak of 195:32, the third-longest in school history, end earlier this season.
  • Ohio State had 40-plus shots in each game at Minnesota in its last time out and is fourth nationally in shots on goal per game, averaging 35.19 a night. The team is allowing 28.38 shots on goal a night and has held teams to 20 or fewer shots three times, including in each game at Minnesota. On the year, the Buckeyes have been outshot three times.
  • The Buckeyes are returning from break with a series vs. Mercyhurst for the third time, with a win and a tie on the road Jan. 2-3, 2015 and a sweep at home Dec. 28-29, 2013.
  • All-Americans Mason Jobst and Tanner Laczynski lead the team with 14 points each, with Jobst scoring a team-high 10 goals. Laczynski has 93 career points, looking to become the third Buckeye to hit the 100-point mark as a junior since 2003, and Jobst has 143 career points, aiming to become the first Buckeye to hit 150 points since 1981.
  • The games vs. Mercyhurst close out nonconference regular season play for Ohio State. The squad ends the regular season with 16 consecutive B1G games, rotating between home and away each weekend.

 Back From Break

  • Under sixth-year head coach Steve Rohlik, the Buckeyes are 7-1-1 in their first games/series to start the second half of a season.
  • The team swept Niagara last year in Columbus Dec. 29-3-0, 2017 (3-2, 4-1), lost at Miami Dec. 31, 2016 (6-3), won the Florida College Classic with victories over Boston College (3-2) and Cornell (8-0) Dec. 28-29, 2015, went 1-0-1 at Mercyhurst Jan. 2-3, 2014 (6-3, 2-2 OT) and swept the Lakers Dec. 28-29, 2013 at home (6-3, 7-2).

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.

Just the Stats

  • Through the first 16 games, Ohio State is averaging 2.56 goals a game and allowing 2.00 per contest. The power play is 12-for-74 (.162) and the penalty kill is 51-for-64 (.797). The squad is averaging 9.4 penalty minutes a game, along with 35.2 shots on goal a night (ranking fourth in the NCAA), allowing 28.4 shots a contest.
  • Senior Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with 10 goals, while freshman Gustaf Westlund has a team-high 10 assists. Junior Tanner Laczynski and Jobst share the team point lead with 14 each. Laczynski and Ronnie Hein are tied for second with five goals each, with Laczynski second with nine helpers. Carson Meyer (4g, 6a) and Westlund are tied for third with 10 points each.
  • In goal, Sean Romeo and Tommy Nappier split starts the first eight series. Romeo is 4-3-1, with a 2.35 goals-against average and .912 save percentage, while Nappier is 5-1-2, posting a 1.43 gaa and .951 sv%.
Ohio State Buckeyes

Buckeyes and 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.
  • Eight of the current Buckeye seniors played in at least one of the games in the last series vs. Mercyhurst, with John Wiitala scoring and Mason Jobst picking up an assist.
  • 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.

Complete notes in the PDF above