September 29, 2016

Buckeyes Begin Season with Exhibition Game Sunday


Sept. 29, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team opens its 2016-17 slate at 4 p.m. Sunday when it hosts Wilfrid Laurier in an exhibition game in Value City Arena. The result and statistics from the game will not be included in the Buckeyes’ season totals.

Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio, Ohio State’s online student-run radio station, will broadcast the game on Live stats from the game will be available on GameTracker through Updates will also be on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY.

Tickets can be purchased at the arena on gameday or through Parking is free in designated lots around the arena.

Following the game Sunday, the 2016-17 Buckeyes will be available for a meet and greet on the concourse level.

The first official day of practice for the majority of Division I college hockey teams is Saturday. The Buckeyes have been holding captains practices, working with the strength and conditioning staff and going on the ice with the coaches for a limited number of hours each week during the preseason.

Head coach Steve Rohlik says the depth of this year’s squad will set @OhioState_MHKY apart from the competition.

— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) September 28, 2016

The regular season opens for the Buckeyes with four consecutive games (and six of the first seven) away from Columbus. The squad will travel to Denver for the 2016 Ice Breaker Tournament, taking on the host and No. 3-ranked Pioneers in the opener Oct. 7. The next day Ohio State will face either No. 5 Boston College or Air Force, with the first round winners and losers meeting. This year marks the Buckeyes’ third time in the tournament, after playing in the 1998 edition in Minneapolis and the 2004 tourney in Durham, N.H. Ohio State last played in Denver Oct. 24-25, 2008, splitting a series with the Pioneers.

A game at Miami follows Oct. 15 before a home-and-home series with No. 14 Bowling Green Oct. 21-22, with the series finale in Columbus.

In the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll, the Buckeyes were picked second, behind only defending champion Minnesota. Michigan was third, followed by Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Ohio State was also second in the league with three Buckeyes on the 13-player Preseason Players to Watch list. Defenseman Josh Healey, a First Team All-B1G selection last year, forward Nick Schilkey, who was Second Team All-B1G in 2016, and forward Mason Jobst, a member of the 2016 B1G All-Freshman Team, were all selected by the league’s coaches.

Seniors Nick Schilkey, Drew Brevig and Josh Healey have been selected to serve as captains for Ohio State in 2016-17 after a team vote. Schilkey will wear the captain’s ‘C’ for the second year in a row, while Brevig and Healey will don the ‘A’ as alternate captains.

All three are three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athletes and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selections and have earned All-Big Ten recognition for their on-ice performances.

For Nick Schilkey of @OhioState_MHKY there is a strong tie between working hard at the rink & focusing on academics.

— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) September 28, 2016

Ohio State and Wilfrid Laurier have met 14 times, with the Buckeyes 11-2-1 against the Golden Hawks and winning the last five matchups. The series dates to 1977, with the last meeting Sept. 26, 2003. The Buckeyes prevailed in that contest, 4-1, in OSU Ice Rink.

Wilfrid Laurier is based in Waterloo, Ontario. The team plays in the Ontario University Athletics West conference. The squad has posted a 2-2 record so far this season and was 16-17 a year ago, with a 14-14 ledger in conference play.

Fourth-year wing Derek Schoenmakers, the team’s points (24) and goals (17) leader a year ago, has paced the Golden Hawks with three goals this year. Third-year center Erik Pushka and first-year center Jimmy Soper have also contributed, with two goals each so far. The team has used three goalies this preseason, fourth-year Vinny Merante, third-year Chris Festarini and second-year Colin Furlong. Both Furlong and Merante played last season, with Furlong sporting a 2.79 goals against average while Merante’s stood at 3.15.

Tickets for Buckeye home games can be purchased at the arena on game night, from the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office or through Ticketmaster. For more information, call 1 800-GOBUCKS or look under tickets on

Season tickets, four and eight game packages and group tickets are also available. For more information, fans should contact the Athletic Ticket Sales Office at 1 800-GOBUCKS (select option 2) or to speak with an account executive.

Again this season, Ohio State students are admitted free with a valid BuckID.

All but three Buckeye letterwinners return from last year’s team. The Buckeyes’ roster for this season includes 26 eligible players, with seven seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and five freshmen. The group includes three goalies, eight defensemen and 15 forwards. Transfers Wyatt Ege, a sophomore defenseman, and Sean Romeo, a junior goalie, cannot play this season because of NCAA transfer rules and will be eligible for 2017-18.

The players hail from three countries (United States, Canada and Germany), from 11 states and one Canadian province. Five Buckeyes are Ohio natives, with four each from Minnesota, Michigan and Alberta. Three call Illinois home, with one each from Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Steve Rohlik is in his fourth year as the Buckeyes’ head coach and in his seventh year on the Ohio State staff. Mark Strobel is in his second campaign as the associate head coach and Joe Exter is in his sixth year as an assistant coach with the program.

At least 10 Buckeyes were on NHL training camp rosters this preseason. Three were in Ottawa – Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick, with two in Anaheim in Ryan Kesler and Nate Guenin. Zac Dalpe (Minnesota), Tanner Fritz (New York Islanders), Anthony Greco (Florida), Cal Heeter (Detroit) and Rod Pelley (New Jersey) were also in training camps.

Kesler skated for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey.

Keep up with the Buckeyes throughout the year online on, Twitter (@OhioState_MHKY), Instagram (@OhioState_MHKY), facebook (/OhioStateMensHockey) and Snapchat (@OhioState_MHKY).