March 12, 2014
Ohio State vs. Penn State
Friday, March 14, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 15, 3 p.m.
Pegula Ice Arena, University Park, Pa.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team (15-12-5, 5-8-5-4 B1G) wraps up its regular season slate with two games at Penn State (6-24-2, 2-15-1-0 B1G) this weekend. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa.
The games at Penn State will be broadcast online through GoPSUSports.com and available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com as part of Buckeye Vision subscription packages.
IMG/Ohio State radio, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call, will carry the action as well. Both games will be available live through Buckeye Vision subscriptions on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and over the air in Columbus on 1460 AM.
Audio, video and live stats links for the games vs. Penn State, as well as all games throughout the season, are on the men’s hockey schedule or gameday pages (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with in-game updates also on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY.
In the B1G
This season marks the first for men’s hockey as a Big Ten Conference sport. The six teams that make up the league – Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin – each play a 20-game league schedule, facing each opponent twice at home and twice on the road. All six teams advance to the Big Ten Tournament in the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The Top 2 teams receive a bye into the semifinals, with the No. 4 and 5 seeds and No. 3 and 6 seeds meeting in the first round. The tournament champion receives the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Minnesota and Wisconsin have already locked up the first-round byes. The first-round matchups will be Ohio State vs. Michigan State and Michigan vs. Penn State, but final seeding will not be determined until after games this weekend.
This is the final week of the regular season with three two-game series closing play, as Ohio State plays at Penn State, Minnesota travels to Michigan and Michigan State. Entering the weekend, Minnesota is first with 42 points, followed by Wisconsin in second with 37 points. Michigan is third with 30 points, with Ohio State fourth (24 points), Michigan State fifth (19 points) and Penn State sixth (7 points). A team receives three points for a win in regulation or overtime. If a game is tied after a 5-minute overtime, each team receives one point and a three-round shootout is held to determine which team gets a second point.
Minnesota needs one point to clinch a share of the title and two points to claim the outright title, regardless of what Wisconsin does. Michigan is locked in third place but Ohio State can tie the Wolverines for third with two wins and two Wolverine losses. Michigan State can finish fourth or fifth and Penn State will finish sixth.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes hosted No. 1-ranked Minnesota last weekend. The Gophers won game one, 5-1. In game two, Ohio State came from a goal down twice in the third period for a 2-2 OT tie and then won the shootout, 1-0 in three rounds, to pick up the extra point in the Big Ten standings.
Penn State took on Wisconsin in two games in University Park. The Badgers won the opener, 4-2, before a 3-2 Wisconsin win in overtime in the second game.
Ohio State, under first-year head coach Steve Rohlik, is 15-12-5 on the year and 5-8-5-4 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games, winning all four shootouts to pick up 17 of 30 points in the Big Ten standings in the stretch.
The Buckeyes are averaging 3.22 goals a game to tie for second in the Big Ten and 13thin the NCAA in scoring offense and are allowing 2.72 goals a contest. Ohio State’s power play is 30-for-140 (.214), ranking 11th nationally and first in the conference, and the penalty kill is 97-for-123 (.789). The team averages 10.9 penalty minutes per game and 33.6 shots on goal per outing.
Junior Ryan Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 18 goals, 22 assists and a Big Ten-best 40 points. Junior Max McCormick and freshman Nick Schilkey are tied for second with 11 goals each, while junior Tanner Fritz is second with 20 assists. McCormick is second on the squad in points (28), followed by Fritz (26) and junior Nick Oddo (7g, 18a, 25p). Schilkey and senior Alex Szczechura (8g, 13a) have also topped the 20-point mark. Oddo is first with a +21 mark with Dzingel second at +13. Junior Justin DaSilva has blocked a team-high 77 shots. In goal, three freshmen have picked up wins for the Buckeyes. Christian Frey joined the team in December and has started 10 contests (including nine of the last 11), with a 6-3-3 ledger, 2.32 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. Matt Tomkins has a 2.68 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 16 games (14 starts). Logan Davis has played in five games, with four starts, posting a 2.21 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout.
Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
Ohio State and the Nittany Lions have met three times since Penn State became a Division I program in 2012-13. The first matchup was Dec. 29, 2012 in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, a 5-4 PSU win. The teams met as Big Ten foes for the first time Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 in Columbus, with Ohio State claiming both games (5-1, 5-2).
A Look at the Lions
Penn State is 6-24-2 on the year and 2-15-1 in the Big Ten, with both conference wins over Michigan. Three of the team’s last eight games have gone to overtime, with the Nittany Lions 1-1-1 in those contests. The squad enters the weekend on a five-game losing streak, with a loss at Michigan, two losses at Minnesota and two home losses against Wisconsin last weekend. Penn State is averaging 2.22 goals a game and allowing 3.75 an outing. The power play is 20-for-116 (.172) and the penalty kill is 116-for-143 (.811). The team averages 34.5 shots a game and allows 32.5 an outing.
Eric Scheid leads Penn State with 11 goals and 19 points and Luke Juha is first with 10 assists, ranking fourth with 14 points. David Goodwin is second with 16 points, tying Taylor Holstrom for second with nine assists each. Casey Bailey is second on the squad with nine goals this year. In goal, Matt Skoff is 6-12-2, with a 3.23 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. Eamon McAdam is 0-9-0, with a 4.09 gaa and .882 sv%.
Earlier This Season – Ohio State Sweeps Penn State
Game 1 (Jan. 31) – Ohio State 5, Penn State 1: Behind 46 saves from freshman goalie Christian Frey and 11 points from its junior class, Ohio State downed Penn State, 5-1, in the first Big Ten game between the schools. The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period on a Max McCormick goal at 9:30. In the second, Matt Johnson and McCormick scored 26 seconds apart for a 3-0 Buckeye lead and Ryan Dzingel tallied shorthanded to put Ohio State up 4-0 after two periods. Penn State got on the board at 3:55 of the third but Dzingel converted when Penn State pulled its goalie with 12 minutes remaining and the teams skating 4-on-4 to put the Buckeyes on top, 5-1. Frey made 17 saves in the first period, 10 in the second and 19 in the third for the win. Game 2 (Feb. 1) – Ohio State 5, Penn State 2: Ohio State scored five unanswered goals to defeat Penn State, 5-2, and earn a series sweep of the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes gave up two goals early in the first period to Penn State but scored three times in the second, including back-to-back power play goals from Tanner Fritz and Ryan Dzingel less than two minutes apart, to tie the game and then take the lead. Sophomore Anthony Greco’s goal with 1:07 left in the second broke the two-all tie and stood as the gamewinner. Max McCormick scored early in the third for a 4-2 advantage and Darik Angeli sealed the win with an empty-net goal late in the third. Dzinge had a team-best three points on a goal and two assists. Fritz had a goal and a helper for two points and freshman Nick Schilkey picked up two assists.
Complete notes, stats and updated bios available in the PDF linked above