Oct. 18, 2017
RELATED INFO: Ohio State PDF Game Notes | Video preview with Coach Rohilk, Weis, M. Miller, Romeo and Larocque | 2017-18 Team Guide | 2017-18 Schedule | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Setting the Scene
• The Ohio State men’s hockey team heads east for two games vs. Massachusetts this weekend. The Buckeyes (1-1-2, 1-1-0-0 B1G) and Minutemen (3-1-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
• The games will be streamed through the UMass All-Access subscription package on UMassAthletics.com, with a UMass radio broadcast available online and on the TuneIn App for mobile devices.
• Video, radio and live stats links can be found on the men’s hockey schedule and gameday pages on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with ingame updates on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY as well.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) October 18, 2017
Buckeye Notes to Know
• The Buckeyes are 1-1-2 this season. The squad opened the year with a Big Ten Conference series at Wisconsin, with each team posting a 3-2 win. The Buckeyes recorded back-to-back 1-1 overtime ties with Rensselaer last weekend in Columbus.
• Ohio State and UMass have met just once, a 2-2 overtime tie in the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla., Dec. 28, 2002.
• Ohio State is traveling for a series in Massachusetts for the first time since two games at Merrimack Jan. 17-18, 1997. The team’s last two games in the state were both NCAA contests – an East Regional game vs. Maine in 1999 and a Frozen Four game vs. Boston College in 1998.
• The Buckeyes led the NCAA in road wins (13) and road winning percentage (.806) last season with a 13-2-3 road ledger. This season, five of the team’s first eight games are away from Columbus.
• Ohio State was 21-12-6 last season and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. The squad lost to eventual national runner-up Minnesota Duluth in overtime, 3-2, in the first round of the West Regional.
• The Buckeyes return 19 letterwinners from the 2016-17 squad, adding two eligible transfers who sat out last season and six freshmen. The squad last year led the NCAA on the power play (31.6 percent) and ranked third in scoring offense, averaging 3.92 goals per game.
• Junior Mason Jobst, a 2017 Second Team All-American, and senior Matthew Weis were both named to the Preseason Big Ten Players to Watch list. The duo entered the season with 85 career points each.
• Three Buckeyes – John Wiitala (2g, 2a), Mason Jobst (2g, 2a) and Freddy Gerard (1g, 3a) – share the team point lead with four each. Wiitala has a point in each of the first four games this season.
Last Time Out
• Ohio State skated to back-to-back 1-1 overtime ties with Rensselaer last weekend in Columbus.
• Game One: In the home opener Friday, the Buckeyes put 57 shots on net, but were able to get just one by Chase Perry, a second-period tally by Dakota Joshua. RPI tied the game later that period with a power play goal. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way. OSU led 15-11 in shots in the third period and RPI had the edge 5-4 in overtime. A shootout was held following overtime, with the Buckeyes winning 1-0 in three rounds. Sean Romeo had 23 saves in the Buckeye net.
• Game Two: RPI led just 56 seconds into the game, but Romeo shut out the Engineers the rest of the way, stopping the final 22 shots he faced. The Buckeyes tied the game in the second period, when Christian Lampasso scored at 2:16. In the exhibition shootout, Romeo made three saves and Tanner Laczynski scored in round three for an OSU win.
Just the Stats
• Ohio State has scored and allowed seven goals this season, an average of 1.75 goals per game.
• The Buckeye power play has started the year scoreless on its first 20 chances.
• The penalty kill has stopped 12-of-13 opponent opportunities (.923).
• Ohio State is averaging 31.8 shots on goal a game (including putting 57 on net Friday vs. Rensselaer, the most for the squad since posting 52 vs. Mercyhurst Oct. 31, 2015). Taking out the first RPI game, the squad has averaged 23.3 shots on goal per outing. The team is allowing 23.0 shots on goal a night, ranking fifth in the NCAA in shots allowed per game.
• Juniors John Wiitala and Mason Jobst lead the squad with two goals each, while classmate Freddy Gerard has a team-best three assists. The trio are tied for first with four points each.
• In goal, Sean Romeo started the first four games and has a 1.69 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
Buckeyes vs. Minutemen
• Ohio State and UMass have met just once, facing off in the Florida College Classic Dec. 28, 2002 in Estero, Fla. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.
• In the game, the Minutemen led 1-0 after the first period on a power play goal. In the second, Ohio State tied the game just 43 seconds into the period when Daymen Bencharski scored. UMass scored its second power play goal of the game at 15:34 but with 15 seconds left in the period, Ohio State notched its own power play tally to deadlock the score. RJ Umberger notched the game-tying goal, marking point 100 of his Ohio State career. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way and Buckeye goalie Mike Betz had saves in the game. A five-round shootout was held to determine who would advance to the championship game, with UMass prevailing, 2-1 in five rounds.
• Massachusetts, which was 5-29-2 last season, enters the series 3-1. The squad opened the year with a split at Arizona State, losing the opener 5-3 before a 4-2 win in game two. The Minutemen won two games last weekend, topping Union on the road 5-4 before a 3-1 win over American International at home.
• The Minutemen are averaging 3.75 goals a game and allowing 3.0 an outing. The power play is 3-for-18 (.167) and the penalty kill is 18-for-20 (.900). The squad averages 29.5 shots a night and gives up 26.0 per outing.
• John Leonard is first on the team with three goals, four assists and seven points. Oliver Chau is second with five points and is one of three Minutemen with two goals and one of three with three assists.
• Two goalies have split time. Matt Murray is 2-0, with a 1.50 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Ryan Wischow is 1-1, posting a 4.02 goals-against average and .855 save percentage. • UMass is a member of Hockey East, where it is joined by Boston College, Boston University, UConn, Maine, UMass Lowell, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Providence and Vermont. The Minutemen were 2-19-1 in conference play last season.
• Ohio State will take on Hockey East school UConn Nov. 10-11 in a road series. The Huskies are the last Hockey East team the Buckeyes have faced. The squads met in Columbus last year, with Ohio State winning 7-4 before a 3-3 overtime tie.
Between the Pipes
• Redshirt junior Sean Romeo started the first four games of the season for the Buckeyes.
• The season opener marked his first live game action since Dec. 30, 2015 while playing with Maine. • Romeo sat out last season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
• This season, he has allowed seven goals in four games played and held RPI to just one goal in each game last weekend.
• The Buckeyes’ other two goalies are both freshmen – Tommy Nappier and Evan Moyse. The squad’s three goalies from last season all graduated, with two of the three (Christian Frey, Matt Tomkins) continuing to professional careers and Logan Davis the volunteer assistant coach/hockey operations with Bemidji State.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) October 18, 2017
Buckeye This and That
• Junior John Wiitala has a point in each of the first four games of the season. He had a 10-9-19 line a season ago.
• Saturday against RPI, senior Christian Lampasso scored his first goal since Jan. 21, 2017 at Penn State. He has five goals in 83 games for the Scarlet and Gray.
• Junior Sasha Larocque leads the Buckeyes with nine shot blocks and 2.75 shot blocks per game. Redshirt senior Matt Joyaux is second with eight blocks and 2.0 per night. As a team, the Buckeyes average 12 blocked shots per game.
• Ohio State is tied for third in the NCAA in faceoff winning percentage (.600), winning 138-of-230 draws. Dakota Joshua ranks 15th nationally in winning percentage (.686) and Mason Jobst is 12th in faceoff wins (46).
• Mason Jobst has 89 points in 78 games as a Buckeye. He ranks ninth among current NCAA players and tied for second among current juniors in points. His 1.14 career points per game average is tied for third among all NCAA sophomores/juniors/seniors.
• The Buckeyes had a Value City Arena record 57 shots Friday vs. Rensselaer, including an arena record 26 in the second period. It was the first time the team had 50 or more shots since putting 52 on net vs. Mercyhurst Oct. 31, 2015. The squad had 28 shots on goal in game two vs. the Engineers.
• Four Buckeyes were on NHL opening night rosters and remain with their clubs (through Oct. 18).
• Matt Bartkowski is with the Calgary Flames, Zac Dalpe is with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Dzingel is with the Ottawa Sentaors. Anaheim Duck Ryan Kesler it out with injury.
• Another 13 Buckeyes started the season at NHL camps around the league.
• Mike Bales, who was the goaltending coach with the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins the last two years, is now with the Carolina Hurricanes in the same role.
• All seven of the Buckeye seniors from last year earned their Ohio State degrees. Five of the seven signed pro contracts to continue their playing careers, with a sixth, Logan Davis, joining the men’s hockey staff at Bemidji State.
• In the AHL, David Gust and Nick Schilkey both saw their first game action – and scored their first career pro goals – last weekend. Gust scored twice in his debut with the Bakersfield Condors last Thursday. Schilkey made his season debut with Charlotte last Saturday and had a tally.
• In the ECHL, 2017 senior goalie Christian Frey saw his first game action for the Rapid City Rush last Friday and made his first pro start the following night. His classmate Matt Tomkins has dressed for the Indy Fuel but has not yet made an appearance.
• Josh Healey, who signed with Calgary at the conclusion of the 2017 season, made his pro debut with the Stockton Heat at the end of that season. He started this year with the Heat and has skated in two games.
• The Buckeyes and Robert Morris will meet in a home-and-home series next weekend. The Columbus matchup is set for Oct. 27, with game two in Pittsburgh Oct. 28. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. each night.
• At the Buckeyes’ home game, there will be trick or treating on the concourse for youth and kids can take a shot on the Buckeye goal postgame.