COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team has earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year and will travel to Fargo, N.D., for the NCAA West Regional, the NCAA announced Sunday. The No. 3 seed Buckeyes will take on No. 2 Denver at 4 p.m. ET Friday in Scheels Arena, with the game televised by ESPNU.
The other West Regional matchup is overall No. 1 seed St. Cloud State vs. No. 4 American International, with the teams meeting at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN3. The first round winners will meet at 9 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU for a spot in the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The national semifinals are April 11, with the national championship game April 13.
This marks Ohio State’s third straight and ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The squad reached the Frozen Four in 2018 and 1998 and also earned a spot in 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2017.
Fifteen current Buckeyes have NCAA Tournament experience, led by the squad’s eight seniors. They are the second Buckeye senior class, and first since 2005, to make three NCAA tournament trips.
The Buckeyes and Pioneers met in the NCAA Midwest Regional final in Allentown, Pa., last year, with Ohio State winning 5-1 to advance to the Frozen Four. Ohio State traveled to Fargo for the 2017 West Regional, falling in overtime to Minnesota Duluth, 3-2.
Ohio State is 20-10-5 this season and won its first Big Ten regular season title with a 13-7-4-3 record in league games. Hobey Baker Award finalist Mason Jobst leads the team with 17 goals and 36 points, while Tanner Laczynski is first with 20 assists and second with 30 points. Big Ten Goaltender of the Year Tommy Nappier has a team-best 1.91 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.