COLUMBUS, Ohio – Highlighted by three major awards, members of the Ohio State men’s hockey team were recognized today when the Big Ten announced its end of season awards. Senior defenseman Sasha Larocque is the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Tommy Nappier was tabbed the B1G Goaltender of the Year and Steve Rohlik was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Senior forward Mason Jobst, who was one of three finalists for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joined Nappier on the All-Big Ten First Team. Larocque was named Second Team All-B1G. Junior forward Tanner Laczynski was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection and forward Gustaf Westlund earned a spot on the B1G All-Freshman Team. Senior Brendon Kearney received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State.
The awards are selected by the seven Big Ten coaches and a media panel. Coaches could not vote for their own players.
Noting the Honors
Sasha Larocque – Senior Defenseman (Calgary, Alberta)
B1G Defensive Player of the Year
Second Team All-Big Ten
Larocque is the leader of the Buckeye defense that ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally, holding opponents to 2.24 goals per game. In Big Ten games, the Buckeyes limited opponents to a conference-best 2.17 goals per outing. The Buckeye co-captain has skated in 32 games this year and has two goals, seven assists and nine points, along with 49 shot blocks. He is tied for 12th among all B1G players, fifth among defensemen, with a +12 rating. Larocque is +48 in his 138-game Buckeye career, the best for an Ohio State skater since at least 2001. He is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice.
Tommy Nappier – Sophomore Goaltender (St. Louis, Mo.)
Big Ten Goaltender of the Year
First Team All-Big Ten
Nappier is third nationally in save percentage (.934) this year, ranking seventh in goals-against average (1.91), and standing fourth in winning percentage (.750; 12-3-3). In Big Ten games, Nappier had a conference best 1.82 goals-against average and .936 save percentage, leading the league in winning percentage (.750; 8-2-2). His goals-against average is the second-lowest in Big Ten history, with his save percentage ranking fourth all-time. He is a semifinalist for the 2019 Mike Richter Award, given to the best goalie in NCAA hockey.
Steve Rohlik – Head Coach (Sixth Season)
Big Ten Coach of the Year
Rohlik was also the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year and was runner-up for national coach of the year honors after leading Ohio State to the NCAA Frozen Four. This year, he guided the Buckeyes to the program’s first Big Ten title and the first regular season crown for Ohio State since 1972. The Buckeyes, who were the favorite in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll, have been ranked in the Top 8 in the USCHO poll all season, including two weeks at No. 1, a first for the program since Fall 1983. The squad is 20-10-5 this year, the third consecutive 20-win season under Rohlik, and ended Big Ten play 13-7-4-3, nine points ahead of second place. Rohlik is 113-82-28 in his Buckeye career and is looking to lead the squad to a third consecutive NCAA appearance. He is the first two-time winner of the B1G Coach of the Year award.
Mason Jobst – Senior Forward (Speedway, Ind.)
First Team All-Big Ten
Big Ten Player of the Year finalist
Jobst, a 2017 All-American, is a co-captain for the Buckeyes. He leads active NCAA skaters with 95 career assists and 164 career points, the most points for a Buckeye in 30 years. This year, he had 13 goals and 28 points for the Buckeyes in B1G games, ending his career as the Big Ten record holder in career goals (48) and points (108) and tying for first in career points per game (1.24). Overall this season, Jobst has a team-best 17 goals and 36 points in all 35 games. He is a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten choice.
Tanner Laczynski – Junior Forward (Shorewood, Ill.)
Honorable Mention All-Big Ten
Laczynski, a First Team All-Big Ten honoree and Second Team All-American in 2018, leads the Buckeyes with 20 assists and is second with 30 points while limited to 25 games because of injury. He reached the 100-point mark for his career in January, becoming the third Buckeye to join the century club as a junior since 2001, and currently has 109 career points. In Big Ten play this season, he had 21 points, with five goals and 16 assists in 16 games. A Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, Laczynski is a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Gustaf Westlund – Freshman Forward (Stockholm, Sweden)
Big Ten All-Freshman Team
Westlund has 19 points, with five goals and 14 assists, in 24 games this season, with a point in 13 of his last 22 games. In Big Ten play, he ranked second (tied) in points among freshmen with 15, on five goals and 10 assists. He is tied for fourth among B1G rookies in scoring in all games. Westlund, who missed 10 games with injury, is an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
Brendon Kearney – Senior Forward (Northville, Mich.)
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award
Kearney has played in all 35 games this season, with seven goals and 11 points, along with 31 shot blocks. A key part of the penalty kill unit as well, he has skated in 136 games in his Buckeye career, with a 19-29-48 line. Kearney, who was a Bucks Go Pro intern last summer, is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice.
The 16-team NCAA Tournament bracket will be revealed at 7 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU. Ohio State is looking to make a third straight appearance and the program’s ninth overall.