Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions in B1G Tourney
• The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team begins postseason play Sunday when it hosts No. 17 Penn State in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal game. The teams will meet at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
• The game will be televised by BTN and available on BTN2Go, with Dan Kelly and Ben Clymer on the call.
• Ohio State radio will have the contest on 1460 AM, online on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and through the Ohio State Buckeyes mobile app. Herb Howenstine and John Mowat will call the action.
• Video, radio and live stats links can be found at go.osu.edu/mhkylivestats18.
• Ohio State is 20-9-5 this season and is the Big Ten Tournament’s No. 1 seed after winning the regular season title. The Buckeyes had a bye through the quarterfinal round and were off last weekend. Penn State is 21-14-2 on the year and is the No. 4 seed in the tournament. The Nittany Lions won their quarterfinal series vs. No. 5 Wisconsin in State College, dropping game one (4-3) before 6-1 and 4-3 OT victories.
• The Buckeyes won the regular season series vs. the Nittany Lions this year, 3-1-0. The teams split a series in Columbus, with PSU winning 4-3 Nov. 23 and Ohio State posting a 5-2 victory the next night. In State College Jan. 18-19, the Buckeyes posted a sweep with 4-1 and 6-4 wins.
• Ohio State and Penn State have met in the Big Ten Tournament once, a 3-1 Buckeye quarterfinal win March 19, 2015 in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State, with a quarterfinal bye in the Big Ten Tournament, last played March 1-2 when it split a series with Michigan State, creating a 14-day break from game action.
• The Buckeyes are 8-5 all-time in Big Ten Tournament games and have played in the semifinals all six years of the event, with a 2-3 mark in B1G semifinal contests so far.
• Ohio State is 8-1 all-time in Value City Arena in postseason games, including a sweep of Michigan State in the quarterfinals last season. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus last year.
• Each of the Buckeyes’ last three Big Ten Tournament games have gone to overtime, with Ohio State 2-1 in those contests.
• Ohio State is 10-7 at home this year, scoring 3.24 goals a game and allowing 2.65 a night. The power play is 16-for-69 (.232) and the penalty kill is 50-for-65 (.769). Tanner Laczynski has a team-best 11 assists and 16 points in VCA and Mason Jobst is first with eight goals, second with 15 points.
• The Buckeyes have four finalists for Big Ten end of season awards – Mason Jobst (Player), Tommy Nappier (Goaltender), Sasha Larocque (Defensive Player) and Steve Rohlik (Coach). The winners, along with the All-Big Ten teams, will be announced Tuesday. Nappier is also a Mike Richter Award semifinalist.
• Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with 17 goals and 36 points, while Tanner Laczynski has a team-best 20 assists and is second with 30 points.
• The B1G Tournament semifinal game will be the Buckeyes’ first contest on a Sunday this season. The squad was 9-6-2 on Friday and 11-3-3 on Saturday this year.
• Penn State enters the weekend first in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.59 goals a game. Ohio State is 13th nationally and first in the B1G in scoring defense, allowing 2.24 goals a game. The Buckeyes rank 15th (tied) in the NCAA in scoring offense with 3.15 goals a night. Penn State has allowed 3.65 goals per game. In scoring margin, PSU is 10th in the NCAA (+.95) and Ohio State is 13th (+.91).
• The Buckeyes clinched the outright Big Ten title with a tie and 3×3 overtime goal vs. Michigan Feb. 23.
• It was the first Big Ten title in program history and the first conference regular season championship won by Ohio State since claiming the 1972 CCHA title in a four-team league.
• Ohio State had a nine-point edge on second place Notre Dame in the final Big Ten standings, the largest margin from first to second in the six-year history of the league. Teams two through seven were separated by seven points this year.
Noting the Buckeyes in the Postseason
• Ohio State is 8-5 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament. It was the most wins among conference teams entering this postseason (passed by Penn State with nine after its series win last weekend).
• The Buckeyes were the only team to win at least one game in the tournament each of the first five years.
• This will be the sixth time (in six tournaments) the squad will play in the semifinal round, with a 2-3 record in the semifinals. Ohio State topped Minnesota in the inaugural tournament to reach the championship game (falling to Wisconsin in overtime 6-5) and beat Michigan in overtime last year to advance to the final (losing to Notre Dame in overtime, 3-2). The Buckeyes lost to Minnesota in the 2015 and 2016 semifinals and to Wisconsin in 2017.
• The Buckeyes have not been a conference tournament’s No. 1 seed since capturing the 1972 CCHA regular season and tournament titles.
• This year is the first time Ohio State has earned a bye in a conference tournament since 2013 (the last year of CCHA play). That season, Ohio State was the No. 4 seed and had a first round series bye before beating Ferris State in a quarterfinal series. The Buckeyes fell to Notre Dame in the semifinals. In 2005, the squad was the No. 2 seed and defeated Ferris State in the first round before a single-elimination quarterfinal bye. The Buckeyes topped Michigan State in the semifinals that year but fell to Michigan in the final.
• Ohio State has two conference postseason championships. Along with the 1972 crown, the squad won three games in three days to capture the 2004 CCHA Super Six championship.
• The Buckeyes have played each of the other six conference teams in the Big Ten Tournament – Michigan (1-0), Michigan State (5-0), Minnesota (1-2), Notre Dame (0-1), Penn State (1-0), Wisconsin (0-2).
• Six Buckeyes have played in eight Big Ten Tournament games – Sasha Larocque, Tommy Parran, Dakota Joshua, John Wiitala, Brendon Kearney and Mason Jobst.
• Jobst leads the current Buckeyes with five goals, seven assists and 12 points in Big Ten Tournament play, ranking second all-time in points among all Big Ten players.
• Kearney (2g, 3a) and Tanner Laczynski (2g, 3a) are tied for second among current Buckeyes with five points each. Wiitala is second on the squad with three B1G Tournament goals.
• Ohio State was the B1G Tournament No. 2 seed in 2018, No. 3 in 2017, No. 4 in 2016 and 2014 and No. 5 in 2015.
• Among current Buckeyes, Jobst, Laczynski and Matt Miller have each earned B1G All-Tournament Team honors. Ohio State leads B1G teams with seven total all-tournament team picks.
• Each of the Buckeyes’ last three Big Ten Tournament games has gone to overtime. Last year, Ohio State won game two of the quarterfinal series vs. Michigan State in overtime (4-3), beat Michigan in the semifinals (3-2) and lost to Notre Dame in the final (3-2).
• In Value City Arena, Ohio State is 8-1 in postseason games. In CCHA play, the Buckeyes swept Ferris State in 1999, Bowling Green in 2004 and were 2-1 vs. Ferris State in 2005, along with two wins over Michigan State in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series last year. Overall at home, the Buckeyes are 26-6-3 in postseason games.
• A different team won the Big Ten Tournament each of the first five years, with Ohio State and Michigan State the two teams to not yet capture the postseason trophy.
Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
• Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 15-9-2, including a 7-4-1 ledger in Columbus.
• The teams last met in Columbus Nov. 23-24, splitting the series. The Nittany Lions won the opener, 4-3, breaking a 3-3 tie with a third-period power play goal. Ohio State claimed the second game, 5-2, with three goals in the final 2:17, breaking a 2-2 tie and then adding two shorthanded empty net scores.
• The Buckeyes posted two road wins in the last series between the teams, with 4-1 and 6-4 victories Jan. 18-19.
• Senior John Wiitala leads the current Buckeyes with 16 games played vs. Penn State, while classmates Brendon Kearney and Mason Jobst have each skated in 15 games vs. the Nittany Lions. Jobst has a team-high nine goals and 20 points vs. PSU, sharing the assist lead with junior Tanner Laczynski with 11 each. Laczynski is second with 14 points, skating in eight games vs. the Nittany Lions. Dakota Joshua, in 13 games vs. Penn State, has seven goals and 11 points.
OSU vs. PSU in the 2015 B1G Tourney
• Ohio State and Penn State met in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals March 19, 2015, a 3-1 Buckeye victory in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
• Nick Schilkey and Justin DaSilva gave the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead after the first period. Penn State scored midway through the second but David Gust answered with a minute left in the period for a 3-1 Ohio State advantage.
• Buckeye goalie Christian Frey had 31 saves in the game, including stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third period.
• There were no penalties called in the game.
The Last Series – Ohio State Sweeps Penn State
• The Buckeyes posted two wins over then-No. 13/12 Penn State Jan. 18-19, winning 4-1 and 6-4.
• Three Buckeyes – Mason Jobst (1g, 4a), Tanner Laczynski (1g, 4a) and Gustaf Westlund (2g, 3a) – led the squad with five points in the series, while Matt Miller had four points (1g, 3a) and Dakota Joshua scored two goals. Gordi Myer had a team-best seven shot blocks and Sasha Larocque had six recorded blocks. Sean Romeo (24 saves) and Tommy Nappier (34 saves) each posted a win in goal.
• In game one, the teams traded power play goals in the first period, with Westlund scoring first for the Buckeyes. Laczynski broke the tie with a 5×3 power play goal 3:10 into the second and the lead extended to 3-1 on a Westlund score at 9:52. Ronnie Hein closed out the scoring with less than two minutes left in regulation. The Buckeyes outshot the Nittany Lions, 33-25. Ohio State was 2-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Laczynski and Jobst each had two assists in the victory.
• In the second game, the teams were tied at one after the first period, with Grant Gabriele scoring for the Buckeyes, and Penn State tallied the first goal of the second for a 2-1 lead. Ohio State notched back-to-back power play goals from Joshua and Miller to tie the game and move ahead (3-2). A PSU shorthanded goal during a major power play deadlocked the score at three, but the Buckeyes converted twice on the major, with Joshua and Westlund scoring, to lead 5-3 after 40 minutes. Jobst pushed the Buckeye lead to three (6-3) at 6:09 of the third. Penn State drew within two at 11:04 but could get no closer, as Tommy Nappier had 18 saves in the third period for the Buckeyes. Ohio State had the edge in shots, 39-38, for the game. The Buckeyes were 4-for-10 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Laczynski, Jobst, Westlund and Miller each had two helpers in the win.
The Nittany Lions
• Penn State is 21-14-2 overall this year and finished Big Ten play 11-12-1-1 in fourth place. The squad advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals with a series victory over Wisconsin. The Badgers won the opener 4-3 before PSU claimed 6-2 and 4-3 OT victories. Penn State is 5-6-1 on the road this season.
• The Nittany Lions score an NCAA-best 4.59 goals per game and are allowing 3.65 per contest. The squad is 32-for-122 (.262) on the power play and 102-for-133 (.767) on the penalty kill. Penn State, which averages 10.2 penalty minutes a night, is first in the NCAA with 40.9 shots on goal per game.
• Alex Limoges has a team-best 22 goals and 48 points, sharing the assist lead with Evan Barratt with 26 each. Barratt is second with 42 points, followed by Liam Folkes with 41 (17g, 24a). Brandon Biro (15g, 23a, 38p) and Nate Sucese (17g, 18a, 35p) also have crossed the 30-point mark.
• In goal, Peyton Jones is 17-11-2, with a 3.41 goals-against average and .898 save percentage to lead the Nittany Lions.
Complete notes in the PDF linked above