October 9, 2019

No. 12/14 Buckeyes Set to Open Campaign at Ice Breaker Tournament

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12/14-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team kicks off the 2019-20 campaign in the Ice Breaker Tournament this weekend in the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio. Friday, Ohio State will face No. 14/12 Western Michigan at 5 p.m. and host No. 17/RV Bowling Green will take on RIT at 8 p.m. Championship and consolation games will be held Saturday, with Bowling Green playing the 8 p.m. game, and the other game at 5 p.m.

The Friday game will be the first of the year for the Buckeyes and Broncos, while the Tigers and Falcons enter the weekend 1-0 after posting wins Sunday.

The Ice Breaker games will be streamed by the FloHockey.tv subscription service, with live stats available as well.

The Ice Breaker Tournament

  • The Ice Breaker Tournament, now in its 23rd year, is the traditional start to the college ice hockey season, annually bringing together four of the nation’s top teams from four different conferences. The event is sponsored by the Hockey Commissioners Association and managed by College Hockey Inc. and began in 1997.
  • This year’s event includes teams from Atlantic Hockey (RIT), the Big Ten (Ohio State), the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (Western Michigan) and the WCHA (Bowling Green).
  • This is the fourth time Ohio State is participating in the tournament. In 2016 the Buckeyes beat host Denver 3-2 in the first round before tying Air Force 3-3 in the championship game and the Falcons winning the title with a shootout victory.
  • In 2004 the Buckeyes played in the tournament held in Durham, N.H. Ohio State lost to host New Hampshire, 5-1, and then was defeated by St. Cloud State in the consolation game, 3-1.
  • The Buckeyes also played in the 1998 edition, coming off the first NCAA Frozen Four appearance in program history. The squad lost to Boston College in overtime 4-3 and then fell to host Minnesota in the consolation game by the same score.

FOR STARTERS

  • Ohio State is 30-23-3 all-time in the first game of a season.
  • The Buckeyes opened last year on the road at Arizona State, posting a 3-2 victory over the Sun Devils.
  • This is the fourth straight year, and fifth time in seven years, the season is kicking off away from home.
  • Ohio State is 4-2 under head coach Steve Rohlik in the first game of the year.

Buckeyes vs. Broncos

  • Ohio State and Western Michigan skated as members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association until 2012-13 when the league was disbanded. Ohio State was a founding member of the conference in 1971-72 and played for two years before leaving for two seasons (1973-74, `74-75) and skating as an independent. Ohio State then rejoined the CCHA for the 1975-1976 campaign and remained until 2013. The Broncos were in the CCHA from 1975-76 through the 2013 campaign.
  • The Buckeyes are 61-66-13 all-time vs. Western Michigan, with the last meeting a 6-2 Bronco victory Nov. 28, 2014 in the Shillelagh Tournament in Notre Dame, Ind. The only other neutral site game between the teams was in the 1987 CCHA Tournament consolation game, a 7-4 Buckeye win at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Buckeyes vs. Tigers

  • Ohio State and RIT have never met on the ice.
  • Ohio State is 48-13-6 all-time vs. current Atlantic Hockey teams.
  • RIT, American International and Northeastern are the only three Division I schools Ohio State has not faced.
  • The Tigers opened the year with a 3-1 road win over Colgate Sunday. The squad was 17-17-4 last year, ending its season in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals.

Buckeyes vs. Falcons

  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Buckeyes have faced Bowling Green more than any other team, facing off 184 times. Ohio State is 76-98-10 vs. the Falcons.
  • Ohio State and Bowling Green were founding members of the CCHA in 1971-72 and were in the league together each year until it disbanded (2012-13), outside of the two seasons Ohio State skated as an independent.
  • In the series, the Buckeyes have the edge in neutral site games, 3-2, with three CCHA Tournament games at Joe Louis Arena (1984, ’85, ’87), the 1968 Oberlin tournament and the 1972 Cleveland Cup Holiday Tournament. The last neutral site game was the 1987 CCHA Tournament semifinal, a 5-3 BGSU win.
  • Last year, the teams met in a home-and-home series in October. The Falcons won in Columbus, 8-2, and the teams tied 2-2 OT in Bowling Green.
  • Bowling Green started the season with a 7-4 victory at Miami Sunday. The Falcons were 25-11-5 last season, reached the WCHA Tournament championship game and fell to Minnesota Duluth in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Home Opener Next Week

The Buckeyes host former CCHA foe Omaha for two games Oct. 18-19 to begin their home slate. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. in game one and 5 p.m. in game two.

In the Polls

  • Ohio State was No. 12 in the USCHO preseason poll and ranked 13th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Coaches Poll for the preseason. This week, the squad remained at No. 12 in the USCHO rankings and moved to No. 14 in the coaches poll.
  • Ohio State is one of four Big Ten teams in the USCHO Top 20 this week, joining No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 13 Penn State and No. 16 Wisconsin, with Minnesota and Michigan receiving votes. In the USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 poll, Notre Dame is No. 9, Penn State No. 10, Ohio State No. 14 and Wisconsin No. 15, with Minnesota receiving votes.

Buckeyes Win Season Tune Up

  • Ohio State hosted Western in an exhibition game Sunday, downing the Mustangs, 5-2. Ohio State, which was 3-for-6 on the power play, led the Mustangs 2-0 after the first period and 4-1 after 40 minutes.
  • Senior Tanner Laczynski led the Buckeye squad with two goals and added an assist for a three-point night, while sophomore Gustaf Westlund had three helpers, assisting on all three Buckeye power play goals.
  • Senior Ronnie Hein, sophomore Quinn Preston and freshman Tate Singleton all scored and senior Matt Miller had a two-assist game.

Preseason Picks

  • Ohio State senior forward Tanner Laczynski was voted to the Preseason All-Big Ten First Team, while junior goalie Tommy Nappier was named to the second team.
  • Laczynski, a 2018 All-American, enters the year second among active skaters in the NCAA in both points (109) and points per game (1.07).
  • Nappier, the 2019 Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, is second in career save percentage among active NCAA goalies (.938) entering this season.
  • Ohio State was fourth in the Big Ten Preseason Poll as voted by the league’s seven head coaches. Penn State was selected first, followed by Notre Dame, Wisconsin, the Buckeyes, Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State.

Buckeyes Briefly

  • Heading into 2019-20, the Buckeyes are looking to compete in the NCAA Tournament for a program-record fourth year in a row.
  • Last year’s squad was 20-11-5 overall and won the Big Ten regular season crown with a 13-7-4-3 ledger.
  • The squad returns 19 players from last year’s team (including six of the Top 10 scorers), adding eight true freshmen to the roster.
  • Steve Rohlik, two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, is in his seventh year at the helm of the squad, with a 113-84-28 career ledger.

Wearing the Letters

  • Ronnie Hein is serving as the Buckeyes’ captain for 2019-20, with Tanner Laczynski, Gordi Myer and Austin Pooley the alternate captains.
  • Hein, Laczynski and Myer are seniors, while Pooley is a junior, and the first Columbus native to wear a letter for the Ohio State men’s hockey program.

Ticket Talk

Single game, miniplan, group and full/half/quarter season tickets for the Buckeyes’ 2019-20 season are all on sale now. They can be purchased online (HERE) or by contacting a ticket sales representative by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS (select option 2) or emailing AthleticSales@osu.edu.