October 16, 2019

No. 12/13 Buckeyes Welcome Omaha to Open Home Slate

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No. 12/13 Ohio State Opens Home Slate
The No. 12/13 Ohio State men’s hockey team (1-0-1) faces Omaha (2-0-0) for a two-game series in Value City Arena this weekend, meeting at 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday to open the Buckeyes’ home schedule.

The games will be streamed through BTN Plus and on the radio at 1460 AM Columbus and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and on the Ohio State Buckeyes app, with live stats also available (links: go.osu.edu/MHKYgameday1920).

Buckeye Notes to Know

  • Ohio State opened the year winning the Ice Breaker Tournament last weekend in Toledo, with a tie and shootout win vs. Western Michigan and a 3-1 victory over RIT.
  • Seniors scored four of the Buckeyes’ five goals last weekend and notched 10 of the squad’s 14 points overall in the tournament.
  • Tommy Nappier was named Big Ten First Star of the Week after 68 saves on 71 shots, including a career-high 44 vs. WMU, in the Ice Breaker.
  • Ohio State, now in the Big Ten, and Omaha, now in the NCHC, were together in the CCHA for 11 seasons. The squads last met in November 2015 in Omaha, with the Mavericks sweeping the series. The last matchup in Columbus was in November 2014.

In the Polls

  • Ohio State remained at No. 12 in the USCHO poll for the third week in a row. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15, Ohio State moved up one to No. 13.
  • The Buckeyes are joined in the USCHO Top 20 by Big Ten teams No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 9 Penn State (which received a first place vote) and No. 17 Wisconsin, with Minnesota and Michigan receiving votes. In the USA Today Top 15 rankings, Notre Dame is No. 7 and Penn State is No. 8 (with a first place vote), while Wisconsin and Minnesota are receiving votes.
    Omaha is receiving votes in the USCHO poll.

A B1G Star Between the Pipes

  • Tommy Nappier earned his fifth career Big Ten weekly honor Tuesday, as he was named the league’s first star of the week.
  • In the Ice Breaker Tournament, Nappier had a 1.45 goals-against average and .958 save percentage, stopping 68-of-71 shots.
  • Friday vs. Western Michigan, Nappier had a career-high 44 saves in regulation and 5×5 overtime. He also had five stops in 3×3 overtime and made four saves on five shots as the Buckeyes won the shootout.
  • His previous career high was a 38-save game vs. Penn State Nov. 24, 2018.

Buckeyes vs. Mavericks

  • Ohio State trails the all-time series with Omaha, 13-17-5, but holds the advantage in Columbus, 8-6-2. The squads first faced off Nov. 19-20, 1999 in Columbus.
  • The teams were together as members of the CCHA from 1999-2000 through 2009-10, when UNO left to join the WCHA. The Mavericks are now part of the NCHC.
  • The squads have met for two series since moving to different conferences. The teams last faced off Nov. 27-28, 2015 in Omaha, with the Mavericks posting a series sweep (3-1, 6-4). The last matchup in Columbus was Nov. 7-8, 2014, when UNO won 4-1 and 4-3.
  • Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik spent three years as an assistant coach at UNO, joining the program for its inaugural season in 1997-98.
  • Ohio State is 147-176-34 all-time vs. current NCHC teams, including a tie vs. Western Michigan last weekend.

The UNO Mavericks

  • Omaha enters the weekend 2-0-0 after opening the year with a home sweep of Alabama Huntsville, with 6-1 and 5-0 wins.
  • Zach Jordan led the team with three goals and Tristan Keck had three assists, with the duo sharing the team point lead with four each. In goal, freshmen Isaiah Saville and Austin Roden each started one game. Saville had 14 saves on 15 shots and Roden stopped all 18 shots he faced.
  • The Maverick power play was 6-for-12 vs. the Chargers, with the penalty kill 6-for-7 (.857).
  • Last year, Omaha was 9-24-3 overall and lost to eventual national champion Minnesota Duluth in an NCHC quarterfinal series.

Last Time Out – Buckeyes Win Ice Breaker

  • The Buckeyes were 1-0-1 last weekend to capture the Ice Breaker Tournament title.
  • Friday, Ohio State rallied for a 2-2 tie against Western Michigan and won in a shootout to advance to the championship game. Miguel Fidler opened the scoring early in the first period but the Broncos scored late in the stanza to tie the game and midway through the second for a 2-1 lead. Matt Miller tallied on the power play in the last five minutes to tie the game. Neither team was able to score in 5×5 overtime, ending the game officially as a 2-2 OT tie for NCAA purposes. A 3×3 OT session was held, with no goals, so the game went to a sudden death shootout. In round four WMU scored but Carson Meyer answered and in round five Tommy Nappier made a save and Quinn Preston won it for the Buckeyes. Nappier ended the game with 44 official saves, adding five in 3×3 OT and four in the shootout.
  • Saturday vs. RIT in the final, the Buckeyes posted a 3-1 win. Ohio State trailed 1-0 after the first on a power play goal. Ronnie Hein tied the game on the PP midway through the second and then put the Buckeyes on top 1:58 into the third with a PPG. Tate Singleton added a late goal for a 2-1 lead. Nappier made 24 saves for Ohio State.

The Seniors

  • The Buckeyes’ eight seniors combined for four goals, six assists and 10 points, along with 20 shot blocks, in the Ice Breaker Tournament.
  • Matt Miller had a team-high three points, with a goal and two assists, while Ronnie Hein scored twice. Wyatt Ege had two assists, Miguel Fidler scored a goal and Tanner Laczynski had a helper.
  • Of the 20 blocks, Miller had nine, Gordi Myer had four, Hein, Ege and Carson Meyer had two and Laczynski had one.
  • It was Hein’s third career two-goal game and first since Oct. 13, 2018 at Arizona State (also the second game of last season). Hein had a career-high 11 goals last season to rank second on the team. Of his 22 career goals, five are gamewinners.
  • Miller had seven shot blocks vs. RIT, marking a career high. His assist Saturday was the 50th point of his Buckeye career. He is one of 12 Buckeye blueliners with 50+ career points since 2003-04 and ranks third among that group with .53 points per game.

The Rookies

  • Michael Gildon was the first Buckeye freshman to record a point this season, with an assist on Ronnie Hein’s gamewinning power play goal vs. RIT.
  • In the third period vs. the Tigers, Tate Singleton scored the first goal for the rookies this year.
  • In addition to Singleton and Gildon, the other Buckeye freshmen who made their collegiate debuts in the Ice Breaker Tournament were Layton Ahac, James Marooney and CJ Regula and redshirt freshman Kamil Sadlocha.

Special Teams

  • In the Ice Breaker Tournament, Ohio State was 3-for-13 (.231) on the power play, with two goals from Ronnie Hein and a Matt Miller tally.
  • On the penalty kill, the Buckeyes were 7-for-8 (.875), allowing one goal on three chances vs. RIT and stopping Western Michigan on five opportunities.
  • Last season, Ohio State was 33-for-158 (.209) on the power play and 108-for-132 (.818) on the PK.

Comeback Kids

  • Ohio State trailed in both games of the Ice Breaker.
  • The squad was down 2-1 after 40 minutes vs. Western Michigan, tying the game in the last five minutes of regulation with a power play goal.
  • Against RIT, Ohio State was behind 1-0 after the first period, tied the game in the second and went ahead in the third. It was the first time the squad won when trailing after the first period since Feb. 23, 2018 vs. Wisconsin (down 0-1, won 6-2). Last year the Buckeyes were 0-5-1 when trailing after the first and 9-2-3 when ahead after one.

In VCA

  • Ohio State was 10-8-0 at home last season, with a 3-3-0 mark in nonconference games.
  • Last year, the squad opened its home slate with a series vs. UMass, splitting two games with a 6-3 loss and 3-1 win.

The Schedule Ahead

  • Ohio State hits the road next weekend for two games at Mercyhurst, playing at 7:05 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 in Erie, Pa.
  • The next week the Buckeyes return to Columbus to host Michigan. Ohio State and the Wolverines will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 5 pm. Nov. 2 in VCA.

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.