Buckeyes vs. Sun Devils
• The No. 1-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team kicks off the 2018-19 season with two games at Arizona State (2-0) this weekend. The teams will meet at 10:05 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday in Oceanside Arena in Tempe, Ariz.
• A free video stream of the games will be available online at pac-12.com/live/arizona-state-university. The game Saturday will also be on the Pac-12/ASU Facebook Live HERE.
• This is the second series between the Buckeyes and Sun Devils. The teams first met Jan. 13-14, 2017 in Columbus. Ohio State won the opener 6-1 before a 2-2 overtime tie in game two.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is coming off one of the best seasons in program history, as the squad won 26 games and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four. The squad has made back-to-back NCAA appearances.
• The Buckeyes return 21 players from the 2017-18 squad, including eight of the Top 10 scorers.
• Ohio State has two returning All-Americans, senior Mason Jobst (2017) and junior Tanner Laczynski (2018). Ohio State joins Princeton as the only schools with two returning All-Americans; nationally, 15 All-Americans are back for 2018-19, the most in history.
• The Buckeyes led the NCAA on the penalty kill last season and were the NCAA statistical champion on the power play in 2017. In the last three years combined, Ohio State is the only school to rank in the Top 5 nationally in goals scored (412), goals per game (3.55) and power play (.257).
• Ohio State was undefeated in non-conference regular season games last season, posting a 7-0-3 mark, going 3-0-2 at home and 4-0-1 on the road.
• The Buckeyes have eight seniors, tying for the third-largest senior class nationally. Ohio State has 16 juniors/seniors combined, matching the largest group of upperclassmen nationally.
• Ohio State is 29-23-3 all-time in the first game of a season.
• The Buckeyes opened last year with a Big Ten Conference game, topping Wisconsin, 3-2.
• This is the third straight year, and fourth time in six years, the season is kicking off away from home.
• Ohio State is 3-2 under head coach Steve Rohlik in the first game of the year.
Buckeyes No. 1 in National Polls
• Ohio State is ranked first in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week, marking the first time in program history the team has held down the top spot in either poll. The Buckeyes garnered 18 of 50 first place votes in USCHO and 18 of 34 first place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.
• The previous high for the Buckeyes, who started the year ranked third by USCHO, was No. 2 in January 2012 (the poll started in 1997-98). The squad started the year second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and also reached the second spot in January 2012 and October 2005 (the poll started in 1995-96).
• The program was ranked first in the WMPL Radio poll for three weeks in late 1983 (polls of Nov. 7, Nov. 21 and Nov. 28, 1983), marking the only time the squad has been ranked No. 1.
• The Buckeyes are one of two schools with their men’s and women’s teams ranked in the Top 5 of a USCHO.com poll. The Ohio State women are ranked fifth, while the Minnesota Duluth men are No. 3 and the UMD women are No. 4.
Ohio State No. 1 in B1G Poll
• Ohio State was selected first in the Big Ten Preseason Poll, voted on by the league’s coaches. Michigan and Notre Dame, which joined the Buckeyes in the 2018 Frozen Four, followed in second and third. Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State rounded out the preseason poll.
• This is the first time since the CCHA coaches placed the 2005-06 Buckeyes first Ohio State has been No. 1 in a preseason conference coaches poll.
Ones to Watch
• Buckeye forwards Mason Jobst, Dakota Joshua and Tanner Laczynski were all voted Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch by the league’s head coaches. Jobst and Laczynski, returning All-Americans, both were unanimous choices.
• This is the third consecutive year Jobst, a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and a 2017 All-American, has been tabbed a Big Ten Preseason Player to Watch. He leads all returning NCAA players with 128 career points (20 more than second place). He is tied for second nationally with 52 career goals, leads active players with 20 power play goals and is tied for fourth with four career shorthanded tallies. In 2017-18 the Buckeyes’ captain had 43 points, with 21 goals and 22 assists.
• Laczynski was a First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-America selection in 2017-18. He led the Buckeyes with 47 points, on 17 goals and 30 assists, last season and earned Big Ten and NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team accolades. A draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, Laczynski enters his junior year with 79 career points (27g, 52a).
• Joshua, an honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree, was an NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team selection in 2018. A Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, he had a 15-11-26 line last season. In his career, Joshua has notched 78 points, with 32 goals and 46 assists.
• Goalie Sean Romeo was named to the 2019 Mike Richter Award Watch List. He was the first Buckeye to be named a semifinalist for the Richter Award a season ago.
• In his first year playing for the Buckeyes, Romeo earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors and was the NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player. Last year, Romeo ranked in the Top 12 in the NCAA with a 2.06 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, ranking third in program history for a single season in both categories. His 22 wins tied for the second most for a goalie in a single campaign.
OSU vs. ASU – The Last Time
• The Buckeyes were 1-0-1 vs. Arizona State Jan. 13-14, 2017, in the first series between the teams.
• Game One (Ohio State 6, Arizona State 1): Ohio State used four first-period goals and 35 saves from goalie Christian Frey to post a 6-1 win over Arizona State. The Buckeyes four times in a 5:05 span in the first 10:03 of the game, with goals from David Gust, Nick Schilkey, Miguel Fidler and Kevin Miller, for a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes. Each team scored once in the second, with Schilkey notching his second power play goal of the night. Buckeye Ronnie Hein had the only goal of the third. Ohio State was 3-for-5 on the power play, with ASU 1-for-5. Gust added two assists for a three-point night, while Mason Jobst and Matt Joyaux each had two helpers in the win.
• Game Two (Ohio State 2, Arizona State 2 OT): A late Arizona State extra attacker goal led to a 2-2 tie for the Buckeyes and Sun Devils. Neither team scored in the first period. In the second, Arizona State took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal but the Buckeyes scored twice in less than a minute late in the stanza, with Kevin Miller and Mason Jobst (shorthanded) tallying, to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. With 26 seconds left in regulation and their net empty, the Sun Devils tied the game. The teams combined for five shots in overtime, but neither team could pull out the win. A shootout was held, with Arizona State prevailing.
The Sun Devils
• Arizona State opened its campaign last weekend, notching two shutouts at home of Alaska Fairbanks.
• In the sweep, Johnny Walker and Brinson Pasichnuk each scored twice, with Walker adding an assist for a team-best three points. Joey Daccord stoopped all 36 shots he faced for the shutouts.
• The Sun Devils were 8-21-5 last season. The team averaged 2.26 goals a game and 3.62 goals allowed per night.
Buckeyes in Arizona
• This will be the second series for Ohio State in Arizona. In 1985, the Buckeyes faced Northern Arizona, which was skating as an NCAA Division I independent. squad. In those games, the Buckeyes won the opener 6-2 Feb. 22, 1985, before a 7-4 NAU victory the next night.
• Four Buckeyes – Tanner Fritz (NYI), Max McCormick (OTT), Ryan Dzingel (OTT) and Ryan Kesler (ANA) – started the year with NHL teams.
• Other Buckeyes who began the year at NHL camps include Matt Bartkowski (MINN), Zac Dalpe (CBJ), Anthony Greco (FLA), David Gust (EDM), Josh Healey (CAL), Sam Jardine (TOR), Matt Tomkins (CHI) and Matthew Weis (VGK).
• Five of the six seniors from the 2018 squad moved on to professional hockey, with Christian Lampasso completing his engineering degree this fall.
• Janik Moser signed with Adler Mannheim in the DEL and Weis (who also attended Vegas Knights development camp) is with the AHL Chicago Wolves. Matt Joyaux (Grand Rapids), Kevin Miller (Fort Wayne) and Luke Stork (South Carolina) all signed with ECHL teams.
• Ohio State will return home for a series with UMass. The teams will face off at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 5 p.m. Oct. 20 in Value City Arena in Columbus.
• The following week, the Buckeyes will take on Bowling Green in a home-and-home series. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 in Columbus and at 7:07 p.m. Oct. 27 in Bowling Green.