January 4, 2017

No. 11 Buckeyes Set for Matchup with No. 2 Penn State


Jan. 4, 2017

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No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Penn State | Friday, Jan. 6 | 7 p.m. ET
  BTN Plus on BTN2Go | 📻 1460 AM | 📊 Live Stats |  Twitter Updates

No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Penn State
| Saturday, Jan. 7 | 8 p.m. ET
  BTN Plus on BTN2Go | 📻1460 AM | 📊 Live Stats |  Twitter Updates

Setting the Scene
• The No. 11-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team (9-3-4, 1-1-0-0 B1G) returns to Big Ten Conference play with a two-game series vs. No. 2 Penn State (13-1-1, 2-0-0-0 B1G) this weekend in Value City Arena. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday.
• Both games will be streamed through BTN Plus subscription packages on BTN2Go for mobile devices and online at BTN2Go.com.
• Ohio State radio will carry the games on 1460 AM and online through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
• Video and live stats links can be found on the men’s hockey schedule and gameday pages on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with ingame updates on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY as well.
• Tickets for the games can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the arena on game night. Parking is free around the arena in designated lots. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth and seniors (fees may apply online). Ohio State students are free with valid BuckID.
• The series is in the middle of a five-game homestand for the Buckeyes, who will host Arizona State Jan. 13-14.

Youth Hockey Weekend
• The series vs. Penn State is Youth Hockey Weekend in The Schott. Friday, the first 200 youth (8th grade and under) wearing a hockey jersey will receive a free popcorn. Saturday, all youth wearing a hockey jersey are invited to tour the lockerroom postgame. Fans can take shots on the Buckeye goal postgame Friday, and a meet and greet will be held on the concourse level postgame Saturday.

B1G Play
• This marks the fourth season for men’s hockey as a Big Ten Conference sponsored sport.
• Ohio State was picked second in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll behind Minnesota. Michigan was third, followed by Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
• In the league standings, teams receive three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a regulation or overtime loss.
• Conference games that remain tied after a five-minute overtime will again go to a shootout to determine which team receives the extra point in the standings. The shootout is a best of three and will then go to sudden-victory if it is tied after three rounds.
• All six teams qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held March 16-18 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
• Ohio State finished fourth in the Big Ten last year with an 8-8-4-1 record. Minnesota has won the first three regular season titles, including in 2016 after posting a 14-6-0 record to edge Michigan by one point

In the Rankings
• Ohio State was ranked 11th in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week.
• The squad has been in the Top 20 of the USCHO poll each of the last 12 weeks and has received votes for 13 consecutive weeks.
• In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, the Buckeyes have been in the Top 15 each of the last 10 weeks and 11 total weeks this season, while receiving votes in all 13 polls.
• Penn State is ranked second in both polls, moving up from third last week.

Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is third in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.44 goals per game. The team has scored four or more goals in eight of the last 13 games. The team also ranks third in scoring margin (+1.44). The Buckeyes rank fourth nationally on the power play, converting 24.3 percent of their chances (17-for-70).
• The squad is first in the NCAA with 3.31 even strength goals per game and and is second with 53 even strength goals. Buckeye opponents have scored 26 goals when the teams are even.
• The Buckeyes have had balanced scoring throughout the lineup – 16 Buckeyes have at least one goal and all 23 skaters have at least one assist and point. There are eight Buckeyes with 10 or more points and 12 with five or more.
• The Buckeyes played 11 of their 15 games in the first half of the season away from Columbus. The squad is in the midst of a season-high five-game homestand and will played five of its next seven games in Columbus.
• Ohio State is 9-3-4 on the year. The Buckeyes closed last season with a 6-1-2 mark, giving the squad a 15-4-6 ledger in its last 25 games combined. Twenty letterwinners returned from last year’s team, which was eighth nationally in scoring offense (3.56).

Last Time Out – Buckeyes Fall to RedHawks
• Ohio State, playing in its first game since Dec. 3 at Minnesota, fell to Miami 6-3 Saturday in Value City Arena.
• The Buckeyes held an early 2-0 lead, as Tommy Parran scored just nine seconds into the game and Mason Jobst followed at 9:17. With five seconds left in the first Miami got on the board. In the second, Miami tied the game at 1:57. The Buckeyes got a late power play goal from David Gust to take a 3-2 lead into intermission. It was all RedHawks in the third, as they scored four goals, including three in a 3:34 span, to take the nonconference game.

Just the Stats
• Ohio State is averaging 4.44 goals a game this season, ranking third in the NCAA, and allowing 3.00 per outing. The squad averages 32.88 shots on goal a game, with its opponents putting 27.1 on net a night. Ohio State leads the nation in shooting percentage, converting 13.5 percent of its shots.
• The Buckeye power play is fourth nationally, converting 24.3 percent (17-for-70), while the penalty kill is 56-for-75 (.747). Ohio State averages 11.8 penalty minutes a game.
• Freshman Tanner Laczynski leads the team with 16 assists and 22 points, while senior Nick Schilkey is first with 13 goals and second with 21 points. Senior David Gust is second with 11 goals, followed by sophomores Mason Jobst and John Wiitala and Laczynski with six each. Senior Josh Healey is second with 14 assists, followed by sophomore Dakota Joshua and Jobst with 12 apiece.
• In goal, Matt Tomkins has started 11 games, playing in 10, and has a 2.60 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Christian Frey, who missed time with an injury, has played in seven games, starting six, has a 3.34 goals-against average and .879 save percentage. Logan Davis has two appearances and stopped all six shots he faced.

Laczynski at World Juniors
• Buckeye freshman and leading scorer Tanner Laczynski is currently with Team USA at the World Junior Championship.
• Team USA will play in the gold medal game at 8 p.m. Thursday vs. Canada in Montreal. The squad was 3-0 in preliminary round play before beating Switzerland in the quarterfinals and Russia in the semifinals. Laczynski scored a goal vs. Slovakia and had an assist vs. Russia in pool play. The team’s fourth line center, he did not see action in the semifinals because of illness.
• Laczynski, through his first 15 collegiate games, has a 6-16-22 line, ranking second in the Big Ten in scoring. He is 12th nationally in points per game (1.47), sixth among NCAA skaters in assists per game (1.07) and second in the NCAA in rookie points per game.
• Buckeye junior Janik Moser represented Germany in the World Junior Championship in 2014 and ’15, serving as an alternate captain in his second appearance.
• Five Buckeyes have skated for Team USA at the WJC since 2001 – RJ Umberger and David Steckel both played in 2001 and ’02, Ryan Kesler also was a two-time participant (2003, ’04), Tom Fritsche skated in 2006 and Joseph Palmer was on the team in 2008.

Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
• Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 9-5, including 5-1 in Columbus, with Ohio State ahead 8-4 in Big Ten regular season play. The teams have split each of the last three series.
• The teams split two series last year. In Columbus Jan. 22-23, 2016, Penn State won the first game in overtime, 3-2, before Ohio State posted a 5-1 victory. In a series in State College Feb. 19-20, 2016, the Nittany Lions won the opener 6-1, followed by a 7-4 Buckeye victory.
• The first matchup between the teams was Dec. 29, 2012 in the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, a 5-4 Nittany Lion win. The other matchup between the teams was in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, a 3-1 Buckeye victory in Detroit.
• Senior Nick Schilkey leads the current Buckeyes with seven goals, 10 assists and 17 points in 13 career games vs. Penn State. Junior Matthew Weis has 10 points, with five goals and five assists in nine games. Senior Josh Healey is second on the squad with six assists and has skated in 13 games vs. the Nittany Lions.

Buckeyes vs. Nittany lions – The Last Meeting
• Ohio State and Penn State split a series in State College Feb. 19-20, 2016 in the last matchup between the teams.
Game 1 (Penn State 6, Ohio State 1): Penn State won the first game 6-1. The Nittany Lions led 1-0 after the first period and took a 2-0 lead 4:24 into the second. Penn State broke the game open with three tallies in a 4:32 span from 13:06-17:38 of the second. Each team scored once in the third, with Nick Schilkey scoring on the power play for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were outshot, 40-34. Ohio State was 1-for-8 on the power play and held Penn State scoreless on four chances.
Game 2 (Ohio State 7, Penn State 4): Ohio State scored the game’s final four goals to down Penn State in game two. The Buckeyes led 3-0 less than nine minutes into the game before Penn State scored four in a row, with one late in the first, two in the second to tie the game and the fourth 2:53 into the third to take a 4-3 lead. Ohio State answered 2:07 later to deadlock the game at four and went ahead with a tally 42 seconds after that. Two goals in the final 5:05 sealed the Buckeye win. The Buckeyes had six goals scorers, led by Matthew Weis with two tallies in the third. David Gust, Tommy Parran and Freddy Gerard scored in the first and John Wiitala had the third period gamewinner, with Anthony Greco sealing the win with a late empty net goal. Schilkey led the Buckeyes with four assists and points, while Josh Healey had three helpers and Weis had an assist for a three-point day. The Buckeyes outshot the Nittany Lions, 42-34. Ohio State was 1-for-2 on the power play, with Penn State 1-for-5.

The Nittany Lions
• Penn State is 13-1-1 on the year and is on an 11-game winning streak and 13-game unbeaten streak. The squad last played Dec. 1-2, sweeping Michigan with 6-1 and 5-1 wins in State College.
• The team is averaging an NCAA-best 4.87 goals a game and is third in team defense, giving up 1.87 goals a game. The power play is 20-for-88 (.227) and the penalty kill is 62-for-67 (.925) to rank first nationally. The squad averages an NCAA-high 48.3 shots a game (12.27 more than second-place Wisconsin) and gives up 24.1 a night.
• Denis Smirnov leads the team with 17 assists and a Big Ten best 27 points on the year, ranking second on the team with 10 goals. Andrew Sturtz is first with 13 tallies and tied with four Nittany Lions for second with 15 points each.
• In goal, Peyton Jones is 11-0-1, with a 1.97 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.