The No. 16/18-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team opens the 2022-23 campaign with a two-game series at Mercyhurst this weekend.
The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 4:05 p.m. Sunday in Erie, Pa.
The games will be streamed through FloHockey.tv for a fee, with live stats also available.
Buckeye This and That
Ohio State is 30-25-4 all-time in the first game of the season. Under Steve Rohlik, the squad is 4-4-1 in season openers.
Last year, the Buckeyes started the year at Bentley, dropping the opener 2-1 before a 7-1 victory.
Ohio State and Mercyhurst met last November in Columbus, splitting the series with a 5-4 Laker win and 3-2 Buckeye victory. The teams met in Erie in October 2019, with Ohio State posting a sweep (7-2, 3-1). All-time the Buckeyes are 11-3-1 vs. the Lakers.
The Buckeyes returned 22 players from the 2021-22 squad that was 22-13-2 overall and 13-9-2-1-1-1 in Big Ten play. Among the returnees are seven of the Top 10 scorers, who each had 15-plus points, along with all three goalies.
Oct. 1 is the common start date across Division I men’s hockey this season. The Oct. 1 game is the earliest in Ohio State history, passing the Oct. 2 opener vs. Wayne State to kick off 1999-00 (a 6-0 win).
Ohio State will open its home slate and Big Ten play with two games against Wisconsin next weekend (Oct. 7-8).
This year’s Buckeye roster includes 27 players, who hail from four countries (United States, Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic), comprising 17 states and two provinces.
Steve Rohlik is in his 10th year at the helm of the Buckeyes. The two-time B1G Coach of the Year has led the squad to three NCAA appearances (including a Frozen Four trip) and a B1G title and has 162 career wins.
When NHL training camps opened around the league last week, more than a dozen #ProBucks were on team rosters.
Five newcomers joined the Ohio State program this year, with four freshmen (two forwards and two defensemen) and a senior transfer defenseman.
Ones to Watch
Sophomores Jakub Dobeš and Mason Lohrei were voted to the Preseason All-Big Ten Second Team by the conference coaches.
Dobeš was the Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year and the Goaltender of the Year last season. He was in the Top 7 in the NCAA in save percentage, saves and wins.
Lohrei was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten choice last year. He was in the Top 8 in the NCAA in assists per game overall and points per game among defensemen.
A Look Ahead
Ohio State will play six of its next eight games in Columbus. The squad opens Big Ten play next weekend vs. Wisconsin at home.
After a trip to UConn Oct. 14-15, the Buckeyes will host Bentley Oct. 20-21 and Minnesota Oct. 28-29.
November includes a road series at Michigan State, home matchup vs. Notre Dame and Thanksgiving trip to LIU.
Season, single-game and group tickets and mini plans are all on sale now, with more information HERE. Parking is free for all home games in VCA. The full schedule is available HERE.