Nov. 8, 2017
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Setting the Scene
• The No. 17-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team travels for a two-game series with UConn this weekend. The Buckeyes (5-3-2, 1-3-0-0 B1G) and Huskies (3-7-1, 2-4-1 HEA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 3:35 p.m. Saturday in the XL Center in Hartford.
• The games will be streamed for a fee through UConnHuskies.com, with a radio feed available online through WHUS.org. Live stats will be available through OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
• Video, radio 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.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) November 8, 2017
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is 5-3-2 on the year and is coming off two losses against No. 10 Notre Dame at home last weekend.
• The Buckeyes and UConn met for the first time last season. Ohio State won game one, 7-4, before the teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in game two in Columbus.
• Ohio State is tied for seventh nationally in team defense, holding opponents to 1.90 goals per game. The squad allowed a season-high four goals in the series opener vs. Notre Dame last Friday. The squad has given up two or fewer goals in six of 10 games this year.
• In road games this season, the Buckeyes are 4-1-0, with the loss at Wisconsin in the second game of the season. The four road wins are tied for second nationally. Last season, Ohio State led the NCAA in road wins (13) and road winning percentage (.806) with a 13-2-3 road ledger. The squad has back-to-back road series, with a week off in between, as it heads to Michigan Thanksgiving weekend.
• The Buckeyes are 33-for-36 (.917) on the penalty kill this season, ranking fifth nationally. The squad was 6-for-6 vs. Notre Dame last weekend.
• Ohio State is holding opponents to an NCAA-low 22.2 shots on goal per game, while ranking 13th with 33.3 shots on net each night. The squad has not allowed more than 27 shots on net this season.
• The Buckeyes are 322-239 on faceoffs this season, leading the NCAA in faceoff winning percentage (.574). Junior Dakota Joshua is eighth nationally, winning 65.3 percent of his draws.
• Ohio State has scored just three first period goals this season, allowing five in the opening stanza. The Buckeyes have the goal advantage, 8-7, in the second and have outscored their opponents 13-7 in the third period. The Buckeyes have allowed the first goal in seven of 10 games this year. Ohio State and its opponents have been scoreless in the first period in five of 10 games this year, including the last three outings.
• Redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo has started all 10 games for the Buckeyes (sharing the NCAA lead in games started) and ranks eighth nationally in minutes played (594:06). He is 10th nationally with a 1.82 goals-against average.
• Mason Jobst and Tanner Laczynski share the Buckeye lead with 10 points each. Jobst is first wtih five goals and Laczynski has a team-high seven assists. Jobst enters the series at UConn with 95 points as a Buckeye (in 84 games).
• The Buckeyes are averaging 2.4 goals per game and were held to just three total goals last weekend. It ended a streak of four straight games with three or more goals.
• Junior defenseman Sasha Larocque is tied for second in the NCAA in blocked shots with 28 and is tied for sixth in blocked shots per game (2.80).
• The games between the Buckeyes and Huskies are two of the only three nonconference games in college hockey this weekend, with Bentley vs. Merrimack the other nonconference tilt.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State started the year ranked 19th in the USCHO poll but fell into the receiving votes category for three polls in a row. The squad moved back into the Top 20 at No. 16 last week and is No. 17 this week. Ohio State has been receiving votes in the Top 15 of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll through each of the first six polls.
• In the USCHO poll this week, five Big Ten teams are ranked – No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 17 Ohio State and No. 19 Penn State, with a sixth team, Michigan, the first team receiving votes.
Just the Stats
• Ohio State is averaging 2.4 goals a game and is allowing 1.9 goals per outing, tying for seventh nationally.
• The Buckeye power play is 4-for-43 (.093), converting 1-of-5 chances vs. Notre Dame last weekend. • The penalty kill has stopped 33-of-36 opponent opportunities (.917), ranking fifth in the NCAA. The squad averages 8.4 penalty minutes per game, the fourth-lowest total in the NCAA.
• Ohio State is averaging 33.3 shots on goal a game. The team is allowing 22.2 shots on goal a night, ranking first in the NCAA in fewest shots allowed per game.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski and junior Mason Jobst are tied for first with 10 points each. Jobst has a team-best five goals, with Laczynski, and junior John Wiitala tied for second with three each. Laczynski has a team-best seven assists, followed by Jobst with five and junior Dakota Joshua and senior Matthew Weis with four apiece.
• In goal, Sean Romeo started the first 10 games and has a 1.82 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Last Time Out – Buckeyes Swept by Irish
• In the first series as Big Ten foes, Ohio State dropped two games to then-No. 10 Notre Dame last weekend, falling 4-1 and 3-2.
• Game 1 (Notre Dame 4, Ohio State 1): After a scoreless first period (when the Buckeyes outshot the Irish 13-4 and did not convert a major power play), Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead 2:03 into the second period. The Irish went ahead 2-0 at 5:35 of the third period but Buckeye Janik Moser scored three minutes later for a one-goal game. Notre Dame regained its two-goal lead at 13:40 and sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final minute. Ohio State outshot Notre Dame, 24-18. The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-1 on the power play.
• Game 2 (Notre Dame 3, Ohio State 2): The teams were again scoreless in the first period. A Notre Dame goal late in the second opened the scoring. The Irish then scored twice in 34 seconds in the third period (6:14 and 6:48) to extend the lead to 3-0. Ohio State got on the board with a 6-on-4 power play, extra attacker goal by Mason Jobst at 12:22 and at 18:05 Dakota Joshua made it a one-goal game with an extra attacker score. Ohio State, despite 24 shots on goal in the third period, was unable to tie the score. For the game, the Buckeyes outshot the Irish, 41-23. The Buckeye PK was 3-for-3 and the power play was 1-for-4.
Buckeyes vs. Huskies
• Ohio State and UConn met for the first time last season, with a series in Columbus Nov. 11-12, 2016.
• The Buckeyes won the series opener, 7-4, and the teams tied game two, 3-3, in overtime.
• UConn is a member of Hockey East, where it is joined by Boston College, Boston University, Maine, Massachusetts, UMass Lowell, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Providence and Vermont. The Buckeyes took on UMass earlier this season, posting a road sweep with 3-1 and 3-0 wins.
Ohio State vs. UConn Last Season
• In the first series between Ohio State and UConn last season (Nov. 10-11, 2016), Ohio State came from behind for a 7-4 win over UConn and skated to a 3-3 overtime tie with the Huskies in game two.
• Game 1 (Ohio State 7, UConn 4): The Buckeyes led 2-1 after the first period on goals from Josh Healey shorthanded and David Gust, but UConn scored twice in the first 5:15 of the second to go ahead 3-2 and then added a goal at 13:23 for a 4-2 advantage. Ohio State went on to score the next five goals to come from behind for the win. The Buckeyes answered the fourth UConn goal less than a minute later to draw within one on a Gust tally, tied the game 19 seconds after that on Mason Jobst’s goal and took the lead just over a minute later on a tally by Nick Schilkey. Ohio State held a 5-4 lead through 40 minutes. In the third, the Buckeyes scored twice in the final five minutes, with a power play tally by Gust to complete his hat trick and a Luke Stork empty net goal. Ohio State outshot UConn 38-25 and each team was 2-for-6 on the power play.
• Game 2 (Ohio State 3, UConn 3 OT): The Buckeyes trailed 2-0 less than 10 minutes into the game on two UConn power play goals. Mason Jobst cut the lead in half at 12:11 of the first for a 2-1 lead for the Huskies at intermission. In the middle period, the Buckeyes outshot UConn, 25-2, but could get just one shot by the Huskies’ goalie for a 2-2 game after 40 minutes. Just 1:11 into the third David Gust put the Buckeyes ahead with a power play goal, but UConn tied the game at 10:20. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way. Ohio State outshot UConn 14-6 in the third and 2-1 in overtime. For the game, Ohio State put 49 shots on net, while UConn had 17. The Buckeyes blocked 25 UConn shot attempts, with the Huskies blocking 17. Each team had four power plays, with UConn scoring twice and the Buckeyes converting once.
• UConn is 3-7-1 on the year and 2-4-1 in Hockey East play. The squad is 1-5 in its last six games, including a 2-1 loss at Boston College Tuesday. Last weekend, the Huskies split a home series with Vermont, winning 5-1 before a 4-2 loss.
• The Huskies are averaging 2.64 goals a game and giving up 3.36 per outing. The power play is 10-for-46 (.217) and the penalty kill is 31-for-43 (.721). The team averages 31.4 shots on goal, allowing 31.5, per game.
• Maxim Letunov (2g, 7a) and Johnny Austin (1g, 8a) are tied for the team point lead with nine each, while Alex Payusov has a team-best six goals and is third with eight points. Spencer Naas and Jeff Wight are tied for second with three goals each.
• In goal, Adam Huska is 3-7-1, with a 3.17 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Tanner Creel has seen action in three games, with one start.
Full notes, statistics and bios in the PDF above