January 31, 2019

No. 4 Buckeyes Face No. 11/13 Fighting Irish in B1G Battle

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Buckeyes vs. Fighting Irish

  • The No. 4-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team returns from its bye week with a series vs. No. 11/13 Notre Dame this weekend in Columbus. The Buckeyes (15-5-4, 8-3-3-2 B1G) and Fighting Irish (14-8-3, 7-6-2-2 B1G) will face off at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
  • BTN Plus will stream the game Friday and Saturday’s contest will be televised by BTN and available on BTN2Go.
  • Ohio State radio will carry the action both night on 1460 AM, online on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and through the Ohio State Buckeyes app. Herb Howenstine will be on the call.
  • Video, radio and live stats links can be found at go.osu.edu/mhkylivestats18.
  • The Friday game is the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, with fans encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to throw on the ice during the first intermission. All animals collected will be donated to Ronald McDonald House. The Saturday game includes Hockey Hour activities on the concourse from 7-8 p.m. and Script Ohio on Ice will be performed during the first intermission. Friends and Family Packs are available for the Saturday game online only with the code FAMILY HERE.
  • The teams enter the weekend in the top two positions in the Big Ten standings. Ohio State is in first with 29 points in 14 games, while the Irish are in second with 25 points in 15 games.
  • The series closes the regular season series between the Buckeyes and Irish. The teams opened B1G play in South Bend Nov. 2-3, splitting a series with two one-goal games. Ohio State claimed the first 1-0 and the Irish won game two, 2-1.
  • Ohio State enters the weekend on a three-game winning streak and 11-2-3 since the series vs. the Irish in November. The Irish are unbeaten in their last four games (2-0-2) and are 10-5-2 since that November matchup.

Buckeye Notes to Know

  • The Buckeyes open a five-week stretch of Big Ten games to close the regular season, rotating between home and away. The squad is 7-4-0 at home this year, scoring 3.27 goals per game and allowing 2.82. On the road, Ohio State has an 8-1-4 ledger, scoring 3.15 goals a game and giving up 1.69 a contest.
  • The Buckeye squad is 6-4-2 on Friday and 9-1-2 on Saturday this season.
  • Ohio State has allowed two or fewer goals in 18 of 24 games this year. The squad is allowing 2.21 goals per game this season, ranking ninth nationally and first in the Big Ten.
  • Over the second half of the year (since Dec. 28), Ohio State leads the NCAA in goals per game, averaging 4.5 a night. The power play is third nationally in the stretch, converting 35.9 percent (14-for-39). Seven Buckeyes have scored on the power play in the last eight games. The Buckeyes are 6-1-1 in the second half.
  • Mason Jobst leads the Buckeyes with 14 goals and 30 points this season and ranks in the Top 10 in the NCAA in goals, goals per game, points and points per game.

Just the Stats

  • Overall this year, the Buckeyes are scoring 3.21 goals a game and allowing 2.21 a contest. The power play is 26-for-113 (.230) and the penalty kill is 72-for-90 (.800). The squad averages 8.8 penalty minutes, 35.7 shots on goal for and 28.7 shots on goal against per contest. Ohio State is ninth nationally in scoring defense, tied for 12th in scoring offense, 11th on the power play and fourth in shots per game.
  • Senior Mason Jobst has a team-high 14 goals and 30 points (tying for eighth in the NCAA in goals and tying for sixth in points), while junior Tanner Laczynski is first with 17 assists and second with 25 points. Jobst is second with 16 helpers, followed by freshman Gustaf Westlund with 11 and Carson Meyer and Matt Miller with 10 each. Ronnie Hein is second with nine goals and Dakota Joshua and Laczynski are tied for third with eight each. Westlund, who has 19 points, is 13th among NCAA freshmen with .86 points per game.
  • In goal, Tommy Nappier and Sean Romeo split starts the first 12 series. Nappier is in the Top 3 in the NCAA in goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.940) and Romeo has posted a 2.48 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Each goalie has three shutouts.
  • This year’s Buckeyes have the same record through 24 games (15-5-4) as the squad last year. The 2017-18 team was averaging 3.0 goals per game, allowing 2.12, through 24 contests. The power play was 20-for-98 (.204) and the penalty kill was 82-for-91 (.901).

In the Rankings

  • The Buckeyes are ranked fourth in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week.
  • Ohio State has been ranked in the Top 7 of both polls all season outside of one week at No. 9 in the USA Hockey Magazine poll Oct. 29.
  • Big Ten teams No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 15 Penn State join the Buckeyes in the USCHO poll and the Irish are also in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings at No. 13.
  • Of the Buckeyes’ nonconference foes this season, UMass is No. 2, Bowling Green is No. 13 and Arizona State is No. 16 in the USCHO ratings and in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings, the Minutemen are second, Falcons are 14th and Sun Devils are 15th.
  • The Buckeye women are ranked ninth in the USCHO poll this week. Ohio State and Clarkson are the only schools with both men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10, with Clarkson’s women ranked No. 5 and the men No. 10.
  • The Buckeye squad started the year No. 2 in the USA Today poll and No. 3 in the USCHO rankings. The team then moved into the top spot the next two weeks in both polls (Oct. 8, Oct. 15). It was the first time the Buckeyes were No. 1 in either poll and the first time at the top of a national college hockey poll since WMPL Radio rankings for three weeks in November/December 1983.

In the B1G

  • Ohio State has an 8-3-3-2 record in Big Ten games, compiling 29 points to stand in first place (through 14 games of 24 games played).
  • Notre Dame enters the weekend in second place with 25 points on a 7-6-2-2 record in 15 games.
  • Minnesota stands in third with 24 points (16 games played, 7-6-3-0), followed by Michigan in fourth with 21 points (15 games played, 5-6-4-2). Wisconsin (14 games played, 5-5-4-1), Michigan State (16 games played, 5-8-3-2) and Penn State (16 games played, 6-9-1-1) are tied for third with 20 points each.
  • Ohio State’s remaining B1G games are home vs. Notre Dame, Minnesota and Michigan State and away at Wisconsin and Michigan.
  • The No. 1 team in the final Big Ten standings earns a bye in the quarterfinals (best-of-three series) of the league tournament, while seeds 2-4 host 5-7. The Top 2 remaining seeds host one-game semifinal matchups, with the top remaining seed hosting the final.

Complete notes in the PDF above