Jan. 28, 2017
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Setting the Scene
• The No. 8-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team (12-5-6, 3-3-1-1 B1G) heads to New York City to face Wisconsin (12-8-1, 5-2-0-0 B1G) in Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. Saturday. The game is part of Big Ten Super Saturday, a doubleheader with a men’s basketball game.
• The game will be televised by BTN and available on BTN2Go for cable subscribers who have BTN as part of their cable package.
• Ohio State radio will carry the contest 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.
• For the game in Madison Square Garden, tickets can be purchased online (go.osu.edu/msgtix17) or at the arena on game day.
Last Time Out
• Ohio State and Wisconsin opened their regular season series Thursday in Columbus, with the Badgers winning 3-1.
• The Badgers scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game, with a shorthanded score at 3:24 and an even strength tally at 8:46. The Buckeyes scored the only goal of the second when Matthew Weis tallied after a Mason Jobst faceoff win at 4:28. The Badgers held their one-goal edge until an empty net goal with nine seconds remaining. Shots were 27-25 in favor of the Buckeyes in the game. The Badgers won the special teams battle, going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and scoring shorthanded. Despite three penalties, Ohio State did not face a UW power play.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State moved up from No. 11 to eighth 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 15 weeks, in the Top 10 six of the last eight weeks and has received votes for 16 consecutive weeks.
• In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, the Buckeyes have been in the Top 15 each of the last 13 weeks and 14 total weeks this season and in the Top 10 five of the last seven weeks, while receiving votes in all 15 polls.
• It is the first time the Buckeyes are in the Top 8 of the USCHO poll since the 2011-12 campaign.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is second in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.09 goals per game. Penn State (4.43) and Ohio State are the only two teams averaging 4+ goals a game. The Buckeyes rank fourth nationally on the power play, converting 25.3 percent of their chances (24-for-95).
• The Buckeyes were held to one goal for only the second time this season Friday vs. Wisconsin. The squad has tallied three or more times in 18 of 23 games this season.
• Sophomore Mason Jobst has 17 points in his last nine games combined (with at least one point in each), with seven goals and 10 assists. Since Dec. 3, when his streak started, he is first in the NCAA in points per game (1.89). Jobst is first for the Buckeyes with 29 points, including 10 goals, tying for second in the B1G. In Big Ten play, Jobst is second in the B1G with 1.71 points per game.
• Goalie Christian Frey has been named a Big Ten Star of the Week each of the last three weeks. The senior has 35+ saves in five of his last seven games, with a 1.97 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in the seven games combined. He had 97 saves last weekend at Penn State, including a 56-save night in an overtime tie.
• The Buckeyes have had balanced scoring throughout the lineup – 17 Buckeyes have at least one goal and all 23 skaters have at least one assist and point. There are four Buckeyes with 20 or more points, 10 with 10 or more and 16 with five or more.
• The Buckeyes are 4-4-2 at home and 8-1-4 in games away from Columbus this season.
• Senior forward Nick Schilkey, who is second nationally with .85 goals per game and tied for third in the NCAA with a Big Ten best 17 tallies, is one of 15 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. A Big Ten Distinguished Scholar as a finance major, he has 114 career points for the Scarlet and Gray. Schilkey has missed the Buckeyes’ last three games with an injury suffered Jan. 14 vs. Arizona State.
• Freshman forward Tanner Laczynski, a gold medalist at the World Junior Championship with Team USA, returned to the Buckeye lineup Friday after missing the Penn State series with an illness. He is second in points per game among NCAA rookies (1.28).
• Buckeye freshman Matt Miller is the brother of J.T. Miller, a forward for the New York Rangers. J.T. Miller had 35 points through his first 48 games for the Rangers this year. Matt Miller has skated in eight games for the Buckeyes, with two assists.
• Ohio State associate head coach Mark Strobel played in Madison Square Garden, skating for the New Jersey Devils vs. the New York Rangers in a rookie matchup.
In the B1G
• The series between the Buckeyes and Badgers is the only Big Ten Conference matchup this weekend. Ohio State and Wisconsin have one conference game in hand on the other four teams entering Saturday’s game.
• Minnesota is first wtih 18 points (6-2-0-0), followed by Penn State with 16 (5-2-1-0), Wisconsin with 15 (5-2-0-0) and Ohio State with 11 (3-3-1-1. Michigan is fifth (5 points, 1-6-1-1) and Michigan State is sixth (4 points, 1-6-1-0).
• This marks the fourth season for men’s hockey as a Big Ten Conference sponsored sport. 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 was picked second in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll behind Minnesota. Michigan was third, followed by Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
• 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.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
• Ohio State is 7-15-3 all-time vs. Wisconsin with a 6-4-3 ledger in Big Ten Conference regular season play against the Badgers.
• Last season Ohio State was 2-0-2 vs. Wisconsin, with the Badgers winning both shootouts. The teams met in Madison Jan. 8-9. The Buckeyes won 2-0 in game one before a 4-4 overtime tie in game two. Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, the squads tied 4-4 in game one and the Buckeyes prevailed 6-5 in the second game.
• The first eight games between the teams were between 1965-69, with the next three matchups all neutral site games from 2004-07. The squads met in the first round of the NCAA tournament March 26, 2004 in Albany, N.Y. a 1-0 Badger win. Feb. 11, 2006, the Buckeyes and Badgers played outside on Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., a 4-2 UW victory. Ohio State topped Wisconsin, 5-3, in the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational Oct. 13, 2007 in Dayton, Ohio. The teams did not face off again until the Big Ten Conference added hockey.
Buckeye – Badger Connections
• Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik was a four-year letterwinner at Wisconsin (1987-90) and a two-time captain, wearing the C when the team claimed the 1990 NCAA Championship. He was an assistant coach for the Badgers in 1990-91.
• Ohio State associate head coach Mark Strobel played four years with the Badgers (1992-95) and was team captain as both a junior and senior.
• Both Rohlik and Strobel received Wisconsin’s Fenton Kelsey Jr. Most Competitive Award. Rohlik was the WCHA Tournament MVP in 1990 and Strobel was a 1995 WCHA All-Tournament Team selection. Wisconsin competed in the NCAA Tournament all four years of both Rohlik and Strobel’s careers.
• Sophomore John Wiitala’s father, Martin, played at Wisconsin from 1983-86, serving as captain as a senior. He was drafted by the North Stars in the fifth round of the 1982 NHL Draft and played professionally in Vienna, Austria.