Series at No. 1 Minnesota Awaits Buckeyes
Jan. 16, 2014
Ohio State vs. No. 1 Minnesota
Friday, Jan. 17 - 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET
Hockey City Classic - TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, Minn.
Saturday, Jan. 18 - 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET
Mariucci Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
• Buckeye Hockey Gameday Page: go.osu.edu/mhkygameday
• Ohio State Game Notes: PDF
• Live Stats: Friday Saturday
• Radio: 1460 AM & Online Friday Saturday
• Online & Mobile: BTN2Go
• Television: Friday - BTN | Saturday - Fox Sports North/SportsTime Ohio
• Compete 2013-14 schedule: go.osu.edu/mhkysked1314
• Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team (11-6-1, 1-2-1-0 B1G) faces No. 1 Minnesota (15-2-3, 5-0-1 B1G) in the first Big Ten series between the teams this weekend. Friday the teams will meet in the Hockey City Classic outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium, while the matchup Saturday will be in Mariucci Arena. The puck drops in Minneapolis at 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET Friday and 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET Saturday.
The game Friday will be televised live on BTN and available through the BTN2Go website and mobile app (depending on cable provider). It is part of BTN's Frozen Friday doubleheaders and follows a 6:30 p.m. ET matchup between Penn State and Michigan State.
The game Saturday will be broadcast by Fox Sports North and picked up by SportsTime Ohio. It will also be available through BTN2Go.
IMG/Ohio State radio, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call, will carry the action over the air in Columbus on 1460 AM. The broadcast is also available as part of Buckeye Vision subscriptions.
Audio, video and live stats links for the games vs. Minnesota, as well as all games throughout the season, are on the men's hockey schedule or gameday pages (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with in-game updates also on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY.
Take it Outside
The game Friday will be the third outdoor game in Ohio State history. The squad first played in the Frozen Tundra Classic/U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., vs. Wisconsin Feb. 11, 2006. The Badgers skated to a 4-2 win in front of 40,890 fans. Jan. 15, 2012, the Buckeyes took on Michigan at the Frozen Diamond Faceoff Classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Wolverines topped the Buckeyes, 4-1, with a crowd of 25,864 on hand.
According to weather.com, the high in Minneapolis Friday is expected to be 11 degrees, with the low 9 (as of Wednesday). A crowd of 45-50,000 is expected. The game between the Buckeyes and Gophers follows a 4:30 p.m. ET matchup between the Minnesota women's team and Minnesota State. For more information on the Hockey City Classic, visit hockeycityclassic.com or follow on Twitter @HkyCityClassic. The first edition of the event was at Soldier Field in Chicago Feb. 17, 2013. Notre Dame beat Miami, 2-1, and Wisconsin topped Minnesota, 3-2, in the doubleheader.
Ohio State, under first-year head coach Steve Rohlik, is 11-3-1 in its last 15 games and stands 11-6-1 overall this season. The squad is 1-2-1-0 in Big Ten play, with two one-goal losses to Michigan, a 5-3 victory over Michigan State and a 1-1 overtime tie (shootout loss) vs. the Spartans. The squad is averaging 3.83 goals a game to rank third in scoring in the NCAA and is allowing 2.83 a contest. Ohio State's power play is 19-for-86 (.221), tying for seventh in the NCAA, and the penalty kill is 14-for-72 (.806).
Junior Ryan Dzingel leads the team with 13 goals and 27 points and is second with 14 assists. Junior Max McCormick is second with seven goals and 20 points and tied for third with 13 assists. Senior Alex Szczecura comes in third with 19 points and is tied for third with 13 helpers. Juniors Nick Oddo and Tanner Fritz are tied for fourth with 17 points each. Oddo has five goals and 12 assists, while Fritz has three goals and a team-high tying 14 assists. Szczechura and freshman Nick Schilkey are tied for third with six goals each. Oddo is first on the squad with a +16 mark and sophomore defenseman Craig Dalrymple is second with a +11 rating, followed by Dzingel (+10). Junior Justin DaSilva has blocked a team-best 35 shots and senior blueliner Curtis Gedig is second with 32. In goal, three freshmen have picked up wins for the Buckeyes. Matt Tomkins has a 2.59 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 11 games (10 starts). He returned to action last weekend vs. Michigan State after suffering an injury Nov. 9. Logan Davis came on in relief Nov. 9 and started the next four games, posting a 2.21 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout. Christian Frey joined the team in December and started both games vs. Mercyhurst Dec. 28-29, going 2-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Last Time Out - Ohio State 1-0-1 vs. Michigan State
The Buckeyes returned to Big Ten action with a two-game home series against Michigan State last weekend. The squad came from behind each night, downing the Spartans, 5-3, in game one and rallying for a 1-1 tie in game two.
Game One - Ohio State 5, Michigan State 3: Ohio State came from a goal down to defeat Michigan State, 5-3, Friday in Value City Arena in the first Big Ten Conference game between the teams. Junior Ryan Dzingel led the Buckeyes with a hat trick and four points in the win. Ohio State led 1-0 after the first period but the SatSpartans scored back-to-back goals in the second period to take a 2-1 lead with five minutes left in the stanza. Dzingel tallied his first goal of the game 1:54 later for a 2-2 game but the Spartans answered with a tally with 37 seconds left in the period to carry a 3-2 lead into the third. Junior Nick Oddo scored just 17 seconds into the third to tie the game at 3 and Dzingel scored 1:13 after to push Ohio State ahead, 4-3. Dzingel completed his hat trick - the first in Big Ten Conference history - with less than five minutes in regulation, giving the Buckeyes a two-goal cushion. Freshman goalie Matt Tomkins had 33 saves in his first game since Nov. 9. Oddo had two assists for a three-point night. Max McCormick had a two-assist night and Szczechura added an assist for two points.
Game Two - Ohio State 1, Michigan State 1 OT (MSU wins shootout, 3-2 in six rounds): Ohio State rallied for a 1-1 overtime tie with Michigan Saturday in VCA. The Spartans led 1-0 after the first period on a goal from Matt Berry and maintained the lead through the second. In the third, Anthony Greco found Darik Angeli in front and he was able to net the game-tying goal at 8:10. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way, including through a five-minute overtime, and the game went to a shootout. The Spartans scored in round one before neither team scored on its next four shots. Tanner Fritz tied the shootout for the Buckeyes in round three to extend the shootout and MSU and Nick Schilkey traded goals in round four. Neither team scored in round five and MSU's Tanner Sorenson scored in round six to put Michigan State back in the lead and MSU goalie Jake Hilderbrand made a save on the Buckeyes to clinch the extra point in the Big Ten standings. Tomkins made 26 saves for the Buckeyes in net.
Buckeyes vs. Gophers
Ohio State has one win in 13 matchups with the Gophers and has lost the last five games against Minnesota. The series dates to 1968 but seven of the 13 games have been since 1999. The teams met back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007. The Gophers swept a series in Columbus (7-2, 6-3) Oct. 20-21, 2006 (the only series between the teams in Columbus) and then won two games in Minneapolis (3-1, 2-1) Oct. 25-26, 2007.
As members of the Big Ten, the Buckeyes and Gophers will meet four times each season. The squads will face off in Columbus March 7-8 to close Ohio State's regular-season home schedule.
Minnesota, ranked first in both national polls and on an eight-game unbeaten streak, is 15-2-3 overall this season and 5-0-1 in Big Ten play. The Gophers are coming off a two-game sweep at Penn State (3-2, 5-2). The squad opened Big Ten play with two home games vs. Wisconsin, posting 4-1 and 4-3 wins, and was 1-0-1 at Michigan State (T 2-2, W 3-2). The Gophers are second in scoring offense in the NCAA, averaging 3.95 goals a game, and are sixth in team defense, holding opponents to 2.10 goals a game. The power play is 16-for-98 (.163) and the penalty kill is 65-for-78 (.833). The Gophers are first in the NCAA averaging 37.05 shots on goal per game, allowing 28.45 an outing.
Sam Warning leads Minnesota with 17 assists and 24 points and is fourth with seven goals. Seth Ambroz has a team-best nine goals, followed by Justin Kloos and Mike Reilly with eight each. Kyle Rau is second with 15 assists and third with 20 points, behind Kloos' 21 points. Adam Wilcox has started 19 of 20 games for the Gophers in goal and has a 2.13 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
B1G Play is Here
This season marks the first campaign for men's hockey as an official Big Ten sport. Ohio State is joined in the league by former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals Michigan and Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota, who both used to compete in the WCHA, and Penn State, which is in its second year as a varsity program. The teams will each play a 20-game conference schedule, taking on each opponent twice at home and twice on the road. All six teams will travel to Saint Paul, Minn., for the inaugural Big Ten Hockey Tournament March 20-22, 2014 in the Xcel Energy Center.
Ohio State opened Big Ten play against Michigan Nov. 29/Dec. 2. The squad will close out the regular season with 18-consecutive Big Ten Conference games.
Hit the Road
• The series at Minnesota marks the Buckeyes' first two-game road series of the season. Fourteen of the team's first 18 games were in Value City Arena in Columbus.
• The squad has had just one night on the road (at Michigan) and left the state for just two games - at Robert Morris and at Michigan. The other two road games were against instate foes Miami and Bowling Green.
• After the series at Minnesota, the Buckeyes travel to Wisconsin for two games next week, the only stretch of four-consecutive games away from Columbus for the team this season. The team will travel for two-game series at Michigan State (Feb. 7-8) and at Penn State (March 14-15), with a home-and-home series against Michigan Feb. 28/March 2.
• Ohio State is 10-3-1 in Columbus this season, averaging 4.0 goals a game in Value City Arena, while allowing 2.43 an outing.