March 5, 2014
Ohio State vs. No. 1 Minnesota
Friday, 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports North/SportsTime Ohio)
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team (15-11-4, 5-7-4-3 B1G) closes out its regular season home schedule this weekend with two games vs. No. 1 Minnesota (23-4-5, 12-2-2-0 B1G). The teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
Celebrate the Seniors
The four members of the 2014 Ohio State senior class - Curtis Gedig, Alex Lippincott, Travis Statchuk and Alex Szczechura - will be recognized pregame Saturday. The group has been a part of 61 wins and a trip to the CCHA semifinals in 2013 and each has been named an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
The game Friday will be televised by Fox Sports North, with SportsTime Ohio carrying the broadcast as well. It will also be available through BTN2Go online and mobile.
The Saturday matchup will be on ESPNEWS and available through WatchESPN.
IMG/Ohio State radio, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call, will carry the action as well. Both games will be available live through Buckeye Vision subscriptions on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and over the air in Columbus on 1460 AM.
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.
Tickets for the Buckeyes' games vs. Minnesota can be purchased at the arena on game night, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at ticketmaster.com, in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Ohio State University ticket office in the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Single-game tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for student/youth and seniors.
All Ohio State students will receive free admission with a valid BuckID.
Any youth 13 or under wearing their youth jersey can receive one complimentary ticket to any regular season game in Value City Arena. The promotion is only available at the Schottenstein Center Box Office on game night.
Select a Seat
Season tickets for new accounts for the 2014-15 campaign are on sale now. During the series this weekend, fans are encouraged to come early as there will be a "Select-A-Seat" event on-going as soon as doors open, where fans can select seats to purchase as season tickets for the 2014-15 campaign.
Doors for all fans will open at 6 p.m. Friday and at 5 p.m. Saturday. Fans will need tickets to the game to enter and participate in the "Select-A-Seat." The select seats that are available as 2014-15 season tickets will have tags identifying them as such. Fans can either remove the tag on the specified seat and bring it to the Ticket Sales Team table located outside of Section 117, or team members will be available throughout the concourse to assist. Fans are able to pay in full (season tickets are $160 for adults or $120 for youth) or put down a minimum $50 non-refundable deposit per seat and be billed for the balance in the summer. Big Ten packages consisting of all 10 games vs. B1G opponents are also available for $120 for adults and $90 for youth. For more information, or to contact an account representative, call 1-800-GOBUCKS, or email AthleticSales@osu.edu.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes faced Michigan in a home-and-home series last weekend. Friday in Ann Arbor, the teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie and Ohio State prevailed in the shootout, 1-0 in three rounds. Sunday in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, the Wolverines posted a 4-3 win.
Minnesota hosted Penn State last weekend, recording 5-1 and 2-1 victories in Minneapolis.
Ohio State, under first-year head coach Steve Rohlik, is 15-11-4 on the year and 5-7-4-3 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes are averaging 3.33 goals a game to rank second in the Big Ten and ninth in the NCAA in scoring offense and are allowing 2.67 goals a contest. Ohio State's power play is 29-for-132 (.220), ranking 10th nationally and first in the conference, and the penalty kill is 92-for-115 (.800). The team averages 11.1 penalty minutes per game and 33.4 shots on goal per outing.
Junior Ryan Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 17 goals, 21 assists and a Big Ten-best 38 points. Junior Max McCormick is second in goals (11) and points (26) and fourth in assists (15), with classmate Tanner Fritz second with 20 assists and third with 25 points. Junior Nick Oddo has 24 points to rank fourth, along with 17 assists to rank third. Freshman Nick Schillkey is third with 10 goals and leads the Buckeye rookies with 20 points, while junior Darik Angeli is fourth with nine goals on the year. Senior Alex Szczechura has also hit the 20-point mark, ranking fifth in points with eight goals and 13 assists. Oddo is first with a +20 mark with Dzingel second at +13. Junior Justin DaSilva has blocked a team-high 71 shots. In goal, three freshmen have picked up wins for the Buckeyes. Christian Frey joined the team in December and has started eight contests (including seven of the last nine), with a 6-2-2 ledger, 2.10 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Matt Tomkins has a 2.70 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 15 games (14 starts, including both games vs. Michigan). Logan Davis has played in five games, with four starts, posting a 2.21 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout.
In the B1G
This season marks the first for men's hockey as a Big Ten Conference sport. The six teams that make up the league - Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin - each play a 20-game league schedule, facing each opponent twice at home and twice on the road. All six teams advance to the Big Ten Tournament in the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The Top 2 teams receive a bye into the semifinals, with the No. 4 and 5 seeds and No. 3 and 6 seeds meeting in the first round. The tournament champion receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
Two weeks remain in the regular season and each team has four games remaining. This week, Ohio State hosts Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State play a home-and-home series and Wisconsin travels to Penn State. On the final week of the season (March 14-15), the Buckeyes travel for two games against the Nittany Lions, the Spartans host the Badgers and the Gophers face the Wolverines on the road.
Entering this weekend, Minnesota is first with 38 points, followed by Wisconsin in second with 31 points. Michigan is third with 27 points, with Ohio State fourth (22 points), Michigan State fifth (19 points) and Penn State sixth (7 points). A team receives three points for a win in regulation or overtime. If a game is tied after a 5-minute overtime, each team receives one point and a three-round shootout is held to determine which team gets a second point.
Buckeyes vs. Gophers
Ohio State has one win in 15 matchups with the Gophers and has lost the last seven games against Minnesota. The teams met in January, with the Gophers posting a 1-0 win in the Hockey City Classic outdoor game Jan. 17 and a 4-2 victory in Mariucci Arena Jan. 18. The series dates to 1968 but nine of the 15 games have been since 1999. The most recent series prior to this year were in 2006 and 2007 when 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.
Minnesota, ranked first in both national polls, is 23-4-5 this year and 12-2-2-0 in Big Ten play, with both conference losses at Wisconsin Feb. 6-7. Those mark the team's only setbacks since a 6-2 loss to Minnesota Duluth Nov. 24. The Gophers' two conference ties are against Michigan State Dec. 6 on the road and Jan. 31 in Minneapolis. The Gophers are sixth in the country in scoring offense (3.53 goals per game) and first in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to 1.92 goals per game. The power play is 27-for-144 (.188) and the penalty kill is 90-for-109 (.826). The Gophers average 9.3 penalty minutes a game, along with 34.9 shots per outing.
Sam Warning leads Minnesota 31 points, tying Hudson Fasching for second with 12 goals and ranking second with 19 assists. Kyle Rau is first on the squad with 21 assists and second with 29 points, while Seth Ambroz has a team-best 13 goals. Justin Kloos is fourth with 25 points, scoring 10 goals and adding 15 assists. Adam Wilcox has played in 30 games and as a 21-4-5 record, ranking seventh in the NCAA with a 1.94 goals-against average and ranking sixth nationally with a .932 save percentage.
Earlier This Season - Ohio State Falls at No. 1 Minnesota
Game 1 (Jan. 17): Minnesota 1, Ohio State 0 - In front of 45,021 fans, Ohio State lost to No. 1-ranked Minnesota, 1-0, in the Hockey City Classic in TCF Bank Stadium. After a scoreless first period, the Gophers netted the only goal of the game early in the second. Each team had just five shots on goal in the third and the Gophers outshot the Buckeyes, 26-21, for the game. Buckeye freshman goalie Matt Tomkins had 25 saves in the matchup, allowing just one goal for the second game in a row. There were just three power plays and five penalties called in the game; Ohio State was scoreless on one chance with the man advantage and held the Gophers scoreless on two opportunities. The crowd was the largest in history for an Ohio State game (and a hockey game in the state of Minnesota).
Game 2 (Jan. 18): Minnesota 4, Ohio State 2 - The Buckeyes lost game two to the Gophers, 4-2, in Mariucci Arena. The Buckeyes led 2-0 at 14:16 of the first period on goals by Nick Oddo and Drew Brevig (on the power play), but the Gophers' Sam Warning responded just 24 seconds after Brevig's tally to make it a 2-1 game after the first period. Warning scored twice in the second period, tying the game at 1:34 and giving the Gophers the lead at 8:42 on the power play, to complete a natural hat trick. Seth Ambroz secured the win for the Gophers with a tally at 7:13 of the third period. The Buckeyes were outshot, 32-27, in the contest. Each team was 1-for-3 on the power play. Freshman Christian Frey started in goal for Ohio State and made 28 saves.
Look Back - Buckeyes vs. Wolverines
Game 1 (Friday, Ann Arbor): Ohio State 2, Michigan 2 OT - The Buckeyes and Wolverines skated to a 2-2 overtime tie and Ohio State claimed the extra point in the Big Ten standings with a 1-0 shootout win. Freshman Nick Schilkey put Ohio State up 1-0 just 4:26 into the game before UM tied the score with 29 seconds left until the first intermission. Senior Alex Szczechura again gave the Buckeyes a lead with a power play goal midway through the second period and the Buckeyes maintained the advantage until the 14:44 mark of the third when Michigan's Alex Guptill netted his second goal of the game. Neither team was able to score the rest of the way, sending the game to a shootout. Szczechura scored the lone shootout goal and freshman goalie Matt Tomkins, who had 35 saves in the game, did not allow a goal in the shootout. The tie ended a six-game losing streak for the Buckeyes vs. UM.
Game 2 (Sunday, Columbus): Michigan 4, Ohio State 3 - Ohio State was defeated by No. 13 Michigan, 4-3, in Nationwide Arena. The Buckeyes were unable to overcome a two-goal first-period deficit, drawing within one three times but unable to get the equalizer. Michigan scored on the power play at 2:26 and 7:03 of the first period to lead 2-0 after 20 minutes. Buckeye freshman David Gust scored 3:03 into the second period to cut the lead in half but Michigan's Derek DeBlois answered at 6:12 for a 3-1 game. Buckeye junior Darik Angeli made it a one-goal game with a power play tally at 17:45 of the second. Phil Di Giuseppe netted Michigan's third power play goal of the game at 10:30 of the third period. Buckeye sophomore defenseman Sam Jardine cut the deficit to one 1:19 later, but Ohio State could get no closer. The Wolverines outshot the Buckeyes, 38-37, in the game and won the special teams battle, with a 3-for-4 day on the power play and 4-for-5 performance on the penalty kill.
Complete notes, stats and updated bios available in the PDF linked above