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No. 13 Ohio State vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (B1G Tournament Semifinals)
Friday, March 17 | 4:30 p.m. ET | Joe Louis Arena | Detroit, Mich.
BTN, BTN2Go | 📻 1460 AM and Buckeye Vision | 📊 Live Stats | Twitter Updates
Setting the Scene
• The No. 13-ranked and No. 3 seeded Ohio State men’s hockey team (21-10-6, 11-8-1-1/3rd B1G) will face No. 18 Wisconsin, the No. 2 seed, (19-14-1, 12-8-0-0/2nd B1G) in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
• The other semifinal features No. 4 Penn State (22-11-2, 10-9-1-0 B1G) facing No. 1 seed Minnesota (23-10-3, 14-5-1-0 B1G) at 8 p.m.
• The championship game is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, with the winner earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
• BTN is televising all tournament games. They are available through BTN2Go for cable subscribers with BTN as part of their cable package as well.
• Ohio State radio will carry all Buckeye postseason contests on 1460 AM and online 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 Advances
• Ohio State won in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament for the fourth straight year, downing Michigan State 6-3 Thursday.
• The Buckeyes led 2-0 less than six minutes into the game on goals from Mason Jobst and Nick Schilkey, but the Spartans answered with the next three for a 3-2 lead after the opening period. Ohio State did not allow a goal the rest of the way, tying the game on a Brendon Kearney goal at 13:54 of the second. The Buckeyes scored three times in the first 3:51 of the third period, with two goals from David Gust and a tally by Tanner Laczynski, to pull away. Buckeye senior goalie Matt Tomkins had 26 saves in the game.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State is 21-10-6 on the year, the most wins for the team since the 2008-09 squad had 23. Since that time, the Buckeyes had an 18-win campaign, one year with 16 wins, three 15-win seasons and 14 wins in each of the last two years.
• The Buckeyes are first in the NCAA on the power play, converting 48-of-149 chances (32.2 percent). The Buckeyes were 2-for-3 vs. Michigan State and have multiple power play goals in five of the last eight games, with at least one goal in all but one game in the stretch (an 0-for-1 night vs. Michigan). The squad is 13-for-28 (.464) in the last eight games combined.
• The Buckeyes are 13-2-3 in road games this season for an NCAA-best .806 road winning percentage, ranking first in road wins (and tying for first in fewest road losses). Combining away and neutral games, Ohio State is 14-3-4 on the year, ranking third nationally with a .762 winning percentage and ranking first in wins.
• Ohio State is second in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.05 goals per game. The squad holds the NCAA lead with 150 goals on the year (ranking second with 98 even strength goals and 48 power play tallies) and is first with 252 assists and 402 points. The Buckeyes have 13 games with five or more goals, with four or more in five of the last seven. It is the most goals for the team since the 1997-98 squad scored 161 in 42 games (3.83 goals per game).
• The Buckeyes have seven players with 10-plus goals, six with 20 or more assists and seven with 20+ points, with six posting 30 or more points on the year and three crossing the 40-point barrier (including the first 50-point scorer since 2003).
• The Buckeyes have an NCAA-best 13.3 shooting percentage on the year. The team's six goals came on 34 shots Thursday (.176).
• Five Buckeyes earned Big Ten honors - Mason Jobst was named First Team All-B1G and the league's scoring co-champion, Christian Frey, Josh Healey and Nick Schilkey were all Second Team All-B1G and Dakota Joshua was honorable mention all-conference.
• Sophomore Mason Jobst has 12 points in his last five games, including three points, with a goal and two assists, Thursday, and now has 54 points on the year. It is the most points for a Buckeye since RJ Umberger had 53 in 2003. Since 1998, Jobst’s point total is behind only the 58 Hugo Boisvert posted that season. Jobst leads the NCAA with 1.73 points per game since Dec. 28 and ranks seventh overall this year with 1.46 points a game.
• Jobst also has 35 assists this season, the most since Tom Fritsche had 34 in 2005. The last Buckeye with 35 assists was Boisvert in 1998.
• Senior Nick Schilkey scored his 27th goal of the season Friday, passing RJ Umberger (2003) and Eric Meloche (1998) for the most goals since 1997. He added an assist and now has a career-high tying 41 points on the season. The last Buckeye with at least 27 goals was Ron White with 31 in 1991-92. He leads the NCAA in goals per game (.82) and is tied for first with 16 power play goals.
• Senior goalie Matt Tomkins is 12-3-3 on the year, ranking sixth (tied) in the NCAA in goalie winning percentage (.750). It is the most wins by a Buckeye goalie since Brady Hjelle had 14 in 2013.
• Twenty-three of the 28 Buckeyes have been invited to the annual Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner. To qualify, student-athletes must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better.
Buckeyes in the B1G Tourney
• This is the fourth edition of the Big Ten Tournament and Ohio State is 5-3 in B1G tourney play. The Buckeyes have faced every team but Michigan in B1G postseason action.
• Ohio State is 1-2 in B1G Tourney semifinal action and has lost its last two semifinal games, both to Minnesota.
• This is the first time the Buckeyes are the No. 3 seed. The squad was the fourth seed in 2014 and '16 and No. 5 in 2015.
• The first B1G tournament was held March 20-22, 2014, at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., with Ohio State advancing to the inaugural championship game. The No. 4 seed Buckeyes topped Michigan State, 2-1 in overtime, in the quarterfinals before beating No. 1 Minnesota, 3-1, in the semifinals. Against No. 2 Wisconsin in the championship, the Badgers rallied for a 5-4 win in overtime.
• The 2015 edition of the B1G tournament was played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Ohio State, the No. 5 seed, posted a 3-1 win over No. 4 Penn State in the quarterfinals before falling to top seed Minnesota in the semifinals, 3-0.
• In 2016 in Saint Paul, Minn., the No. 4 seed Buckeyes downed the No. 5 Spartans in overtime in the quarterfinals, 4-3, before falling to No. 1 seed Minnesota in the quarterfinals, 4-2.
• Ohio State has two conference postseason titles, winning Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournaments in 1972 (at St. Louis Arena in St. Louis, Mo.) and 2004 (in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit).
At The Joe
• Joe Louis Arena is hosting the Big Ten Tournament for the second (and final) time.
• This is the final year of Joe Louis Arena, home of the NHL's Red Wings. The team will move into a new arena starting in 2017-18.
• Ohio State has competed in a conference postseason tournament at The Joe 14 times (1979, `83, `84, `85, `87, `98, `99, `02, `03, `04, `05 and `13 as part of the CCHA and 2015 and '16 as part of the Big Ten). The team won three games in three days in the CCHA Super Six to claim the 2004 tournament title.
• The Buckeyes are 10-12 in postseason games in Joe Louis Arena (13-14 including consolation games).
• Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik captained Wisconsin to the 1990 NCAA title at Joe Louis Arena. The Badgers topped Colgate, 7-3, in the championship game after beating Boston College in the semifinals, 2-1. Rohlik also played his final NHL preseason game at Joe Louis Arenaskating for the the Penguins and starting on a line with Joey Mullen and Bryan Trottier).
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
• Ohio State and Wisconsin are meeting in the official Big Ten Tournament for the second time. The squads faced off in the inaugural tournament championship game in 2014, with the Badgers rallying for an overtime win.
• In the early Big Ten Tournament before the conference sponsored the sport (held in December), the Badgers won 11-2 in 1967 and 10-2 in 1967.
• Ohio State and Wisconsin also met in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2004, a 1-0 UW win in overtime.
• Ohio State is 9-16-3 all-time vs. Wisconsin with an 8-5-3 ledger in Big Ten Conference regular season play against the Badgers. The teams split their series during the regular season, with each team posting a weekend sweep.
• The Buckeyes and Badgers met to close the regular season March 10-11 in Madison, with Ohio State posting 5-1 and 3-1 victories.
• The teams met in Columbus Feb. 26, a 3-1 Badger win. The series moved to Madison Square Garden Feb. 28, with the Badgers winning in overtime, 3-2, after the Buckeyes tied the game with two goals in the final two minutes.
• 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.
The Last Series - Buckeyes Sweep Badgers
• Ohio State won two games at Wisconsin to close the regular season, posting 5-1 and 3-1 victories.
• Game one (Ohio State 5, Wisconsin 1): The Buckeyes won the series opener, 5-1, last Friday, with five goal scorers and 28 saves from senior goalie Matt Tomkins. The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first period, with seniors Drew Brevig and David Gust scoring. At 7:04 of the second Dakota Joshua extended the lead to 3-0. The Badgers answered less than three minutes later with a power play goal, but Ohio State scored once more in the period (Miguel Fidler) for a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Mason Jobst scored the lone goal of the third on the power play at 7:36. Tomkins made 14 of his 28 saves in the final stanza.
• Game two (Ohio State 3, Wisconsin 1): Ohio State led 1-0 just 2:46 into the game when Mason Jobst scored on the power play. The lead grew to 3-0 after 40 minutes, with Kevin Miller and Brendon Kearney (shorthanded) scoring in the second. The Badgers got on the board with a power play goal midway through the third, but the Buckeyes did not let them get any closer. Buckeye goalie Matt Tomkins had 27 saves in the game, including nine in the third period.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers Earlier This Season
• The Badgers swept the Buckeyes in a series held in Columbus and New York City, with 3-1 and 3-2 OT wins.
• Game one (Wisconsin 3, Ohio State 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. Ohio State did not face a UW power play.
• Game two (Wisconsin 3, Ohio State 2 OT): Wisconsin scored the only goal of the first period and after a scoreless second went ahead 2-0 at 14:57 of the third (not long after the Buckeye penalty kill stopped a five-minute major that included nearly two minutes of 5-on-3). At 18:20 of the third Dakota Joshua scored on the power play for the Buckeyes and at 19:44 Josh Healey tied the game. In overtime, Wisconsin notched the winner at 2:58. Buckeye goalie Christian Frey had 35 saves in the game, including four in overtime.
Hockey Buckeyes Go International
Counting Down to Puck Drop