Buckeye Notes to Know • Ohio State is opening the year with six-consecutive road games. A bye week follows, with the squad’s first home games Nov. 9-10 vs. Alaska. • Ohio State returns 21 players from the 2011-12 squad, including seven of the Top 8 scorers. • Seven Buckeyes, as well as two coaches, call Minnesota home. The series marks the Buckeyes’ first games in the state since a two-game series at Minnesota Oct. 25-26, 2007. • Ohio State will have a rotating system of captains to start the season. Serving as captains for the series at Minnesota Duluth are seniors Alex Carlson and Brandon Martell and sophomore Matt Johnson, all Minnesota natives. • The Buckeyes were slated No. 6 by the coaches and No. 7 by the media in the CCHA’s preseason polls. The team is receiving votes in the USA Today and USCHO polls.
Drop the Puck The Ohio State men’s hockey team opens the 2012-13 campaign with two non-conference games at No. 12/13 Minnesota Duluth this weekend. The teams will meet at 8:07 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn.
Follow Along This weekend, and throughout the season, links to audio, video and stats links will be on the men’s hockey gameday page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com (http://go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) and on the men’s hockey schedule page on the site.
For the series at Minnesota Duluth, a free radio broadcast will be available through 1490 AM The Fan in Duluth (fan1490.com). America ONE will have a paid webcast through b2tv.com. The games will be televised by Duluth’s My9.
Regular Season Starts With Six Road Games Ohio State is opening its regular season with back-to-back non-conference road series, traveling first to Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA and then heading to Connecticut for two games with Quinnipiac of the ECAC. CCHA play begins the following week when Ohio State plays at Bowling Green Oct. 26-27. After a bye week, the Buckeyes will open their home schedule with two games against Alaska Nov. 9-10.
It is the longest stretch of road games to open the regular season since 1998-99, when the squad played its first nine games away from Columbus as the Schottenstein Center construction was being completed. That year, the first home game was Nov. 13 vs. Michigan State.
Ohio State last opened the year on the road in 2010-11, splitting a series at Quinnipiac Oct. 8-9, with a 2-1 loss and 4-0 win.
For Openers The Buckeyes are 26-19-3 all-time in season openers, including a 2-2-1 mark in their last five season lid-lifters. The squad began 2011-12 with a 2-1 win over Quinnipiac in Columbus.
Buckeyes Top Waterloo in Exhibition, 3-2 in Overtime The Buckeyes began the year Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 overtime win against Waterloo in Value City Arena. Ohio State rallied from a goal down twice and did not lead until freshman Anthony Greco’s overtime winner. Greco added an assist for a two-point game, while sophomore Max McCormick had a goal to tie the game early in the third and set up the GWG. Freshman defenseman Sam Jardine scored the other goal shorthanded in the second to tie the score at 1. Senior goalie Brady Hjelle and freshman Collin Olson split time between the pipes, with Hjelle starting and making 15 saves. Olson faced just six shots, as the Buckeyes held the Warriors to just two third-period shots (none until the final 3:00).
Buckeyes vs. Bulldogs Ohio State leads the all-time series with Minnesota Duluth, 2-0-1, with a win in the only meeting in Duluth Dec. 19, 1979. The teams first met Dec. 29, 1974 in the St. Louis Tournament, a 3-3 tie, and then faced off Dec. 29, 2006, in the Ohio Hockey Classic at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, a 4-1 Buckeye win.
Duluth Connections Ohio State associate head coach Steve Rohlik spent 10 years on the Minnesota Duluth coaching staff and was part of the squad as it advanced to two NCAA tournaments, reaching the Frozen Four in 2004, and won the 2009 WCHA playoff title.
Buckeye senior goalie Brady Hjelle began his college career at Minnesota Duluth, playing in 21 games, starting 18, including 17 starts as a sophomore in 2009-10 when he was 9-7-1 with one shutout.
Buckeye sophomore defenseman Al McLean is a native of Duluth and graduated from Duluth East High School in 2009. He and the Greyhounds participated in the 2009 Minnesota Class AA state tournament.
The UMD Bulldogs Minnesota Duluth was 25-10-6 last season and 16-7-5 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to finish second. The squad topped Maine in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual national champion Boston College in the regional final. The Bulldogs were second in the nation in scoring in 2011-12, averaging 3.59 goals a game. The squad was slotted sixth in the WCHA preseason coaches poll and No. 5 in the media poll entering 2012-13.
Young Guns Ohio State ranked second in the NCAA last year in points per game by rookies, totaling 122 as a group and averaging 3.49 points per game. Freshmen were four of the squad’s top six scorers. In CCHA play, forward Max McCormick tied for second among all league freshmen with 20 points, while Ryan Dzingel was fourth with 19 points and forwards Darik Angeli and Tanner Fritz tied for 10th with 13 points apiece. McCormick was 11th in the nation in points per game by rookies (.81), with Dzingel tied for 22nd (.73). McCormick earned a spot on the CCHA All-Rookie Team, while Dzingel and defenseman Al McLean were honorable mention picks.
Who’s Back Ohio State returns 21 players from the 2011-12 squad, including seven of its top eight scorers. Last year, now-junior Chris Crane and 2012-13 sophomore Ryan Dzingel shared the scoring lead with 24 points each. Crane had a team-high 14 goals and Dzingel led the squad with 17 assists.
The CoachingStaff Mark Osiecki is in his third year at the helm of the Buckeyes. He is joined by associate head coach Steve Rohlik, also in his third year, and Joe Exter, who is in his second year with the program. RJ Umberger of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, an All-American at Ohio State and three-year letterwinner with the Buckeyes (2001-03), has joined the team as its volunteer coach during the NHL lockout.
Watch the Buckeyes On TV: Five Ohio State games are scheduled to be televised this season. BTN will cover the Nov. 30 game at Michigan State, along with home games vs. Miami Dec. 14 and Michigan Feb. 22. Ohio State will appear on Comcast twice, first against the Spartans Dec. 1 and then at home vs. the Wolverines Feb. 23.
Online: All Buckeye regular-season home games are scheduled to be streamed online through BTN.com or Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Most road games are scheduled to be streamed as well. Check the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com for links to all video streams, both home and away.
Listen In Nearly every Ohio State game this season - as well as all postseason contests - will be carried by The Ohio State-IMG Sports Network, on the radio on 1460 AM in Columbus and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and 971thefan.com. Links to the internet streams will be on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com prior to each weekend. Coverage starts with the CCHA opener at Bowling Green Oct. 26-27. After that series, the only games missing from the schedule are the Three Rivers Classic tournament in Pittsburgh and the road series at Alaska in February. (Note the schedule is subject to change.)