No. 6/7 Ohio State at No. 13/13 Penn State
Friday, Jan. 12 | 7:30 p.m. | Pegula Ice Arena | University Park, Pa.
Watch Online/Mobile: BTN Plus on BTN2Go | Live Stats | Radio: 1460 AM, Buckeye Vision, TuneIn app
Ohio State PDF Game Notes | Penn State PDF Game Notes | Preview Videos
Setting the Scene
• The No. 6/7-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team hits the road this weekend for a Big Ten Conference series at No. 13/13 Penn State. The Buckeyes (14-4-4, 7-4-1-0 B1G) and Nittany Lions (12-7-3, 5-4-3-2 B1G) will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa.
• This is the second series between Ohio State and Penn State this year. The teams met Dec. 1-2 in Columbus. In the opener, the game was back and forth. Ohio State overcame a 3-1 deficit to take a one-goal lead twice in the third period, but Penn State tied the game with less than a second left in regulation. Neither team scored in overtime and Penn State won the shootout for the extra point. The Nittany Lions claimed game two, 4-0.
• The squads enter the weekend separated by two points in the Big Ten standings - Ohio State is in second with 22 points from a 7-4-1-0 record and Penn State is in third with 20 points after a 5-4-3-2 ledger.
• The Buckeyes carry a six-game winning streak into the weekend and are 9-1-2 in the last 12 games (with the loss to Penn State). Penn State is unbeaten in its last 10 games (7-0-3).
• The game Friday will be streamed through BTN Plus on BTN2Go online and for mobile devices. The Saturday contest 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 games on 1460 AM in Columbus, through Buckeye Vision on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and on the TuneIn app for mobile devices. Herb Howenstine and John Mowat will call the action.
• Live stats will be available on GameTracker 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.
Buckeye Notes to Know
• Ohio State posted a third straight sweep, downing Michigan State 4-1 and 5-3 last weekend. The stretch of six straight wins began with wins over Minnesota Dec. 8-9 (2-1 OT, 4-1) and Niagara Dec. 29-30 (3-2, 4-1).
• The Buckeyes are 9-1-1 on the road this season, ranking second nationally in road winning percentage (.864) behind 9-0-0 Notre Dame and tying for second in road wins.
• Ohio State is first in the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 79-of-86 (.919) opponent power play chances.
• The Buckeyes were 3-for-8 on the power play in their series at Michigan State and are now 16-for-89 (.180) on the year. Since starting the season 0-for-20 through its first four games, the team is 16-for-69 (.232).
• The Buckeyes are holding teams to 2.05 goals per game to rank fourth nationally in team defense. The team has allowed two or fewer goals in 14 games overall and in five of the last six games.
• When scoring first this season, Ohio State is undefeated (9-0-2). The squad is 5-4-2 when allowing the first tally. The team has scored two first-period goals in each of the last four games.
• Buckeye associate head coach Steve Miller was an assistant coach with Team USA, the bronze medalist at the 2018 World Junior Championship. He was part of the gold medal winning team last year, along with current Buckeye sophomore Tanner Laczynski.
• Ohio State has 32 goals in the first two periods combined, with 17 in the first and 15 in the second, and has scored 32 goals in the third. The squad has scored at least one goal in the third period in all but five games this year.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski leads Ohio State with 10 goals, 19 assists and 29 points, with all 29 points coming in his last 19 games. He is one point behind the NCAA point leaders. Laczynski enters the weekend on a six-game point streak (4g, 5a, 9p).
• Matthew Weis is second on the squad with 23 points, including 15 assists, and brings a six-game point streak (3g, 7a, 10p) into the weekend. Mason Jobst is third with 21 points on the year, with nine goals. Ohio State is the only team with three skaters in the Top 10 point scorers in the Big Ten.
• Redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo has started 20 of 22 games and is in the Top 10 nationally in goals-against average (1.94) and save percentage (.927).
In the B1G
• All seven Big Ten teams have played 12 conference games entering the weekend.
• In addition to the Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions this weekend, Michigan travels to Minnesota and Wisconsin hosts Michigan State.
• Notre Dame is first in the Big Ten with 36 points and a 12-0-0 ledger. Ohio State is in second with 22 points (7-4-1-0), two ahead of Penn State with 20 points in third (5-4-3-0). Minnesota (4-7-1-1) and Wisconsin (4-6-2-0) are tied for fourth with 14 points each, with Michigan two points back (12 points/3-7-2-1). Michigan State is 2-9-1-1 for eight points.
• With the addition of Notre Dame to the league this year, the conference has changed its postseason format, going to a three-round format on campus sites. The No. 1 seed will receive a first round bye, with Nos. 2-4 hosting 5-7 in best of three quarterfinal series. The highest remaining seeds will then host single game semifinals before a championship game hosted by the highest remaining seed.
• Penn State is the first Big Ten team Ohio State will wrap its regular season series with. The Buckeyes still have home series remaining with Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin and road trips to Notre Dame and Minnesota.
In the Rankings
• Ohio State is slotted a season-high No. 6 in the USCHO poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings this week.
• Ohio State moved into the Top 10 in both national polls in the last rankings of 2017, coming in at No. 9 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls released Dec. 11 and was No. 8 in the first rankings of 2018 released last week.
• The Buckeyes started the year ranked 19th in the USCHO poll, but dropped into the receiving votes category for three polls in a row. The squad moved back into the Top 20 at No. 16 Oct. 30 and remained ranked, moving to a then-high of 11th Nov. 27.
• Ohio State was in the receiving votes category of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 poll through each of the first nine polls. The Buckeyes entered the poll Nov. 27 at No. 13.
• In the latest USCHO poll, five Big Ten teams are ranked - No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 9 Minnesota, No. 13 Penn State and No. 18 Wisconsin.
• In the last USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, Notre Dame is No. 1, Ohio State is No. 7, Minnesota is No. 11, Penn State is No. 13 and Wisconsin is the second team receiving votes.
Just the Stats
• Ohio State is averaging 2.95 goals a game and is allowing 2.05 goals per outing, ranking fourth nationally in scoring defense.
• The Buckeye power play is 16-for-89 (.180) on the year, with a power play goal in seven of the last 10 games.
•The penalty kill has stopped 79-of-86 opponent opportunities (.919), ranking first in the NCAA. The squad averages 9.9 penalty minutes per game.
• Ohio State is averaging 32.5 shots on goal a game and allowing 27.4 shots on goal a night.
• Sophomore Tanner Laczynski is first on the squad with 10 goals, 19 assists and 29 points, along with a +15 rating. Senior Matthew Weis is second with 15 helpers and 23 points and third with eight goals. Junior Mason Jobst ranks second with nine goals and is third with 12 assists and 21 points. • Matt Miller leads the Buckeye blueliners with nine points and junior Sasha Larocque has a team-high 50 blocked shots.
• In goal, redshirt junior Sean Romeo has started 20 of 22 games and has a 1.94 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, with a 12-4-4 record. Freshman Tommy Nappier has two starts and three appearances, posting a 2.35 goals-against average and .928 save percentage, with two wins.
Last Time Out - Buckeyes Sweep Spartans
• The Buckeyes won two games at Michigan State last weekend, posting 4-1 and 5-3 victories.
• Game One (Ohio State 4, Michigan State 1): Ohio State took a 1-0 lead 33 seconds into the game on a Sasha Larocque goal and extended the advantage to 2-0 with a Kevin Miller power play goal at 5:58. Ronnie Hein and Tanner Laczynski scored 17 seconds apart in the first minute of the second period for a 4-0 Buckeye advantage. The Spartans got on the board midway through the third with the game’s final goal. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo made 21 saves and the Buckeyes won the special teams battle, converting 2-of-4 power play chances and going 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Laczynski had a goal and an assist for two points, while Matthew Weis had two helpers.
• Game 2 (Ohio State 5, Michigan State 3): Michigan State opened the scoring at 7:14 of the first, but Ohio State scored twice in 17 seconds, with Matthew Weis and Dakota Joshua tallying, to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Spartans scored the only goal of the second for a tie game after 40 minutes. The Buckeyes killed a penalty to start the third and then scored three goals -- by John Wiitala, Joshua and Freddy Gerard -- to go ahead 5-2 at 12:52. The Spartans made it a two-goal game at 13:28, but could get no closer. The Buckeyes outshot the Spartans, 31-23. Ohio State was 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Laczynski and Matt Joyaux each had two assists in the game.
Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
• Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 11-7-2, with a 4-3-1 advantage on the road. In Big Ten regular season play, the Buckeyes are ahead, 10-6-2.
• The teams met in Columbus earlier this season, with Penn State earning five of six points with a 5-5 OT tie and shootout win and 4-0 victory Dec. 1-2.
• Last season, the Buckeyes were 2-1-1 vs. the Nittany Lions. The teams split a series in Columbus Jan. 6-7, 2017, with a 3-0 Buckeye win and 4-2 PSU victory. In State College Jan. 20-21, 2017, the teams tied the opener 3-3, with Ohio State winning the shootout, and the Buckeyes claimed game two, 6-3.
• The first matchup between the teams was Dec. 29, 2012 in the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, a 5-4 Nittany Lion win.
• Senior Matthew Weis leads the Buckeyes with six goals, seven assists and 13 points (in 13 games) vs. Penn State. Senior Luke Stork has five goals and eight points in a team-high 15 games vs. Penn State. Junior Mason Jobst has tallied a 4-6-10 line in 10 games against the Nittany Lions. Junior Dakota Joshua has a 3-4-7 line (in 7 games) and senior Christian Lampasso has posted 3-4-7 totals in 13 games.
• Buckeye senior Luke Stork is a Pennsylvania native, calling Pittsburgh home, along with assistant coach JB Bittner and equipment manager Tim Adams.
Ohio State vs. Penn State - The Last Time
• Ohio State tied Penn State, 5-5, before losing the shootout and fell to the Nittany Lions, 4-0, Dec. 1-2 in Columbus.
• Game One (Ohio State 5, Penn State 5 OT/PSU shootout win): Penn State led 6:20 into the game but a Christian Lampasso goal sent the teams into the first intermission tied at one. The Nittany Lions controlled play in the second, scoring the only two goals, for a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. Ohio State scored twice in less than a minute early in the third, with Dakota Joshua and Tanner Laczynski (on the power play) tallying, to tie the game at three.
• Brendon Kearney scored a third straight Buckeye goal for a 4-3 advantage at 8:53 but Penn State tied the game at 12:25. Ohio State again went ahead when Freddy Gerard tallied at 15:35. With time expiring, a Penn State shot went through with .7 left in regulation to tie the game for the fourth time and send it to overtime. Neither team scored in the extra session, with the Buckeye penalty kill stopping its fifth PK of the night in OT. Both teams secured a Big Ten point with the tie. A shootout was held for the extra point in the league standings and Penn State won, 1-0 in three rounds, as the first goal in the shootout stood.
• Game Two (Penn State 4, Ohio State 0): The teams were scoreless after the first period. Just 1:22 into the second period the Nittany Lions scored shorthanded and they followed with a power play goal at 6:21 for a 2-0 advantage. The Nittany Lions added goals at 4:49 and 15:22 of the third for the 4-0 final. Penn State was 1-for-3 on the power play, with the Buckeyes scoreless on five chances.
Nittany Lion Notes
• Penn State is 12-7-3 overall and 5-4-3-2 in Big Ten play. The squad enters the series on a 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3).
• In Big Ten play, Penn State split series with Minnesota and Michigan, was 1-0-1 vs. Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin and lost two games to Notre Dame. Last weekend, the Nittany Lions hosted Wisconsin, winning the opener 5-1 before a 3-3 OT tie and shootout win.
• Penn State leads the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.09 goals a game, and is allowing 3.0 a contest. The power play is 19-for-88 (.216) and the penalty kill is 63-for-73 (.863). The squad averages 40.7 shots on goal per outing, allowing 29.0 a game, and averages 10.6 penalty minutes per night.
• Andrew Sturtz leads Penn State with 18 assists and 28 points and shares the team goal lead with Nate Sucese with 10 each, followed by Denis Smirnov with nine. Brandon Biro (5g, 15a) and Trevor Hamilton (4g, 16a) are tied for second with 20 points each. In all, 11 Nittany Lions have double-digit points.
• In goal, Peyton Jones has an 11-5-2 record, with a 2.95 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. Chris Funkey has a 1-2-1 leder, posting a 2.96 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
The Buckeyes Lately
• Ohio State enters the weekend on a six-game winning streak and 9-1-2 in its last 12 games.
• It is the longest winning streak since winning five in a row Nov. 2-16, 2013. Last year, the team had a seven-game unbeaten streak to start the year (Oct. 7-29).
• In the last 12 games, Ohio State is averaging 3.42 goals a game and allowing 2.17 a contest. The power play is 12-for-46 (.261) and the penalty kill is 46-for-50 (.920). Tanner Laczynski has a team-high seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points, followed by Matthew Weis with a 6-11-17 line.
• In the last six outings, the Buckeyes have scored 3.67 goals a game and given up 1.5 a contest. The PP is 6-for-23 (.261) and the penalty kill is 25-for-27 (.926). Weis is first on the team with seven assists and 10 points, Laczynski has a team-best four goals and is second with nine points and Mason Jobst and Laczynski are tied for second with five helpers each, with Jobst third with seven points.
Special Teams Synopsis
• The Buckeyes rank first in the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 79-of-86 (.919) opponent chances. The squad was 9-for-10 at Michigan State last weekend, with five chances in each game and allowing a PPG in game two.
• Ohio State's power play has 16 goals on 89 chances (.180) this season. Against Michigan State, Ohio State was 2-for-4 Friday and 1-for-4 Saturday.
• The Buckeyes started the season scoreless on the power play in their first four games, going 0-for-20. Since then (starting Oct. 20 at UMass), the squad is 16-for-69 (.232), with a PPG in four of the last six games.
• Mason Jobst has five of the Buckeyes' power play goals, tying for 15th nationally. Matthew Weis has three, John Wiitala and Tanner Laczynski each have two and Ronnie Hein, Dakota Joshua and Christian Lampasso have scored the others.
• Last season, the Buckeyes led the NCAA on the power play, converting 31.6 percent of their chances (49-for-155). On the penalty kill in 2016-17, Ohio State was 120-for-161 (.745).
Coach Miller and Team USA Win WJC Medal
• Steve Miller, the Buckeyes' associate head coach in his first year with the program, was an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team that won the bronze medal in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship this year.
• This was Miller’s second stint on the WJC staff. He was part of the team that won the gold medal at last year’s event. Team USA, which included Buckeye Tanner Laczynski, was 7-0 in the tournament last year.
Complete game notes in the PDF above