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Buckeyes vs. Pioneers in NCAA West Regional

  • The Ohio State men’s hockey team heads to the NCAA West Regional in Fargo, N.D., for the second time in three years, part of a stretch of three consecutive NCAA appearances for the Buckeyes.
  • The No. 3 seed Buckeyes will face No. 2 seed Denver at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET Friday in Scheels Arena. The game will be televised by ESPNU and available through Watch ESPN, with Clay Matvick and Dave Starman on the call. The game will be on Ohio State Radio 1460 AM, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat calling the action.
  • The other West Regional semifinal game is overall No. 1 seed St. Cloud State vs. No. 4 American International, with the teams meeting at 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN3.
  • The regional semifinal winners will meet at 9 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU and Watch ESPN for a spot in the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The national semifinals are April 11, with the national championship game April 13.
  • Ohio State is 20-10-5 this season and won the Big Ten regular season title with a 13-7-4-3 record.
  • The Buckeyes and Pioneers met in the NCAA Midwest Regional final in Allentown, Pa., last year, with Ohio State winning 5-1 to advance to the Frozen Four. All-time, Ohio State is 6-6-0 vs. Denver.
  • Ohio State traveled to Fargo for the 2017 West Regional, falling in overtime to Minnesota Duluth, 3-2.

 

Buckeye Notes to Know

  • Ohio State is making a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the ninth in program history. It is the second three-year streak, matching the 2003-05 teams.
  • The Buckeyes won two games in the NCAA Midwest Regional last season to advance to the Frozen Four for the second time in program history and first since 1998. The victories in the regional ended a stretch of six consecutive NCAA losses.
  • Ohio State had three winners of Big Ten end of season awards – Tommy Nappier was named B1G Goaltender of the Year and Sasha Larocque was named the league’s defensive player of the year. Steve Rohlik was the unanimous choice for B1G Coach of the Year, his second consecutive league coach of the year honor. Mason Jobst, a Big Ten Player of the Year finalist, and Nappier were named First Team All-Big Ten, while Larocque was a second team honoree. Tanner Laczynski was Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and Gustaf Westlund was named to the B1G All-Freshman Team.
  • Ohio State and St. Cloud State are the only two NCAA Tournament teams with three 100-point scorers. Buckeye senior Mason Jobst leads all 2018-19 NCAA skaters with 164 points, junior Tanner Laczynski has 109 and senior Dakota Joshua has 100. The Buckeye trio’s 373 points tops the 258 from the three SCSU players, with two seniors and a junior combining for 358 points for the Huskies. Jobst and Laczynski (273) or Jobst and Joshua (264) make up the highest scoring tandem in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Sophomore Austin Pooley is the only current Buckeye who skated for the USHL Fargo Force, whose home rink is Scheels Arena, site of the West Regional this weekend.
  • Ohio State was 10-8 at home this year and had a 10-2-5 mark in away games, going 4-0-1 in nonconference road games.
  • Mason Jobst, the fifth Hobey Baker Award finalist in Ohio State history, leads the Buckeyes with 17 goals and 36 points, while Tanner Laczynski has a team-best 20 assists and is second with 30 points.
  • Ohio State hit the 20-win mark for the third year in a row and enters the NCAA Tournament 20-10-5 overall. It is the first time with three consecutive 20-win seasons since a four-year stretch from 2002-05.
  • The Buckeyes last played March 17, falling to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Columbus, 5-1.
  • With a quarterfinal bye as the No. 1 seed and semifinal loss in the B1G Tournament, Ohio State had just one game in the last three weeks.

 

Noting the Buckeyes in the NCAA Tournament

  • Ohio State is making its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with two Frozen Four trips (1998, 2018).
  • This is the first time since 2003-05 Ohio State has participated in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
  • The Buckeyes have been an at-large team all but one year. The squad won the 2004 CCHA Tournament to claim the league’s automatic bid that season.
  • Sixteen Buckeyes have NCAA Tournament game experience, with 15 playing in games during the 2018 Frozen Four run. In all, 21 players returned from last year’s roster, with six seniors departing.
  • Ten current Buckeyes played in the 2017 NCAA West Regional semifinal overtime loss to Minnesota Duluth in Fargo.
  • Tanner Laczynski leads current Buckeyes with three assists and five points in NCAA play. He is tied for third among current skaters in NCAA points.
  • Mason Jobst has two goals and Wyatt Ege, Dakota Joshua and Ronnie Hein each have two assists in NCAA play.
  • Ohio State was 6-3-1 against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams in the regular season – 2-0 vs. Arizona State, 3-1 vs. Notre Dame, 1-1 vs. UMass and 0-1-1 vs. Bowling Green. The Buckeyes’ 10 games vs. NCAA teams are tied for the second most, behind only Minnesota Duluth (8-6-0).
  • Minnesota Duluth eliminated the Buckeyes each of the last two years – in the first round in 2017 and in the semifinals in 2018.
  • The squad’s first trip was in 1998, when it defeated Yale and Michigan State (in 2OT) in the West Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., to reach the NCAA Frozen Four, where it fell to Boston College in Boston.
  • The Buckeyes returned in 1999, suffering a first round loss in the East Regional to Maine, 4-2, in Worcester, Mass.
  • In the three consecutive trips from 2003-05, Ohio State lost in the first round each time. The 2003 squad fell to Boston College 1-0 in Providence, R.I., and in 2004 the Buckeyes lost in overtime to Wisconsin by the same score in Albany, N.Y., in 2004. The 2005 team suffered a 3-2 loss to Cornell in Minneapolis.
  • In 2009 the Buckeyes traveled to Manchester, N.H., for the Northeast Regional, falling to Boston University, 8-3.
  • In 2017, Ohio State rallied to force overtime against eventual runner-up Minnesota Duluth in Fargo in the West

Regional. The Bulldogs prevailed, 3-2, in the extra period.

  • Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik was the captain on Wisconsin’s 1990 NCAA Championship team, one of two current head coaches in the NCAA Tournament to be part of an NCAA championship team as a player.
  • Associate head coach Steve Miller was on the staff of two NCAA championship teams at Denver (2004, ‘05) and an assistant coach with Providence’s title winning squad in 2015.
  • Buckeye assistant coach JB Bittner was on three Ohio State NCAA Tournament teams (2003-05).