Hockey Bucks Come Up Short Against Nittany Lions

By Aubrey Nelson on March 18, 2014 at 3:45p
Penn State really hopes Dzingel goes pro this summer.

Ohio State University photo


Ohio State concluded the regular season with a split at Penn State. Read on as we recap that series, lay out the Big Ten tourney schedule, and have a look at the headlines around Buckeye hockey.

Weekend recap

With neither of last week's games being televised, I have only the word of Twitter and the radio broadcasters. Best I can tell this is what happened in Friday's 4-2 win. 

Some creative liberties may have been taken with this art

And this is what happened in Saturday's 4-2 season finale loss.

Unfortunately this is pretty much what exactly what happened

It was pretty clear from Steve Rohlik's pregame comments on Saturday that he wasn't pleased with the way the Buckeyes finished Friday's game. I don't expect he was thrilled with Saturday's game either.

Ohio State should have beaten Penn State both nights, plain and simple. The Bucks just didn't play up to their highest level. Instead it sounded as though they gave a disjointed effort and got burned by a scrappy, highly motivated Nittany Lion squad.

It wasn't an ideal way to close an otherwise decent season. It certainly didn't sound like the ideal tune up for a Big Ten tournament run. The Buckeyes have been spotty team since their February bye week. They really could have benefited from a solid series.

But that's water under the bridge now. Ohio State needs to regroup before facing Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals. If they hope to extend their season, they can't afford any mediocre periods from here on out.

The Spartans come into Thursday's game fresh off their most offensively productive series since Thanksgiving. They posted eight total goals in a split against No. 5 Wisconsin which included a decidedly odd tilt on Saturday. 

Further Reading
  • WJAC News posted a few highlights from Friday's contest. (That's actually Ryan Dzingel on the first goal, not Nick Oddo.)
  • Ohio State’s recaps, featuring game stories, boxscores, etc. can be found here and here.
  • Other recaps are available courtesy of Rob Greissinger for USCHO (Friday and Saturday), Greg Pickel for The Patriot-News (Friday and Saturday), and Mary Clarke for Victory Bell Rings (Saturday). 
  • Abby Drey photographed Saturday's game for The Centre Daily Times. You can see her gallery here.

Big Ten tourney

*chorus of angels singing*
Photo via @B1GHockey

To refresh your memory, the conference tournament progresses thusly. No. 3 Michigan plays No. 6 Penn State in one quarterfinal match-up. No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan State face each other in the other quarterfinal. Note that both games are scheduled for Thursday

The Wolverines and Nittany Lions are the matinee game. Action begins at 3pm ET. The Buckeyes and Spartans do battle at 8pm ET. Ohio State hockey fan group The Scarlet Liners are hosting a watch party at Roosters on Dublin-Granville Rd. You can find more party details on Facebook here.

Thursday's winners advance to semifinal match-ups against No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Wisconsin. Those games will be played on Friday. The Badgers take on the winner of the No. 3/6 game at 3pm and the Gophers get No. 4/5 at 8pm. (Again, times are ET.) 

The semifinal victors fight for the Big Ten tournament championship, not to mention the conference's auto-bid to the NCAAs, on Saturday at 8pm ET. Every B1G tourney game is set to air on BTN. The games should also be available online via BTN2Go.

Short Shifts


Just when you thought the Big Ten had run out of inaugural things, they announce their first ever season awards! Ryan Dzingel is a First Team All-Big Ten selection. Forward Nick Schilkey, defenseman Drew Brevig, and goalie Christian Frey earned spots on the conference’s All-Freshmen squad. Tanner Fritz got the nod as Ohio State’s Sportmanship Award representative.

You can check out the full list of All-Big Ten teams as well as individual award winners here. Ohio State has more on each of the Buckeye honorees. CHN's Jashvina Shah had a slightly difference of opinion with the voters. Her B1G awards list is here.

  • This is a great story by Craig Merz about Ryan Dzingel and his dad, who succesfully battled with cancer. 
  • Jeff Cox of SBN College Hockey predicts Dzingel will be a Hobey Baker finalist.
  • The writers at Hockey’s Future are checking in with team-by-team looks at NHL prospects. John Iadevaia gives a rundown of players in the New Jersey Devils’ system including Curtis Gedig. 
  • Meanwhile Peter Morrow ranks the Ottawa Senators’ top 20 prospects. This time around his list includes previously unranked Dzingel and Max McCormick.
  • College Hockey Inc. has a neat overview of the NCAA’s conference tournaments. It’s a nice visual aid for checking which teams are in, out, or on the bubble for the big dance.
  • Minnesota netminder Adam Wilcox is the focus of a Sam Obermyer article for CHN.
  • The Michigan Daily editors report it was an assault charge that kept Alex Guptill out of Michigan's lineup earlier this year.
Future Nuts

In the AJHL North Division’s best-of-seven semi-finals, Nicholas Jones (3g, 3a) and Sherwood Park lead Tyler Busch (1a) and Spruce Grove two games to one in their best-of-seven series. Game Four is on Wednesday. In the other semi-final, Kevin Miller (3g, 3a) and Fort McMurray have a two games to one lead over Lloydminster. The teams are back in action tonight for Game Four.

  • Matthew Ondesko features future Buckeye Julianna Iafallo in this story.
  • Warren Henderson writes about future Buckeye Lauren Spring following in her father’s footsteps with Team Canada.
  • Per Matt Christians Tyler Nanne was named to Minnesota's AA high school hockey all-tournament team. The "lucky" Nanne was also one of The Star Tribune's prep athletes of the week
  • Defenseman John Wiitala scored in Waterloo’s 7-3 win over Dubuque.
  • Christian Lampasso netted the OT winner for Lincoln as the Stars snapped a three game losing skid.
  • Dakota Joshua recorded a shorthanded goal as well as the gamewinner in Sioux Falls’ victory over Fargo.
Nuts Abroad

Thanks to Chris, who passed this link along. The Adirondack players faced off in a mini-Olympics. Team USA prevailed in the thumb-wrestling competition. Then Cal Heeter and his Team USA teammates took on the dastardly Canadians in heated match of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Check out the action here

  • Tessa Bonhomme, women’s hockey ambassador extraordinaire, is once again taking part in Scotiabank’s Girls HockeyFest.
  • Are you tired of reading articles about the increasing maturity/confidence/etc. of Matt Bartkowski? I thought not. Here’s the latest from Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe.
  • Bad news for Ryan Kesler. He’s out “at least a couple weeks” with a sprained knee. (Do yourself a favor and do not watch the video embedded in that post.)
  • Several former Buckeyes enjoyed productive games this week. Corey Toy had a huge three point night in Fayetteville’s victory over Knoxville. 
  • In the AHL Rod Pelley lit the lamp in Albany’s win at Hartford and Hunter Bishop contributed a goal and an assist to Manchester’s blow out of Bridgeport.
  • RJ Umberger scored a shorthanded goal against San Jose.
  • While those are all great candidates for today’s clip-of the-week, none made the cut. Why, you ask? Because Tyson Strachan scored a shorthanded goal. It may be his first shorty ever. It’s definitely his first in at least a decade, and it’s definitely…unique.



Comments Show All Comments

Crumb's picture

How does going pro from College to the NHL work in hockey? Cause we had some dang good freshmen this year who if they stick around will keep this program going in the right direction. I'm looking at you Frey!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

Aubrey Nelson's picture

Guys that have been drafted consult with their NHL overlords throughout their college careers. They'll generally go pro when they think the NCAA doesn't have anything else to offer development-wise and/or when their drafted team has a place for them in their minor league systems. Ryan Dzingel is an example of a current Buckeye who might have topped out of college development. 

Players who aged out of the draft process without being selected by any NHL team are called "college free agents." Most of them stick around for a good portion of their college careers. If they go pro before their four years are up it's usually because they've had an outstanding season and want to sign while pro teams' interest is high. Hunter Bishop is a recent Buckeye who took advantage of a productive junior season to sign a pro deal.  

I don't think Buckeye fans have to worry about losing any rookies to the big leagues. It's very rare for a player to turn pro after their freshman year. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the scouts eyeing these young Bucks in future seasons.

Crumb's picture

That's good. I'm glad that the three guys who were all conference freshmen will be back on the ice for us again next year. It really does seem like this team is only going to get better.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

Baroclinicity's picture

Aubrey, you've killed it this year with the hockey coverage.  It's driven me to watch some games on TV and follow it more-- I'm a more informed fan thanks to you.  Thanks for all the hard work!

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+3 HS
Aubrey Nelson's picture

Thank you. That's a fantastic compliment. 

Seattle Linga's picture

Are you planning on continued coverage until the Frozen Four is complete or will you be hibernating early? 

Expectation and reviews for this past years article. Please tell me you'll write more in the upcoming months.

+1 HS
Aubrey Nelson's picture

I'm pretty sure I'll be here through the NCAA tournament. (And hoping to get a bunch of people to play the bracket with me!) I'll have to check with the boss man. Maybe we'll talk hockey all summer long. 

Seattle Linga's picture

Thanks Aubrey - i'll watch for the bracket

southbymidwest's picture

Great job Aubrey! Really enjoy your thorough reports, and the illustrations couldn't be finer. It still is a little discombobulating to remember that we are in the same conference as powerhouses Wisconsin and Minnesota, and no longer with Miami and BGSU.

Aubrey Nelson's picture

Thanks! Big Ten hockey has definitely been an adjustment, though most of the changes have been for the better.