Like the OSU women, the men’s hockey Bucks hit the road this week looking for good results against a struggling opponent. Here’s the second half of your weekly puck preview.
|Opening Faceoff||7pm ET||4pm ET|
|Radio||via Colgate||via Colgate|
|Streaming Video||ESPN+ ($)||ESPN+ ($)|
Last Week: Split at No. 5 Notre Dame
Ohio State held out for a 1-0 win in the Big Ten opener. Sean Romeo posted his third career shutout in the victory. Mason Jobst tallied the game’s only goal. The Buckeyes scored first in the series finale but the Irish rallied for a 2-1 win. Jobst was once again the lone OSU goal scorer. Tommy Nappier took the loss despite a 36 save effort.
|Team Stats||Ohio State||Colgate|
|Records||4-3-1, 1-1-0-1 B1G||2-4-1, 0-1-1 ECAC|
|National Polls||No. 7 / No. 7||N/A|
|Avg. Goals For / Against||2.25 / 2.62||1.43 / 3.43|
|Power Play / Penalty Kill||14.3% / 77.1%||13.8% / 66.7%|
|Top Goal Scorer||Mason Jobst (5)||Bobby McMann (3)|
|Points Leader||Jobst, Carson Meyer (8)||Bobby McMann (5)|
|Leading Goaltender||Tommy Nappier (1.62 /.949)||Mitch Benson (2.97/.898)|
Six Week Check-in
The Bucks faced off against some tougher-than-anticipated opponents over the first stretch of the season. They had to defend against five of the nation’s current top-6 scorers. Three of OSU’s four early foes are currently ranked in the top-10. The other is receiving votes in both polls. However the opportunity to score some quality wins went by the wayside.
Ohio State struggled with all-around inconsistency. This included a pernicious lethargy the team only seemed able to shake off once it was trailing on the scoreboard. An injury to Tanner Laczynski didn’t help matters. And yet, because of the quality of their competition, the Buckeyes preserved their top-10 standing in spite of their uninspiring 4-3-1 record.
This Week: Non-Conference Action at Colgate
Colgate returned practically its entire roster this season, all of its top-6 defenders and 14 of its top-15 scorers. The Raiders' only significant loss was a doozy though. Sophomore goalie Colton Point signed a pro deal with the Dallas Stars over the summer, leaving Colgate with just three incoming freshmen to man the net.
Point’s departure left a tremendous void. He ranked among the best in college hockey last year with a 1.74 GAA and a .944 save percentage (ninth-best in NCAA history). But even with such a tremendous backstop Colgate only managed to break even at 17-17-6 for the season.
The Raiders hoped one of the freshman netminders would rise to the occasion this year, or at least perform competently behind an experienced defense. But the team has struggled. Colgate allowed 4+ goals in five of its last six games. The Raiders have yet to score more than two goals in any outing. Special teams’ numbers are pretty dismal too.
If ever there was a series crying out to Ohio State, “Sweep me!” it’s this one. The Raiders shouldn’t be too much trouble for the Buckeyes. Then again the Bucks are perfectly capable of manufacturing their own trouble when their opponent fails to provide it.
- Hear associate coach Steve Miller’s thoughts on the series via Twitter, as well as those of Blue Jackets’ prospect Carson Meyer.
Around the Big Ten
|Big Ten Overall Records||W||L||T|
|No. 14/16 Minnesota||1||3||1|
|No. 15/14 Michigan||4||3||0|
|RV Michigan State||4||2||0|
|No. 6 Notre Dame||4||3||1|
|No. 7 Ohio State||4||3||1|
|No. 8 Penn State||6||1||0|
|No. 20 Wisconsin||4||4||0|
Ohio State and Notre Dame split the only conference series of the week. Penn State managed a split with hard-charging Arizona State. Michigan halved its series against Lake Superior. Michigan State split with Ferris State. No. 14 swept Wisconsin and No. 4 Minnesota State swept Minnesota.
In the latest polls the Irish dropped to No. 6. The Buckeyes held at No. 7 in the USCHO poll and improved to No. 7 in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. The Nittany Lions slid to No. 8.
The Wolverines also fell, to No. 14/15. So did the Gophers, from No. 10 to No. 16 in the USCHO rankings and from No. 8 to No. 14 in USA Today’s. The Badgers skid down to No. 20 where they cling to a ranking by the skin of their teeth. The Spartans are receiving votes in both polls.
This week the Irish and Wolverines tangle in conference action. Ditto the Gophers and Badgers. In non-conference series Michigan State looks to avoid Penn State’s fate against Arizona State and PSU takes on in-state foe Robert Morris.