Hockey Bucks Head to Minnesota for Conference Tilts

By Aubrey Nelson on November 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm
Emma Maltais and Tommy Nappier, sophomore standouts for Buckeye hockey
Ohio State Athletics

Good afternoon, puckheads. Welcome to your new and improved, double strength, super concentrated hockey previews. Both the men’s and women’s teams visit the North Star State this week. 

No. 5 Buckeye Men at Minnesota 
Game Info Friday Saturday
Opening Faceoff 8pm ET 5pm ET
Television FS North, SportsTime Ohio FS North, SportsTime Ohio
Local Radio 1460 AM The Fan 1460 AM The Fan
Live Stream  BTN2Go, BTN2GO,

The men’s hockey Bucks wrap up their first half of the season against an up and down Minnesota squad. The Gophers made a big splash on opening weekend when they tied and defeated No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth. They rocketed up the national polls, climbing as high as No. 5 before dropping back out of the rankings altogether. 

Team Stats Ohio State Minnesota 
Records 9-4-1, 4-2-0-0 B1G 4-6-1, 2-2-0-0 B1G
National Polls No. 5 / No. 5 Receiving votes / --
Avg. Goals For / Against 2.64 / 2.00 2.73 / 2.73
Power Play / Penalty Kill 16.9% / 79.7% 20.0% / 84.6%
Points Leader Mason Jobst (13) Rem Pitlick (10)
Leading Goal Scorer Mason Jobst (9) Three players (5)
Top Goaltender Tommy Nappier (1.37/.957) Mat Robson (2.74/.916)

The young Gophers are streaky but talented. Steve Rohlik knows the Buckeyes can’t be fooled by Minnesota’s lackluster record. “They’re as dangerous as any team we’re going to play this year,” said the OSU coach. “We know they’re going to be good...We know they’re going to play a high tempo skill game. That’s what Minnesota is.” Hear more from Steve Rohlik, plus Wyatt Ege and Austin Pooley here

Big Ten Standings W L T SOW PTS Last Week This Week
No. 5 Ohio State 4 2 0 0 12 Split vs PSU at MIN
No. 8 Notre Dame 4 2 0 0 12 Def. NMU (nc) vs RPI (nc)
No. 14 Michigan 2 2 2 1 9 Split vs WIS at/vs MSU
RV Minnesota 2 2 0 0 6 Split vs MSU vs OSU
No. 6 Penn State 2 2 0 0 6 Split at OSU at WIS
RV Wisconsin 1 3 2 1 6 Split st MCH vs PSU
RV Michigan State 1 3 0 0 3 Split at MIN vs/at MCH

Minnesota enters this week’s series fresh off a split with Michigan State. The Gophers roasted the Spartans, 7-2, in the opener. The teams were all square going into the third period of the finale. Despite outshooting MSU 16-9 in the final frame, Minnesota coughed up two goals and lost, 4-2. 

Gopher captain Tyler Sheehy was banged up in the series. It shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup this week but it might slow him down a little. If it does, the Bucks owe the Spartans a nice fruit basket or something. The one-time OSU commit has 21 career points in 13 games against Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes also split their last series, a hotly contested battle with Penn State. PSU’s No. 1 ranked offense came into the match-up averaging five goals a game. The Buckeyes held the Nittany Lions to five total goals on the weekend. OSU captain Mason Jobst posted two goals and an assist in the series, becoming the Big Ten’s all-time points leader in conference games.

(Mystifyingly, the B1G does not seem to consider this a very big deal. The conference did not recognize Jobst’s achievement in any way. No Star of the Week honors. Not even a retweet mentioning the new record-holder.) 

No. 6 Buckeye Women at Minnesota State
Game Info Saturday Sunday 
Opening Faceoff 7pm ET 3pm ET
Live Stream ($) ($)

The women’s hockey Bucks are in Mankato this week to wrap up their season series with the Mavericks. The two teams met in Columbus back in October. Although Ohio State swept the weekend, great goaltending by Abigail Levy made it a challenge. MSU’s freshman netminder stopped 84 shots in that series. This included a whopping 20 attempts in the third period of the finale which OSU eventually won in overtime. 

Team Stats Ohio State Minnesota State 
Records 11-5-0, 7-3-0-0 WCHA 7-5-2, 2-5-1-1 WCHA
National Polls  No. 6 / No. 6 N/A
Avg. Goals For / Against 2.81 / 2.12 1.71 / 1.43
Power Play / Penalty Kill 12.8% / 90.0% 7.1% / 92.0%
Points Leader Emma Maltais (24) Jordan McLaughlin (10)
Leading Goal Scorer  Tatum Skaggs (10) Rebekah Kolstad (5)
Top Goaltender Andrea Braendli (1.85/.937) Abigail Levy (1.41/.952)

Levy is still a tough customer. She’s the backbone of the nation’s fourth-best defense. She ranks sixth in the NCAA in GAA (1.41), second in save percentage (.952), and tied for first in shutouts (4). Levy comes into the matchup against Ohio State on a two-game shutout streak. She blanked Lindenwood in back-to-back contests last week.

WCHA Standings W L T SOW PTS Last Week This Week
No. 2 Minnesota 9 2 1 0 28 Def. STL/VMT (nc) at Yale (nc)
No. 6 Ohio State 7 3 0 0 21 Bye  at MSU
No. 1 Wisconsin 7 1 0 0 21 Sweep vs HRV (nc) vs SYR (nc)
Minnesota-Duluth 3 6 1 1 11 Swept by CLK (nc) Bye
Minnesota State 2 5 1 1 8 Sweep vs LIN (nc) vs OSU
Bemidji State 2 7 1 0 7 Bye vs STC
St. Cloud State 2 8 0 0 6 Bye at BSU

The Buckeyes are coming off a bye week. The lull in the schedule came at the worst possible time. The team played its best hockey of the season in a sweep of Minnesota-Duluth and then went on break. Nadine Muzerall says the Bucks tried to reshape their view of the bye week. “We looked at it as a training week so that we could prepare, knowing that Mankato has been a tough opponent.”

“Mankato’s done a very good job this year. A lot of credit goes to their goaltender,” said Muzerall. “We know that we’ve got to get into the red and get more shots on her and make her work.” Catch the coach’s full pre-series comments here.

  • Congrats are in order for Jincy Dunne. The Bucks' star defender was one of 14 blueliners invited to Team USA's winter training camp, Dec. 17-21.
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