Last week a pair of Ohio State goaltenders collected laurels in their respective weekly conference awards. This week it’s the blueliners’ turn. Junior defenseman Matt Miller and senior defender Lauren Boyle are the latest Buckeye honorees.
Miller earned the Big Ten’s Third Star of the Week for his critical contributions to OSU’s sweep at Wisconsin. The East Palestine, Ohio native recorded points on two plays in the series. Both led to game-winning goals. He scored Friday’s winning tally and assisted on Saturday’s game-winning goal.
The goal and assist extended Miller’s personal point streak to seven games. He also blocked seven shots in the series and was part of a Buckeye penalty kill which went a perfect 10-for-10 on the weekend. This is Miller’s first career weekly award.
Penn State senior Chase Berger (2-3--5 in a sweep of Minnesota) and Michigan junior Will Lockwood (2-2--4 in a sweep of Michigan State) were the Big Ten’s First and Second Stars, respectively.
Boyle took home the crown for WCHA Defenseman of the Week, Powered by GoodWood Hockey. The senior blueliner notched a goal and two assists in last week’s split with Bemidji State. She was the top scoring defender in the conference.
Boyle’s trio of points also boosted her up the Bucks’ all-time scoring chart. She now ranks ninth in career points by a Buckeye defenseman. In her four seasons at Ohio State, she has so far amassed 16 goals and 50 assists for a total of 66 points.
Ohio State’s Emma Maltais (1-2--3), Sophie Jaques (1-2--3), and Amanda Zeglen (1-0-0 with 18 saves) earned honorable mentions for the WCHA’s Forward, Rookie, and Goalie of the Week awards.
The Buckeye men host Minnesota this week. Both tilts are scheduled to start at 6pm ET. Friday is Military Appreciation Day. Saturday is First Responders Appreciation Day. The Buckeye women are on a bye this week before finishing out their regular season at No. 2 Wisconsin on February 22-23.
Perusing the Polls and PairWise
Ohio State’s women fell to No. 10 in both national polls this week. They also dropped to No. 10 in the PairWise rankings (which mimic the NCAA tournament’s selection process). It’s been a laudable season for the Bucks but the odds of them making a return to the NCAA tourney are getting really long.
In better news, the Buckeye men are up to No. 2 in the USCHO poll. They stay at No. 3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. They are also still No. 3 in the PairWise, but the gap between them and No. 1 St. Cloud is very narrow, less than one-hundredth of an RPI point. What a long way this program has come that we’re looking at whether they’re a No. 1 seed or the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.