It’s official. The men’s hockey Buckeyes are headed back to the NCAA tournament. Ohio State will be the No. 3 seed in the West Regional in Fargo, ND. The Scarlet and Gray square off with No. 2 seed Denver in the opening round.
Ohio State and Denver are eerily similar teams on paper. Both have a core of quality scorers. Both boast a pair of capable netminders. Statistically, the comparison is about as close to a draw as you can get. OSU has experience on its side. Denver has a little more scoring. This should be a really entertaining hockey game.
This is the third straight tournament appearance for the Buckeyes and their ninth overall. “To have this be the third trip in a row is special,” said team captain Mason Jobst. “We’re trying to set that standard here at Ohio State.”
“We set goals at the beginning of the season,” noted head coach Steve Rohlik. “We hit our first goal, didn’t come close to our second and we’re thankful we have another chance at our third.”
One would think a repeat trip to the Frozen Four is among those goals. Last year the Bucks advanced to the Frozen Four for only the second time in program history. To repeat the feat in 2019 Ohio State must overcome a difficult draw, a matchup with Denver and then (most likely) the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, St. Cloud State.
The Buckeyes and Pioneers get underway on Friday at 4pm ET. The game airs live on ESPNU. We’ll have a more detailed preview for you later in the week.