No. 11 Ohio State faces tough challenge in weekend set with undefeated UConn

The No. 14 Ohio State males’s ice hockey crew defeated Wisconsin 3-1 on Friday in Columbus. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor

The No. 14 Ohio State males’s hockey crew continues its non-conference agenda when it travels to Hartford, Connecticut, this weekend for a top-25 fight of unbeatens in opposition to No. 17 UConn.

The Buckeyes (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) come off a a hit sweep of Wisconsin to start out Big Ten play, however UConn (4-0-0, 2-0-0 Hockey East) items a better challenge than Ohio State has skilled this season.

Coming off a 4-3 time beyond regulation win Saturday over Union for its perfect get started for the reason that 1975-76 season, UConn is a powerful opponent for the Buckeyes. Ohio State sophomore defenseman Cole McWard mentioned the Buckeyes are taking a look ahead to the challenge UConn items.

(*11*) McWard mentioned. “We’re excited to go out there and play a team that we don’t get to play too often, get to see some new faces and just see some good competition. So, I think everyone’s pretty excited for it and just can’t wait to get going.”

Last season, UConn went 20-16, together with 14 convention wins, earlier than falling in the Hockey East Championship to Massachusetts 2-1 in time beyond regulation to finish the season.

The Huskies have been sturdy offensively, completing 2d in the Hockey East Conference in targets scored with 73, scoring a mean of three.04 targets according to recreation, which ranked No. 24 in the NCAA.

Defensively, the Huskies additionally provide a challenge, completing 6th in the Hockey East, permitting 61 targets in 24 video games for a mean of two.54 allowed according to recreation. That used to be in the highest 20 in the NCAA for scoring protection.

UConn had an up and down season on particular groups. The Huskies have been the third-worst in the Hockey East and fourth-worst in the NCAA in energy play proportion at simply 14.3 p.c. However, that they had a powerful penalty kill proportion, score 0.33 in the Hockey East and 7th in the NCAA at 86.3 p.c.

The Huskies’ goaltending used to be reasonable ultimate season with a save proportion of .913, just right for sixth-best in their convention.

Last season, Ohio State swept UConn, outscoring the Huskies 7-3 over two video games.

However, up to now this season, the Huskies have proven development on offense. Sophomore ahead Chase Bradley and junior ahead Nick Capone are tied with a team-best 3 targets this season.

Defensively, the Huskies had been sturdy additionally, permitting simply 1.5 targets according to recreation.

Ohio State head trainer Steve Rohlik mentioned he is aware of beating a crew like UConn calls for taking part in the Buckeyes’ perfect recreation. He mentioned he felt Ohio State didn’t play their perfect ultimate Saturday in opposition to Wisconsin, however mentioned they’re operating in opposition to it.

“You saw it on Saturday, just, you know, a shorthanded goal that could have been prevented, a turnover in our end that led to a breakaway,” Rohlik mentioned. “Some of those things that you want to make teams earn. And I think that’s some of the stuff we looked at.”

Despite Friday simplest being the Buckeyes’ 5th recreation of the season, gamers like McWard are conscious that video games in opposition to groups, just like the Huskies, are vital with regards to their NCAA Tournament resume.

“Last year you saw us dropping some of those games and it kind of put us out of contention and put us right outside the tournament,” McWard mentioned. “This year, our focus with these games is we got to win. We got to take care of business and give ourselves the best chance at the end of the year to get into the tournament.”

Ohio State takes on UConn for recreation one of the crucial collection Friday on the XL Center. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. and the sport might be livestreamed on ESPN+.

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