Thursday, March 26, 2009

Northeast #4: Ohio State

The Ohio State University Buckeyes

tOSU 4 seed vs. Boston University, Northeast Regional (Manchester, NH)
5:30 PM EDT, Saturday, March 28, ESPN2
Record: 23-14-4
Coach: John Markell (265-248-50)

Scoring Summary:
3.39 2.18 +1.21

Leading Scorers:
# Player G-A--Pts
39 Corey Elkins 18-22--40
15 John Albert 11-28--39
26 Peter Boyd 13-18--31

# Player Sv % GAA W-L-T
41 Dustin Carlson 0.920 2.40 21-11-3

Stats via

Ohio State is the Lloyd Christmas of this year's NCAA Tournament.  Last week, they only had a 9% chance of making the field, but what they were saying is, they had a chance.  The last team in, the Buckeyes won the tiebreaker over fellow Big Ten members Wisconsin and Minnesota, making them the fourth CCHA team in the field.  

The key theme with the Buckeyes this year is youth.  Just five upperclassmen populate the roster of the scarlet and gray, and while senior Corey Elkins lead the team in scoring, he is the only upperclassman among the Buckeyes' top ten in scoring.  This is a team that will be very dangerous next season, but what will they do when they have arrived a year early for the tournament.  The Buckeyes tournament run rests largely on a thirteen game unbeaten streak in the middle of the season, with a slightly sub-.500 record in their final 19 games, including a rough pair of shutouts up in Alaska during the CCHA quarterfinals.  The question will be whether these young Bucks can find their mid-season form and give the Terriers more than they might expect out of the last at-large team.

Quick Hits:

  • Mat Men. Ohio State might be the CCHA team that most desparately longs for a top four seed in the CCHA every year (or a bottom four seed.)  By finishing #5 in the CCHA, the "reward" for the Buckeyes was a series against their in-state rivals Bowling Green.  However, as the Schottenstein Center also is the host of the Ohio State High School Wrestling Championships, the Buckeyes were forced to play the Falcons in the old OSU Ice Arena, a 1,000 seat facility that was the old home of the Buckeyes through 1998.  It marked the second time in three years that Buckeyes were evicted from their new digs by the wrestlers.

  • Wither the Spartans? By making the field, the Buckeyes assured that five of the six teams from the now-legendary 1998 West Regional at Yost Ice Arena made the 2009 field.  Princeton, Yale, Michigan, North Dakota, and Ohio State all played in Ann Arbor that season.  It marked Ohio State's first NCAA tournament berth and also their finest to date.  A 4-0 defeat of Yale meant the Buckeyes faced off with the Spartans of Michigan State on the campus of the University of Michigan in the "what fresh hell is this" game?  The Buckeyes defeated  second-seeded Michigan State 4-3 in overtime to advance to the first, and thus far only, Frozen Four in school history. 

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