Hockey Preview: Penn State vs. Ohio State
ComRadio's own, John Petrolias, Mike D'Avella and Ryan Berti break down this week's matchup between the Buckeyes and Penn State.
After completing the weekend sweep against conference foe Wisconsin and moving up in the AP poll to No. 14 in the nation, the Penn State Nittany Lions (15-4-3, 5-1-0 B1G) will head back out on the road for the first time since November 21st to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-12-2, 1-3-2 B1G) in Columbus this weekend.
While the Buckeyes have just six wins this season, their recent success has proven how explosive they can be. They ended up coming away victorious in the Florida College Classic after taking down No. 4 Boston College and then No. 10 Cornell by a score of 8-0 in the championship game.
Ohio State will definitely have their hands full with a Penn State offense that ranks third in scoring offense with an average of 4.14 goals per game. The penalties will have to be kept to a minimum as Penn State is ranked No. 7 in power-play percentage at .219. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the Nittany Lions offense is their ability to put shots on net. They lead the nation in shots on goal by a hefty margin.
Despite the Lions recent success of their own, winning four of their last five games, Ohio State has had the Lions number of recent, winning three of the last four head-to-head matchups.
This weekend’s series will highlight two of the three Big Ten stars of the week. The Nittany Lions junior net-minder Eamon McAdam has been dominant this season for Penn State. After improving his season record to 9-2 and his conference leading save percentage to .961 with a win against Wisconsin on Saturday, McAdam locked up the conference’s second star of the week.
The second best save percentage in the Big Ten behind McAdam is Ohio State junior goalie Christian Frey, who owns a .917 save percentage.
The third star of the week went to freshman forward Mason Jobst after he recorded two goals and five assists in two games against conference leader Michigan this past weekend. Jobst ranks second among Big Ten rookies in points with 19 points (five of which are goals).
A scrappy history between these two programs will prove to be an interesting story line this weekend, especially after the weekend Ohio State experienced in Ann Arbor.
Following an 8-6 loss to Michigan on Sunday, Ohio State freshman Brendan Kearney was sucker punched by Michigan sophomore Cutler Martin after exchanging words after the game had concluded.
Penn State also endured a physical weekend against Wisconsin this past series. Keep an eye out for hard nosed hockey this weekend as this series offers plenty of conference implications and bragging rights for both teams.
Mike D’Avella is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.