EYE ON THE TIGERS
Princeton earns the ECAC Hockey automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the ECAC Champion. With a 19-12-4 record, the Tigers are ranked No. 16 in this week’s national poll. The Tigers own the longest unbeaten streak in the country and have won their last seven games, four of which were against nationally-ranked opponents. Princeton has the third best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 3.69 goals per game and also sport the nation’s top power play unit, converting on 28.5 percent of its chances. Junior Max Véronneau and Ryan Kuffner each have more than 50-point seasons and rank in the top four in the nation in scoring. Véronneau has 55 points with 17 goals and 38 assists, the most assists per game in the nation. Kuffner has 52 points, with the second-most goals in the nation with 29 while chipping in 23 assists. Four players have reached 30+ points led by sophomore Jackson Cressey with 38, followed by senior David Hallisey with 36, junior Josh Teves with 33 and senior Eric Robinson with 31. Teves’ 33 points is the most by a defenseman in the nation. Freshman Ryan Ferland has started in all but one game in goal and has a .914 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average. He’s made 30+ saves in 17 games this season and was named the ECAC Hockey Tournament Most Outstanding Performer.
SCOUTING THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the latest USCHO is one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament with a 24-9-5 overall record. The Buckeyes lost in the Big Ten championship game in overtime to Notre Dame, 3-2. Sophomore Tanner Laczynski (PHI) leads the offense with 43 points on 15 points and a team-high 28 assists. Junior Mason Jobst has a team-high 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points. They are followed by senior Matthew Weis’ 37 points, junior Dakota Joshua’s (TOR) 24 and junior Freddy Gerard’s 22. The team sports the fifth-best scoring defense in the nation, holding team’s to 2.11 goals per game. Junior Sean Romeo has started in goal in all but four games and has a .925 save percentage (ninth nationally) and a 2.09 GAA (12th nationally). It will be great match-up on special teams as Ohio State has the top-ranked penalty kill at 89.3 percent. The Buckeyes have gone 117 for 131 and as are one of the five least penalized teams in the nation. The power play is seventh at 24.2 percent (36/149) and scoring offense ranks 11th, averaging 3.18 goals per game.
THE PRINCETON/OHIO STATE SERIES
Princeton and Ohio State have meet just three times before with all three games taking place on neutral ice. The first meeting was held on Dec. 21, 1971 at the Cleveland Cup Tournament with the Buckeyes winning 3-2 in overtime. Fifteen years later the teams met again in Cincinnati at the Schweppes Invitational with Ohio State winning 6-5.