clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preview: Ohio State men’s hockey battles Quinnipac for a spot in the Frozen Four

The Buckeyes are seeking their third Frozen Four appearance when they take on the Bobcats.

NCAA HOCKEY: MAR 24 Div I Championship Bridgeport Regional - Ohio State v Harvard Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After thrashing Harvard 8-1 on Friday, Ohio State now takes on Quinnipiac on Sunday in Bridgeport, Connecticut with a spot in the Frozen Four up for grabs. The Buckeyes will be looking to advance to the Frozen Four for the third time in school history, with the first two coming in 1998 and 2018.

On Friday afternoon, Steve Rohlik’s team scored early and often to easily dispatch Harvard. Cam Thiesing was first to light the lamp for Ohio State, scoring 3:22 into the game. Cole McWard scored with less than two minutes left in the first period to send the Buckeyes into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

Ohio State didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second period, netting five goals. Gustaf Westlund notched his second goal of the year 3:44 into the period. The Buckeyes added to their lead just six seconds later when Thiesing registered his second goal of the contest. Mason Lohrei, Joe Dunlap, and McWard added tallies to give Ohio State a 7-0 lead after 40 minutes of action. Through the first two periods, the Buckeyes put 34 of their 40 shots in the game on goal.

Patrick Guzzo extended the lead to 8-0 just over a minute into the final period. Harvard scored their only goal of the game on the power play at the 16:44 mark of the third. The eight goals scored by Ohio State were a school NCAA Tournament record, with their previous high-mark coming in 2018 when they beat Denver 5-1.

Even though he didn’t score a goal on Friday, Jake Wise led Ohio State with four points in the game, as he was credited with four assists. Cam Thiesing, Mason Lohrei, and Gustaf Westlund all had three points in the game. Wise is now two points away from tying Stephen Halliday’s team-lead of 41 points. Thiesing’s two goals allowed him to pass Davis Burnside for the team-high with 15 goals.

It was an incredible Friday for the three Big Ten teams in action. Ohio State’s seven goal margin of victory was previously tied for the biggest in an NCAA Regional game before Penn State beat Michigan Tech 8-0 just a few hours later. Then later in the evening Michigan rolled Colgate 11-1.


This afternoon the Buckeyes will take on Quinnipiac, who beat Merrimack 5-0. A few weeks ago, Ohio State’s women’s team bounced the Bobcats from the NCAA Tournament in Columbus. Now the Buckeyes will be trying to do the same against the men’s team in Connecticut, where Quinnipiac is located.

Quinnipac and Merrimack played a scoreless first period before the Bobcats took control of the game. Joey Cipollone opened up the scoring in the game 1:56 into the second period. Less than two minutes later Jacob Quillan doubled Quinnipiac’s lead. Then in the third period the Bobcats added three insurance goals. Michael Lombardi scored at the 6:28 mark of the period, followed by another goal from Quillan, and an empty netter from Sam Lipkin. Quinnipiac outshot Merrimack 35-15 in the contest.

The shutout for goaltender Yaniv Perets was his 10th of the season, which puts him in a tie for most shutouts in the country. By blanking Merrimack, Perets now has 21 career shutouts, which adds to his school record and ECAC career record, and also ties him for third-most in NCAA history. Perets has been a fixture between the pipes for the Bobcats, playing all but about 80 minutes this season.

Much like Harvard, Quinnipiac comes into the game with a group of credible goal scorers. The Bobcats are led by Collin Graf, who has 20 goals, as well as 36 assists. Ethan de Jong is nearing the 20-goal mark this year, potting 18 goals so far this year. Jacob Quillan’s two goals on Friday raised his season total to 16 goals. Four other players from Quinnipiac have notched at least 10 goals this year, with the Bobcats scoring 150 goals overall this year. With the numerous scoring threats, Ohio State goaltender Jakub Dobes will have to be at the top of his game today.

Quinnipiac has become one of the best hockey programs in the country, making the NCAA Tournament eight times since 2013. The Bobcats are still looking for their first NCAA Championship, though. If they win today, Quinnipiac will make the Frozen Four for the third time in school history, and have advanced to the title game in both of their Frozen Four appearances. The Bobcats lost to Yale 4-0 in the 2013 title game, and 5-1 to North Dakota in 2016.

The Buckeyes received a huge boost with the return of captain Gustaf Westlund, who had only played in five games this year before Friday. On a team with a lot of youth, the addition of Westlund comes at a time when the pressure is ratcheted up significantly. The forward was Ohio State’s Rookie of the Year in 2019, and was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team.

Time: 4:00 p.m. ET