Playing their fourth and fifth straight road games, the UConn men’s hockey team will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes.
The weekend series with the Buckeyes will be the first time these two programs have ever squared off. The Huskies are no stranger to Big 10 play; this will be the third-consecutive season UConn has taken on a Big 10 team. The Huskies lost to Minnesota last year and went 0-1-1 against Penn State the year before.
Though the Huskies have lost just twice this season, they’re coming off their fourth tie after a Friday night matchup last week at UMass Amherst. Nine games into the season UConn sits at 3-2-4, and 1-1-1 in Hockey East play.
There are a lot of positives to focus on with this UConn squad. The Huskies are fourth in the Hockey East in goals per game (2.44). The penalty killing ranks second in the conference and eleventh in the nation, killing at a 89.1 percentage.
Many rankings can be credited to freshman goaltender Adam Huska. The freshman stopped 47 shots at Notre Dame to preserve a 4-2 road win. He followed that up with 23 saves in a 2-2 save at UMass Amherst. Huska is averaging a 2.40 goals against average and a .935 save percentage through four games. That save percentage is good enough for second in the Hockey East and ninth in the country.
The Huskies show a lot of grit too. UConn is second in the Hockey East with blocked shots, averaging 14.89 a game, junior Johnny Austin leads the way with 22.
Looking at the Buckeyes (5-3-1), they come ranked 14th in the nation in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey polls. Despite the ranking, Ohio State is coming off a 0-1-1 record this weekend where they lost to Robert Morris at home by a score of 6-2, ending a four game winning streak. They went on to tie Pittsburgh on the road, 4-4.
The Buckeyes have the top scoring offense in the Big 10 and third nationally, with a goals per game average of 4.44. Freshman Tanner Laczynski leads the Buckeyes with 12 points, which is also good for second most in the conference.