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2019 NCAA Tournament West Regional Preview: Ohio State

Regular season: 20-10-5, 13-7-4 B1G. Won regular-season title, lost in conference tournament semifinals 5-1 to Penn State.

How they got here: At-large bid. #3 seed in the West Regional and #9 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Impact players:

Senior forward Mason Jobst, 36 points (17 goals).

Junior forward Tanner Laczynski, 30 points (10 goals).

Junior defenseman Matt Miller, 22 points (9 goals).

Sophomore goaltender Tommy Nappier, 12-3-3 record, 1.91 GAA, .934 save percentage.

Senior goaltender Sean Romeo, 8-7-2 record, 2.58 GAA, .902 save percentage.

The rundown: Ohio State is playing in the West Regional in Fargo for the second time in three years. The Buckeyes won their first-ever Big Ten regular season title, and it’s their first since 1972. This game is a rematch of last year’s Midwest Regional final, a 5-1 win for #1 seed Ohio State over #2 seed Denver that sent the Buckeyes to their second-ever Frozen Four, and first since 1998. So what’s it going to take to beat Denver’s very good defense and goaltending this time around?

“Getting pucks on net and getting bodies in front of these guys and taking away their eyes,” forward Mason Jobst said.

It’s possible that Ohio State will come out somewhat rusty. The Buckeyes have only played three games in the month of March, and just one game since their final regular season series against Michigan State on March 1-2. Staying fresh since then has been key.

“It’s definitely been pretty unique for us. Obviously the [Big Ten] tournament didn’t go as we wanted,” Jobst said. “The focus has definitely been there. Hopefully we go into tomorrow ready to go.”