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B1G Ten Hockey Tournament Preview: #4 Ohio State

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The Buckeyes have the firepower to make some noise in this tournament. Do they have the defense they'll need to actually advance?

What is box happening?
What is box happening?
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State is a better team than the sixth and fifth seeds on both sides of the ice. In fact, they’re much better.

As a team, the Buckeyes pot 2.65 GPG, making them a legitimate contender in this tournament. The junior class leads this teams scoring production: the class represents four of the team’s five top scorers. That class is led by junior star Ryan Dzingel, who gets most of the accolades because of his impressive point rate (1.26 per game). OSU fans are no doubt hoping to avoid the junior exodus that Minnesota experienced at the end of last year, but that class could begin to walk as early this Saturday if the Buckeyes don’t win this tournament.

Defensively, the Buckeyes have had their struggles. It’s easy to blame the problem on the goaltender circus this program experienced early in the year, but that issue has been resolved since December. Freshmen Christian Frey and Matt Thompkins shored up the play in the crease, but OSU still allowed 2.75 goals per game in conference, right in line with the league average of 2.72.

Predicting OSU to win this tournament might not be a huge stretch statistically, but they only managed to convert 27 of the 60 available league points during the season. The odds of them winning three consecutive games are just not very good. They might be head-and-shoulders above MSU and PSU, but they also might be that same head and shoulders beneath the top three teams in the conference.

They are average. In fact, they’re almost as statistically average as a team could be in this conference.