Ohio State for the first time is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament.
That news for the Buckeyes came down just past noon on Sunday, soothing somewhat the sting from the night before when they lost in sudden death overtime at Notre Dame in the championship game of the Big Ten tournament. Thirteen hours later they found out they are headed to Allentown, Pa., where on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. they will take on Princeton in the first round of the NCAA.
“It’s awesome, it’s a great accomplishment,” forward Mason Jobst said of the No.1 seed. “We’ve worked really hard this year and past years building up to this moment. Obviously we’re going to be playing a really good team, the winner of the ECAC – every team from here on out is going to be great.”
But then, half the teams the Buckeyes played in the Big Ten this season could be considered in that department since Notre Dame is a No. 1-seed in the East Bridgeport, Conn., regional; Penn State is the No. 3 at Allentown; and Michigan is the No. 2 at Worcester, Mass.
>> Video | Coach Steve Rohlik and captain Mason Jobst on earning the No. 1 seed
After the Buckeyes watched the selection show together at Schottenstein Center on Sunday, coach Steve Rohlik called them together.
“Coach just said it to us right there, it’s a new season from here on out,” Jobst said. “We’ve got to try to forget last night, maybe bottle the emotions in how we felt last night. Obviously we don’t want to feel that way again.”
But Sunday was a moment to pause and take stock, being a No. 1 seed for the first time.
“For me, it means the world for this program,” Rohlik said. “There’s a lot of guys that have put the bricks in the wall here prior to us. It’s certainly not about Steve Rohlik. It’s about our hockey program, it’s about the guys in the room, the guys that came before us and the coaches that came before us.
“We’re just trying to carry on the tradition. We’re excited about the position we’re in. Obviously it’s an honor to be here, and we’re looking forward to this week.”
Should the Buckeyes win on Saturday, they would take on the Penn State-Denver winner Sunday at 6:30 p.m.