The men’s hockey team opens its regular season this week with two games against Quinnipiac.

The No. 17 Buckeyes will host the Bobcats at the Schottenstein Center Thursday and Friday. The games will serve as the first chance for the Buckeyes to play in the Schott this year.

Junior goaltender Dustin Carlson said he likes playing at the OSU Ice Rink.

“It’s like a shoebox, but [at the Schottenstein Center] it feels more open,” he said. “This rink is a little wider … but a pre-game skate will be enough to adjust to that.”

Carlson is one of eight juniors who will serve as the core of this year’s team.

While Mathieu Picard is the only senior on the roster, the Buckeyes come into the season with high expectations, returning 20 players from last year’s squad. The team looks to be led by its offense, returning 14 of its top 15 scorers.

Coach John Markell said the offense showed some good signs in its exhibition game last Sunday. While the Buckeyes lost the game to Western Ontario 3-2 in overtime, the offense “created three break aways, and hit two posts,” Markell said.

Markell expressed disappointment in the Buckeyes’ 12 penalties, which is an area they want to improve in their games against Quinnipiac.

Along with reducing penalties, the Buckeyes will “look to improve on the penalty kill,” said junior forward Peter Boyd.

OSU allowed two power play goals in Sunday’s loss.

Markell said this week’s games against Quinnipiac will serve as a good test for the Buckeyes. He described the Bobcats as a team that plays with great energy.

Quinnipiac finished last season 18-18-3 and returns 16 players from last year. They opened their season with a 4-3 exhibition victory over Prince Edward Island last Sunday.
Both games start at 7:05 p.m.