Frozen Four Odds - Minnesota Duluth vs. Ohio State Game Preview


The first of the two Frozen Four semifinal games on Thursday on ESPN 2 has Minnesota Duluth taking on Ohio State. The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs were the runner-ups last year but they lost a lot of players from last year’s squad and were not expected to make a return trip to the Frozen Four this year. On the other side, the Ohio State Buckeyes are a No. 1 seed and a team loaded with talent. Let’s look at the matchup and Frozen Four picks.

At 6 p.m. ET, tune into ESPN 2 for live television coverage of this game on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota

We'll have NHL odds at available for both Frozen Four games on Thursday.

Odds Analysis

Ohio State is listed as a -130 favorite in Frozen Four odds and the total is 5 under. The Buckeyes are the more talented team, but Minnesota Duluth has more Frozen Four experience and they will have a decided home crowd edge with this game in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Buckeyes went 26-9-5 this season and they were one of just two teams in the country to rank in the top 10 in offense, defense, power play and penalty kill. Ohio State has never won a national hockey championship but this could be the year. They average 3.2 goals per game and give up just 2.1 per contest. They were 24% on the power play and an outstanding 89.3% on the penalty kill. They have six double-digit goal scorers including Tanner Laczynski who had 16 goals and 30 assists. The Buckeyes have an excellent goaltender in Sean Romeo who had a 2.06 GAA and .920 save percentage. Ohio State’s only weakness is lack of big game experience.

Minnesota Duluth won their only national title seven years ago and they made the title game last season. They averaged 3 goals per game this season and gave up 2.1 per contest. Their power play hit at 24% and their penalty kill was 83%. They have a very good goaltender in Hunter Sheppard and some young talented players led by freshman Scott Perunovich and Riley Tufte.

These teams met last season in the West Regional semifinals and Minnesota Duluth won in overtime.

Key Players

The key player in this game is Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski who is one of the top players in college hockey. He averaged more than a point per game this season and was excellent against other team’s top players. The Buckeyes also have the edge in goal with Sean Romeo who sat out a season after transferring from Maine. He was outstanding for Ohio State this season and he made 53 saves in the two regional games and allowed a total of three goals.

Free Frozen Four Picks

This game is one of experience versus talent, as Minnesota Duluth has more experience playing in the Frozen Four, while Ohio State has more overall talent. I don’t know that the experience edge will mean much, as Ohio State played Minnesota Duluth in the regional last year. Ohio State is simply a deeper and more talented team than the Bulldogs. I know that the home crowd edge will be with Minnesota Duluth but Ohio State is a veteran team that is not going to be rattled playing in a hostile environment. I think Ohio State has the overall talent to not only win this game but to win the championship as well. I will take the Buckeyes to get this win on Thursday night and advance to the title game. I also think that this will be a low scoring contest, as I can’t see either team scoring more than three goals, so I will go under the total of five.

Frozen Four Odds: Ohio State 3, Minnesota Duluth 1

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