The start of the postseason serves as a fresh start for the Ohio State men’s hockey team. “The slate’s wiped clean,” coach John Markell said. “I think that’s how everyone looks at it, not just us.” Markell and the rest of the team admitted they didn’t have the success in the regular season that they were hoping for. But the playoffs offer new life.The Buckeyes begin the postseason this weekend when they host Notre Dame in the first round of the CCHA Tournament. In the first two rounds, teams will play a best-of-three series to determine who advances.Defenseman Matt Bartkowski acknowledged how imperative it is for the Buckeyes to win the first game in a short series. “It’s very important. It sets the tone for the whole weekend,” Bartkowski said. “In a potential three-game series, it’s important to take the momentum and take it into Saturday night.” Markell agreed with the defenseman’s assessment, adding, “You can’t afford to drop the first one. Obviously your ultimate goal is to win the first game.”The start of the postseason serves as a clean slate for Notre Dame as well. While the Fighting Irish had only one win in their last six games, the Buckeyes certainly will not be taking them lightly.“They had a few injuries and we’re aware of that. A lot of those guys are coming off their injuries right now,” Bartkowski said. “It’s going to be Notre Dame, it’s not going to be half their team, or their second- and third-line guys. We’re definitely going to be prepared.”The Buckeyes might also be getting healthier this weekend, according to Markell. “We might get Sean Duddy back this weekend, which is good. And we should be full go,” Markell said. Duddy missed the past two series with a leg injury. His return would add another key piece to a defense that’s been playing its best hockey of the year as of late.“I thought that was one of the best defensive games all year,” Bartkowski said of their last game against the Miami Redhawks. “And that’s something we’re going to need to take into the playoffs.”The Buckeyes will move over to the Ohio State Ice Rink for this weekend’s series. The Buckeyes play their regular season games at the Schottenstein Center, so although they are still at home, it is a change of venue. But many of the Buckeyes are welcoming the move.“I like it,” Bartkowski said of the Ohio Sate Ice Rink. “We practice there all the time. The ice surface is a little bit smaller which could benefit us because we’re a little more used to it than Notre Dame.”Forward Zac Dalpe, who finished the season just one point shy of the lead in the conference, said the change in venues may change the game. “I think the neutral zone is clogged up a little bit more. And neutral zone play is a big part of the game, that might play to our advantage. We’ll see. It’s something I’ve noticed during exhibition games and past playoff games there,” Dalpe said.Last season, the Buckeyes opened their conference tournament by hosting Bowling Green. The Buckeyes promptly dismissed the Falcons with a two-game sweep and will look to do the same to the Fighting Irish this season.The teams face off Friday, Saturday and if necessary, Sunday, at 7:05 p.m.