March 2, 2018

No. 6 Buckeyes Open B1G Quarterfinal Series with 6-2 Win over MSU

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March 2, 2018

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – With points from 13 players and four third-period goals, the No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Michigan State Friday in game one of a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series Friday. The No. 2 seed Buckeyes take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series over the No. 7 seed Spartans. Game two is set for 7 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena, with game three, if necessary, at 7 p.m. Sunday in VCA. Ohio State improves to 21-8-5 on the year, while the Spartans are now 12-21-2.

Ohio State 6, Michigan State 2 – The Short Story
The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period on a late power play goal from Tanner Laczynski. The Spartans tied the game early in the second period but Ohio State again notched a goal late with the extra man, as Matthew Weis put the Buckeyes up 2-1 at 16:32. Ohio State outscored Michigan State 4-1 in the third, including two goals in the first seven minutes, to pull away for the win.

Mason Jobst led the Buckeyes with three points on a goal and two assists, while Laczynski had a goal and a helper for a two-point night to cross the 40-point mark for the season. Wyatt Ege and Brendon Kearney both picked up two assists. Sasha Larocque, John Wiitala and Christian Lampasso also scored for Ohio State. The Buckeyes won the special teams battle, going 3-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

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Highlights from the Buckeyes’ 6-2 win over Michigan State to open up their Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/NDpPyAo162

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 3, 2018

Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
On the Buckeyes
“I thought our effort was there from start to finish, and I felt like we got better as the game went on. We have a lot of respect for the team over there. They have a lot of talent and have been playing very well. We knew we had to be at our best, but I liked our compete and I liked where we were at. We knew we had to bring it tonight and we did.”

Quoting Tanner Laczynski, Buckeye sophomore forward
On his performance and the team’s game
“This is the time where we need to be playing our best hockey, so it was great to get a win. But we need to come ready tomorrow.”

Coach Rohlik, Tanner Laczynski and Wyatt Ege spoke after the 6-2 win in the series opener of the Big Ten quarterfinals. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/f3C3n34XU9

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 3, 2018

In the First Period
The Buckeyes took advantage of the first power play of the night, called at 18:32 of the opening period. Just 10 seconds into the power play the Buckeyes converted. Tanner Laczynski took a pass from Wyatt Ege and his shot snuck through for his 15th goal – and 40th point – of the season. Mason Jobst also assisted on the tally, which came at 18:42.

Ohio State had the edge in shots in the stanza, 11-5.

In the Second Period
At 3:12 of the middle period the Spartans tied the game at one, with Patrick Khodorenko scoring from right in front.

Near the end of the period, the Buckeyes converted on the power play for the second time. Wyatt Ege passed to Tanner Laczynski in the right faceoff circle. He found Matthew Weis in the slot and he redirected the pass to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-1 at 16:32. The goal came eight seconds after the power play started.

Each team put eight shots on net in the period.

In the Third Period
The Buckeyes controlled the third period, pulling away for the victory. At 1:54 Mason Jobst put the Buckeyes up 3-1, deflecting a shot from Tommy Parran past the Spartan goalie from the high slot. Matt Joyaux had the second assist on the tally, Jobst’s team-best 17th goal of the season.

At 6:36 a shot from defenseman Sasha Larocque got through from the point for a 4-1 Buckeye lead, assisted by Luke Stork and Sam McCormick. John Wiitala put in the rebound of a shot by Brendon Kearney that came right to Wiitala in the faceoff circle, with Jobst also assisting on the goal at 15:40.

Michigan State scored from the point at 18:38 to make it a 5-2 game. With time expiring and the Buckeyes on the power play, freshman Austin Pooley found Christian Lampasso at the far post and he scored his 10th goal of the year. Kearney had the second assist.

Ohio State had 21 shots on goal in the period, with Michigan State putting seven on net.

Blocking the Puck
Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 40-20, in the game. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 18 saves in 59:59, improving his record to 18-8-5 on the year. He has a 2.05 goals-against average and .927 save percentage this season, ranking in the Top 10 in the NCAA in both categories.

Spartan starter John Lethemon made 25 saves and allowed four goals in the first 46:36. Ed Minney closed out the game and had nine saves on 11 shots.

Ohio State had eight shot blocks, with Tommy Parran, Christian Lampasso and Matt Miller each blocking two. Michigan State blocked 22 Ohio State shot attempts.

The Buckeyes are in the Top 5 in the NCAA in team defense, allowing 2.06 goals per game.

Special Teams
Ohio State was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill in the win. The squad leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 114-of-125 (.912) of its opponents’ chances. The squad is averaging 9.0 penalty minutes a game this season, the fourth-lowest average nationally.

The Buckeyes were 3-for-5 with the man advantage vs. the Spartans and have a power play goal in 12 of the last 16 games, with multiple goals in eight of those outings. The squad is 33-for-142 (.232) on the year, ranking in the Top 10 in the NCAA.

On the Scoresheet
• The six goals by the Buckeyes matched their season high, first set two games ago. The team is averaging 3.2 goals a game on the year and has 16 goals in its last three games combined.
Mason Jobst had multiple points for the third straight game and has a 3-4-7 line in the three games combined. He has 38 points this season, with 17 goals and 21 assists.
Tanner Laczynski picked up two points to hit the 40-point mark for the first time as a Buckeye. He has 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points this year, with 13 multiple-point games.
Wyatt Ege and Brendon Kearney each had a second consecutive two-assist night. Both are on three-game point streaks with five points in the stretch.
• Lampasso has a goal in three straight games with four in the three games combined. He has 10 goals this season after notching four in his first three years in the Scarlet and Gray.
• The Buckeyes had 40 shots for the eighth time this year and the first time since notching 47 Jan. 12 at Penn State.
• Ohio State has scored 53 goals in the third period this season, averaging 1.51 third-period goals per game, to rank second in the NCAA in both categories.