January 5, 2018

No. 8 Buckeyes Post 4-1 Win at Michigan State

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Jan. 5, 2018

Box Score

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 8-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team notched its fifth straight win, defeating Michigan State, 4-1, Friday in Munn Ice Arena. The Buckeyes are now 13-4-4 on the year and move to 6-4-1-0 in Big Ten play.

The Buckeyes and Spartans (8-12-1, 2-8-1-1 B1G) will close the weekend series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in East Lansing.

Ohio State 4, Michigan State 1 — The Short Story
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead 33 seconds into the game on a Sasha Larocque goal and extended the advantage to 2-0 with a Kevin Miller power play goal at 5:58. Ronnie Hein and Tanner Laczynski scored 17 seconds apart in the first minute of the second period for a 4-0 Buckeye advantage. The Spartans got on the board midway through the third with the game’s final goal. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo made 21 saves and the Buckeyes won the special teams battle, converting 2-of-4 power play chances and going 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Laczynski had a goal and an assist for two points, while Matthew Weis had two helpers.

Quoting Coach Steve Rohlik
“It felt like we went in spurts tonight — we did just enough to get the win. Our special teams were good. Overall, we need to be more consistent in our game. We need to be better tomorrow.”

Quoting junior defenseman Sasha Larocque
“It was good to get back into league play and come out with a win. We had a strong start to the game but got away from our systems as time went on. Romeo was great in goal when we had lapses. Hopefully tomorrow we can come out hard and put together a complete game.”

Kevin Miller scored on the power play in the first, assisted by Wiitala and Joshua. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/yhPQ34vHLJ

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) January 6, 2018

In the First Period
Just 33 seconds into the game Ohio State took the lead, as Sasha Larocque‘s shot from the point got through traffic. Freddy Gerard and Matthew Weis assisted on the goal, Larocque’s first of the year. At 5:58 Ohio State went up 2-0. On the power play, John Wiitala found Kevin Miller all alone in front for a one-timer. Dakota Joshua also had a helper on the tally, which came on the Buckeyes’ first power play chance of the night.

JR D Sasha Larocque scored his first goal of the year 33 seconds into tonight’s game, with assists to Gerard and Laczynski. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/8mAXm1zzmi

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) January 6, 2018

Shots were 13-5 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period.

In the Second Period
The Buckeyes scored twice in the first 32 seconds of the period for a 4-0 advantage. Ronnie Hein backhanded in a rebound of a Tanner Laczynski shot, with Matthew Weis also assisting, 15 seconds into the stanza on the power play. Laczynski scored a goal of his own at 32 seconds, stealing the puck from a Spartan defender down low and scoring off the post.

Tanner Laczynski’s 10th goal of the season (in the second period) was unassisted. Steals the puck down low and SCORES! #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/2dA0Fz26bl

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) January 6, 2018

Each team had 10 shots on goal in the period.

In the Third Period
Michigan State outshot Ohio State, 7-5, and tallied the only goal in the third period. At 10:10 Brennan Sanford broke up the shutout with a goal following a turnover in the Buckeye zone. Ohio State was 0-for-2 on the power play in the period, ending the game on a major power play that started with 1:30 remaining.

Blocking the Puck
Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 28-22. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 21 saves in 59:43 and now has a 1.89 goals-against average and .929 save percentage, ranking in the Top 10 nationally.

MSU starter John Lethemon played the first 20:32 and gave up four goals, with Ed Minney closing out the final 39:28. Each Spartan goalie made 12 saves.

Special Teams
The Buckeyes were 2-for-4 on the power play, marking the second straight game, and fifth time this year, the squad has had multiple power-play tallies.

Ronnie Hein scored his first goal of the season on the power play 15 seconds into the second. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/25F2lGnpVz

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) January 6, 2018

The Buckeye penalty kill was 5-for-5, allowing just two shots on goal, and is now 74-for-80 (.925), ranking first nationally on the PK. The squad has allowed just two power play goals in the last 10 games.

Noting the Buckeyes
• The Buckeyes improve to 8-1-1 on the road this season.
Tanner Laczynski leads the Buckeyes with 10 goals and 27 points. He is on a five-game point streak, with a goal in four of the games, and seven points in the stretch. He has a point in 11 of the last 12 games (7g, 11a, 18p).
• Ohio State is 9-0-2 when scoring first this season.
• The Buckeyes are in the Top 5 nationally in team defense, holding opponents to 2.0 goals per game. It was the 10th time this season the squad has allowed one or fewer goals.
• Ohio State has scored twice in the first period for three games in a row.
Matthew Weis had his sixth multiple-point game this season and third two-point outing in the last three games. He has a 7-14-21 line on the year.