December 29, 2017

No. 9 Buckeyes Score Late for 3-2 Win over Niagara

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Dec. 29, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Buckeye leading scorer Tanner Laczynski scored with 6.3 seconds in regulation to break a tie and give the No. 9-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team a 3-2 win over Niagara Friday in Value City Arena.

Ohio State is now 11-4-4 on the year, with a 6-1-2 ledger in its last nine games. Niagara is 9-8-1 this season. The teams will close the series at 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena. The game is the Buckeyes’ final nonconference game of the regular season; the squad is 6-0-3 in nonleague games this year.

Ohio State 3, Niagara 2 – The Short Story
The game was the first for both teams coming out of the December break. Ohio State scored twice in 31 seconds toward the end of the first period for a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, with Matt Miller and Sam McCormick tallying. Niagara scored the only goal of the second (on the power play) and tied the game at 14:43 of the third. With time running out, Matthew Weis, Freddy Gerard and Tanner Laczynski combined for the gamewinning goal, breaking the tie with 6.3 seconds left in regulation when Laczynski notched his ninth goal of the year. Ohio State outshot Niagara, 32-30, with Sean Romeo making 28 saves for the Buckeyes. In all, nine Buckeyes had a point in the win.

In the First Period
Ohio State scored two goals in 31 seconds and led 2-0 after the first period. Matt Miller opened the scoring at 15:57, blasting a shot past the goalie for his fourth goal of the year. Mason Jobst started the play, stealing the puck in the Niagara zone and working with Kevin Miller down low. A Jobst shot was saved, but Miller pushed the puck between the circles and Miller got to it for a one-timer.

Just 31 seconds later Sam McCormick tipped a shot from Matt Joyaux at the point for his first goal of the season. Brendon Kearney also assisted on the goal, which came at 16:28.

Ohio State outshot Niagara 15-8 in the period and the Buckeyes had the only power play chance.

In the Second Period
Niagara had the advantage in shots, 12-9, and scored the only goal of the second period. At 9:06 Johnny Curran one-timed a shot on the power play to put Niagara on the board. Niagara was 1-for-2 on the power play in the period and Ohio State was 0-for-1.

In the Third Period
The Purple Eagles tied the game at 14:43 of the third when a shot by James Roll fluttered up and in.

With time winding down, Matthew Weis carried the puck into the Niagara zone. He found Freddy Gerard in the slot. His shot was saved, but Tanner Laczynski was there to put the rebound in with just 6.3 seconds left in regulation, putting Ohio State back ahead.

🚨Gamewinner! 🚨

Weis ➡️Gerard ➡️Laczynski ➡️ GOAL. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/kPSU4bzyFu

— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) December 30, 2017

Niagara pulled its goalie for the final faceoff, but Ohio State won the draw and controlled the puck until nearly the final horn.

Niagara outshot the Buckeyes, 10-8, in the stanza. Ohio State had the only power play chance.

Blocking the Puck
The Buckeyes outshot Niagara, 32-30, in the game. Junior goalie Sean Romeo played all 60 minutes and made 28 saves. He has a 1.93 goals-against average and .928 save percentage on the year, ranking in the Top 10 nationally.

Niagara goalie Brian Wilson had 29 saves in 59:53.

The Buckeyes had 13 blocked shots, led by Gordi Myer with four and Sasha Larocque with three.

Special Teams
Niagara won the special teams battle, converting 1-of-2 power play chances and holding Ohio State scoreless on three opportunities with the man advantage.

The power play goal scored by the Purple Eagles was just the sixth allowed by Ohio State this season and the second the squad has given up in the last eight games. Ohio State leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 65-of-71 (.915) opponent chances.

Noting the Buckeyes
Tanner Laczynski leads the Buckeyes with 15 assists and 24 points on the year, sharing the goal lead with Mason Jobst with nine each. Laczynski has a point in nine of the last 10 games (6g, 9a, 15p).
• The Buckeyes are holding opponents to 2.11 goals per game this season, ranking in the Top 5 nationally in team defense.
• Ohio State is 7-0-2 when scoring first this season.
Mason Jobst picked up his 10th assist of the season. He is second on the squad with 19 points this year.