COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12/13-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team opened the season with a 5-2 victory over Western in an exhibition game Sunday in Value City Arena.
Ohio State led the Mustangs 2-0 after the first period and 4-1 after 40 minutes. Senior Tanner Laczynski led the Buckeye squad with two goals and added an assist for a three-point night, while sophomore Gustaf Westlund had three helpers, assisting on all three Buckeye power play goals in the game. Senior Ronnie Hein, sophomore Quinn Preston and freshman Tate Singleton all scored and senior Matt Miller had a two-assist game.
The result and statistics are not included in Ohio State’s season totals. Ohio State is now 10-3 all-time vs. the Mustangs, with the previous meeting in Columbus in 2010.
The Schedule Ahead
The regular season starts for the Buckeyes with the Ice Breaker Tournament in the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, next weekend. Ohio State will face Western Michigan at 5 p.m. Friday, with Bowling Green and RIT meeting in the other first round game. Championship and consolation games will be held Saturday, with Bowling Green playing the 8 p.m. game, and the other game at 5 p.m.
The Buckeyes host Omaha for two games Oct. 18-19 to begin their home slate. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. in game one and 5 p.m. in game two.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“The win was a good way to start the year. We did some good things as a team, but certainly need to keep improving. It was nice to see so many new guys get a chance to dress for the first time.”
Quoting Buckeye senior forward and captain Ronnie Hein
“For our first game as a new team I thought we played well. Obviously we still have some things to learn and shake off the rust but I was very happy with everyone’s compete level today. That’s the one thing we preached before the game – just to go out there and play hard and heavy. It was good to get the first game out of the way and it all starts up this week and our focus is on Western Michigan Friday.”
Ohio State 5, Western 2
In the First … The Buckeyes opened the scoring at 4:59 when Tanner Laczynski one-timed a pass from Gustaf Westlund with Ohio State on a 5-on-3 power play. Matt Miller had the second assist on the tally. Quinn Preston forced a turnover in the neutral zone and put a wrist shot by the goalie at 16:15 for a two-goal lead.
In the Second … The Mustangs got on the board just 1:44 into the period when Ethan Dzpula converted a breakaway. Laczynski notched his second power play goal of the night at 8:57, set up by Carson Meyer and Westlund. Six minutes later Ronnie Hein put the Buckeyes up 4-1, with Laczynski picking up his third point of the night with the assist.
In the Third … Western scored on the power play at 5:44 of the period to make it a two-goal game. At 15:32 freshman Tate Singleton redirected a Miller shot on the power play for the fifth Buckeye score. Westlund notched his third assist of the game on the tally.
Between the Pipes … Each Buckeye goalie played one period. Junior Tommy Nappier started and stopped all nine shots he faced. Juior Evan Moyse had 10 saves on 11 shots in the second and freshman Ryan Snowden made 11 saves on 12 shots.
The Buckeyes outshot the Mustangs, 33-32, in the contest. Freshman Layton Ahac led the Buckeyes with three blocked shots, while his classmate James Marooney had two blocks.
Special Teams …Ohio State was 3-for-6 with the man advantage in the win. The Buckeye penalty kill stopped two-of-three chances.