January 9, 2021

Buckeyes Fall to Nittany Lions for Series Split


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to Penn State, 5-2, in game two of a Big Ten series between the teams Saturday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes, with Mark Cheremeta scoring both goals, drew within one (3-2) in the third period but Penn State closed out the game with two late empty net goals.

The Buckeyes (4-7-1, 4-6-0-0-1-0 B1G) won the series opener against the Nittany Lions (5-7-0, 3-7-0-0-0-0), 6-3, for a series split. The teams will face off in State College Feb. 12-13 to close the regular season series.

Ohio State is on the road for its next two series, playing at Michigan Friday and Saturday, with game one on BTN Plus and game two televised by BTN. Jan. 23-24 the Buckeyes will be at Michigan State.

Penn State 5, Ohio State 2 – The Short Story

Penn State opened the scoring at 7:38 of the first but Buckeye sophomore Mark Cheremeta redirected a Grant Gabriele shot at 15:20 for a 1-1 game after the opening 20 minutes. Penn State scored at 2:55 and 7:11 of the middle period for a 3-1 game entering the third. Cheremeta converted on the power play at 4:34 to make it a one-goal game. Penn State sealed the win with empty net goals at 18:21 and 18:56. The Buckeyes were outshot, 40-30, with Tommy Nappier making 35 saves. There were 13 penalties called in the game – Ohio State was 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Quoting Buckeye assistant coach JB Bittner

On putting back-to-back wins together

“It’s hard at the college level because you only play two games in a series or on a weekend. You beat a team the first night and you know the coach is all over them – there’s video, there’s meetings, ‘we have to be better in this area, we have to compete better’. To try and beat them again the next night you have to play better than you did the night before. With a younger team that’s something we have to learn. I thought they played a lot harder than they did last night; they played better. We played better too, but they upped their game tonight.”

Ohio State vs. Penn State

In the First … Alex Limoges put the Nittany Lions on the board at 7:38 before Mark Cheremeta tied the game at 15:20. Grant Gabriele intercepted a PSU clear attempt and put a shot toward net that Cheremeta redirected past the goalie for his third goal of the year. Shots were 15-10 in favor of Ohio State in the period.

In the Second … Kevin Wall pushed Penn State into the lead at 2:55 and Tim Doherty tallied at 7:11 for a 3-1 PSU lead after 40 minutes. Penn State had the shot advantage, 16-6, in the period, with nine shots on the power play, including a five minute major chance.

In the Third … On the power play, Travis Treloar took a pass from Layton Ahac and found Cheremeta in the slot, who scored on a backhand at 4:34. Ahac’s assist extended his point streak to four (1g, 4a, 5p) and Treloar, OSU’s leading scorer with 12 points, is on a three-game point streak (2g, 2a, 4p). Cheremeta, second on the team with 11 points, marked his third multiple point game of the year.

With time running down, the Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and Penn State was able to convert twice, with goals at 18:21 and 18:56. Ohio State was outshot, 14-9, in the period.

Shots … Ohio State was outshot, 40-30, in the game. Nappier played 59:24 and had 35 stops. The Buckeyes had nine shot blocks, with Gabriele posting four of the nine.

Special Teams … The Buckeyes were 1-for-6 on the power play and the penalty kill was 4-for-4, including on the full five minute major chance. Ohio State is 10-for-39 (.256) on the power play this year, tying for 10th nationally.