COLUMBUS, Ohio – Behind an outstanding special teams effort, the No 7/5-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Mercyhurst, 3-1, Friday in Value City Arena. The game opened the second half of the schedule for both the Buckeyes, now 10-4-3 on the year (4-2-2-2 B1G), and Lakers (8-9-2).
The teams will close the weekend series at 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
Ohio State 3, Mercyhurst 1
The teams combined for 25 shots – but no goals – in the first period. The Buckeyes put 14 shots on net, with the Lakers getting 11 through on Sean Romeo.
In the second, the Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead on Austin Pooley’s second goal of the year. Sam McCormick and Brendon Kearney won the puck battle along the boards and Kearney found Pooley driving the net for a goal at 7:57. Shots were 13-6 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period.
The Buckeyes extended the lead to 2-0 at 2:17 of the third period with a 5×3 power play goal. Mason Jobst and Dakota Joshua worked the puck to Matt Miller in the faceoff circle and his wrist shot went through a screen and beat the goalie far side.
The Lakers made it a one-goal game with 58 seconds remaining in regulation with an extra attacker goal from Steven Ipri from a sharp angle. Mercyhurst took a too many men on the ice penalty with nine seconds remaining for a late Buckeye power play. The Lakers won the faceoff, but Kearney knocked the puck down on a clearing attempt and it went to Jobst in the high slot, creating a 2-on-1 down low. Jobst passed to Kearney and then converted on a pass back for his team-best 11th goal of the year. Ohio State carried play in the third, outshooting Mercyhurst, 17-4.
Romeo played 59:48 for Ohio State and had 20 saves. Garrett Metcalf made 40 stops in 58:23 for Mercyhurst. The Buckeyes outshot the Lakers 44-21 in the game. Senior Sasha Larocque led the Buckeyes with five shot blocks.
Ohio State was 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and 2-for-5 on the power play in the contest.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“This was a nice win coming back from break against a good hockey team. We were off almost a month and the guys stayed with it. At the end of the day, special teams were the difference in the game.”
Quoting Buckeye senior Brendon Kearney
“It was good to come out from the break and get our legs back under us. It took us a little while – it wasn’t a perfect 60 minutes, but we worked really hard and did a lot of good things and were able to come out with a big win to start the second half.”
Noting the Buckeyes