ERIE, Pa. – With four power play goals, the No. 15 Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Mercyhurst, 7-2, Friday in Mercyhurst Ice Arena. After a scoreless first, the Buckeyes scored four times in the final five minutes of the second period to take control of the game. Senior defenseman Wyatt Ege had a hat trick in the win, while sophomore Gustaf Westlund had two goals and an assist and senior Tanner Laczynski had three helpers.
The Buckeyes improve to 3-1-1 on the year, with the Lakers now 2-3-0. The teams will close the weekend series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Erie.
The Short Story –Ohio State 7, Mercyhurst 2
Neither team scored in the first period, with Ohio State outshooting the Lakers, 11-4. The stalemate continued until the final five minutes of the second when the Buckeyes scored three times in a 1:45 span, with two power play goals 13 seconds apart, to take control. The teams traded goals in the final 1:03 of the period for a 4-1 Ohio State lead after 40 minutes. Mercyhurst scored 41 seconds into the third but the Buckeyes responded with three goals – at 1:37, 3:37 and 5:06 – to push ahead 7-2. Ohio State outshot Mercyhurst, 36-18, and the Buckeye power play was 4-for-7. Wyatt Ege (3g), Gustaf Westlund (2g, 1a) and Tanner Laczynski (3a) each had three points, while Tate Singleton (2a), Grant Gabriele (1g, 1a) and Carson Meyer (1g, 1a) posted two point each. In all, 11 Buckeyes had at least a point.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“It’s always nice to win on the road. I thought our first period was one of our best of the year, even though the score was tied. We played the game the right way. As always, special teams is the key.”
Ohio State 7, Mercyhurst 2
In the First … There were 15 shots on goal – 11 by the Buckeyes – but no goals in the first period. Ohio State killed the lone power play chance.
In the Second … Five goals were scored in the period, all in the final 4:30. Ohio State scored three times on the power play, along with an even strength tally, for a 4-1 lead. Wyatt Ege scored a 5×3 goal at 15:30, converting from the faceoff circle, assisted by Tate Singleton and Quinn Preston. Just 13 seconds later and still on the power play, Ryan O’Connell sent Carson Meyer into the Laker zone on a breakaway and he converted at 15:43. At 18:57, Michael Gildon and Eugene Fadyeyev got the puck down low and Grant Gabriele dropped into the zone and scored off a loose puck by the crease. The Lakers got on the board at 18:57, but a minute later the Buckeyes regained the three-goal edge, as Ege scored his second of the night, taking a pass from Tanner Laczynski and scoring as his shot went off the goalie’s glove and in with just three seconds left in the period. Gustaf Westlund also assisted on the power play tally. Shots were 13-6 in favor of Ohio State in the stanza.
In the Third … Mercyhurst scored on the power play 41 seconds into the period but less than a minute later Westlund tallied with the Buckeyes on the power play, putting in his own rebound. Laczynski and Gabriele had the helpers on the tally. Exactly two minutes later Ege’s shot from the point got through to complete his hat trick, assisted by Laczynski and Singleton. Ohio State had the edge in shots over Mercyhurst, 12-8, in the stanza.
Shots … Ohio State outshot Mercyhurst, 36-18, in the game. Tommy Nappier had 16 saves in all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes. Mercyhurst starter Garrett Metcalf had 21 saves on 27 shots in 43:37 and Stefano Cantali had eight stops on nine shots in 16:23 of relief.
Special Teams … Ohio State was 4-for-7 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Buckeyes have a power play goal in four of their five games this year and are 10-for-32 (.312) this season.
Buckeye This and That … Ege’s hat trick was the first for a Buckeye since David Gust at UConn Nov. 11, 2016 and the first for a Buckeye defenseman since at least 1998; it was the third by a conference blueliner in the six-plus years of Big Ten hockey; Ege entered the game with two goals in his first 80 games as a Buckeye … the Buckeyes’ seven goals were a season high and the first time with more than three goals this season … the Buckeyes and Nappier have not allowed more than two goals in a game on the year … Laczynski had his ninth career three-point game and the second in the last three games; he leads the Buckeyes with seven points on the year … Westlund now has three career three-point outings and three games with two goals … Singleton had his first multiple-point game as a Buckeye, as did Gabriele.