Freshman goalie Ryan Snowden of the Ohio State men’s hockey team was called into action Saturday in a pressure-packed situation. He responded with 15 saves on 15 shots, backstopping the Buckeyes to a B1G road win at Penn State.
Junior Tommy Nappier, the reigning Big Ten Goalie of the Year, had played each of the Buckeyes’ first 11 games to start the year, as well as the first two periods vs. the Nittany Lions Saturday. He did not start the third because of injury, with Snowden getting the nod.
“When I first heard I was going to go in I was definitely a little nervous,” Snowden said of his first collegiate appearance. “The support my teammates gave me was incredible and that’s what really calmed me down. I knew as the period was about to start they all had my back and I was going to have theirs.”
The back-and-forth game between the No. 11-ranked Buckeyes and No. 6/5 Nittany Lions was tied at three to start the final period. Snowden stopped seven shots through the first 10 minutes to keep the game deadlocked. At 13:04, Gustaf Westlund put the Buckeyes ahead (4-3) and Snowden and Ohio State shut down the Nittany Lions, who are in the Top 5 nationally in goals per game, the rest of the way. After Westlund’s goal, the rookie from Lincoln University, Pa., made eight saves to close out the game (seven in the final three minutes when Penn State had its net empty for the extra attacker) and preserve the one-goal win.
“It was amazing to get my first win as a Buckeye,” Snowden, who received the game puck from the team’s coaches postgame, said. “I had family in the stands which was awesome and made the moment even more special. The team we have is an amazing group of guys and getting my first win with them is something I’ll always remember.”
Snowden and the Buckeyes (7-4-1, 3-3-0-0) open a four-game homestand to close the first half of the schedule with two games vs. Michigan State this weekend. The teams will meet at 5 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena.
Listen below for more from Snowden.