November 30, 2019

No. 11 Buckeyes Top Spartans, 3-1


Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 20 Ohio State men’s hockey team opened its homestand with a 3-1 win over No. 20 Michigan State Saturday in Value City Arena. Buckeye senior captain Ronnie Hein led the squad with two goals, while freshman goalie Ryan Snowden had 26 stops in his first career start.

The Buckeyes, now 8-4-1 overall and 4-3-0-0 in the Big Ten, and Spartans (6-6-1, 4-1-2-0 B1G) will close the weekend series at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Columbus. The game will be televised by BTN and on Ohio State radio. There will be a postgame skate with the Buckeyes; fans can bring their own skates, or rent for $5 (cash only).

The Short Story – Ohio State 3, Michigan State 1

After a quiet first period that included just nine total shots (OSU 5, MSU 4), Gustaf Westlund put the Buckeyes on the board with a 4-on-4 goal at 8:50 of the second. Ronnie Hein extended the advantage to 2-0 at 2:10 of the third. The Spartans made it a one-goal game at 15:11 and pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but Hein sealed the win with a goal with eight seconds remaining. Ryan Snowden had 26 saves for the Buckeyes, who also blocked 17 shots.

Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik

“I don’t think we were happy with our start, but maybe that had a lot to do with them. That’s a very good hockey team. After the first half of the first period we started to get our legs. But, there wasn’t a lot of room. No one was going to give an inch. That’s why they’ve had a lot of success this year and certainly we were ok playing that way. We just dug in. Getting a lead was a big deal.”

Quoting freshman goalie Ryan Snowden

“There’s always a little bit of nerves, when it’s your first start. But, the guys in the lockerrom were awesome to help me calm down.”

Ohio State 3, Michigan State 1

In the First … Neither team scored in the opening 20 minutes. The squads combined for just nine shots on goal – OSU five and MSU four. The Buckeyes had a power play chance and the Spartans had a late chance that carried into the second.

In the Second … Buckeye sophomore Gustaf Westlund opened the scoring at 8:50 with the teams skating 4×4, taking a long pass from CJ Regula and scoring short side. Ryan O’Connell also assisted on the tally, Westlund’s team-best eighth of the year. Shots were 11-10 in favor of Michigan State in the period and the Spartans had the lone power play chance.

In the Third … Ohio State went ahead 2-0 at 2:10 when Miguel Fidler, after a save by Ryan Snowden, led Ronnie Hein through the neutral zone. Hein drove the middle of the ice and scored with the goalie screened by his defenders. The Spartans broke up the shutout at 15:11, as Mitchell Lewandowski was credited with a goal after a tough bounce off the backwall. Michigan State pulled its goalie with more than a minute remaining and Ohio State sealed the win at 19:52. Carson Meyer fed Hein out of the Buckeye zone. He was tripped driving the empty net and awarded the goal. Snowden had 11 saves on 12 Spartan shots in the period and Ohio State put six on net. The Spartans had one power play, with the Buckeyes scoreless on two chances.

Shots … The Buckeyes were outshot, 27-21. Snowden had 26 saves in 59:35 for the Buckeyes, picking up his second collegiate win. John Lethemon had 18 stops in 58:34 for Michigan State. The Buckeyes blocked 17 shots, led by Tanner Laczynski and Regula with three each and Quinn Preston, Hein and Grant Gabriele each with two.

Special Teams … Neither team scored on the power play – Ohio State was 0-for-3 and Michigan State was 0-for-2.

Buckeye This and That … The game ended a streak of six straight one-goal games for the Buckeyes … Snowden was making his first career start in goal after playing his first minutes in Ohio State’s last game … Hein had his fourth career two-goal game and second this season … Westlund leads the Buckeyes with eight goals and 14 points … Carson Meyer was a Buckeye-best and career high +3 in the win … the game opened a six-game homestand for the Buckeyes.