TOLEDO, Ohio – Behind two goals from senior captain Ronnie Hein, the No. 12/14-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated RIT, 3-1, Saturday in the Huntington Center to win the Ice Breaker Tournament. The annual tournament, now in its 23rd year, includes teams from our different conferences to start each season. The Buckeyes’ title is their first in four appearances. The Buckeyes are now 1-0-1 after tying Western Michigan in the first round of the tourney Friday.
The Short Story – Ohio State 3, RIT 1
The Tigers (2-1) tallied the lone goal of the first period. Midway through the second, Buckeye Ronnie Hein tied the game at one with a power play goal. With three minutes left in the second, Ohio State went on a major power play. The Buckeyes were unable to convert until just two seconds remained on the advantage, with Hein scoring his second of the night 1:58 into the third period to put the Buckeyes in the lead. Freshman Tate Singleton gave the Buckeyes a two-goal edge with a goal with less than four minutes left in regulation. Goalie Tommy Nappier had 24 saves for the Buckeyes, who were 2-for-3 on the penalty kill, including a late stop, and Ohio State had 20 shot blocks, led by Matt Miller with seven.
Ohio State opens its home slate next weekend, hosting Omaha at 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“You come into a tournament, you always want to win the tournament. It was a hard fought game again tonight. That’s college hockey at its finest. It’s certainly nice to win a tournament. I challenged the team after the first period and I thought our leaders took over. I tip my cap to those guys.”
Rohlik Postgame Comments
Quoting Buckeye senior Ronnie Hein
“We didn’t play our best, we still have a lot of things to clean up. But when you’re playing for a championship, and you win a trophy like this, it’s always a great feeling. I thought our compete level was really there after the first period. We came in and gathered ourselves after being down and I thought we played hard. Credit to their goalie, he played really well. Our goalie stood on his head and we got a couple power play goals.”
Hein Postgame Comments
Ohio State 3, RIT 1
In the First … The lone goal of the opening period was scored by RIT, as it converted a power play at 17:51. Shots were 10-8 in favor of the Buckeyes in the stanza. Ohio State was 0-for-2 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.
In the Second … Ohio State controlled play for much of the second and the teams went into the lockerroom tied at 1. At 9:37 Ronnie Hein one-timed a loose puck in the high slot to knot the score, with Quinn Preston and Miguel Fidler assisting on the tally. The Buckeyes outshot the Tigers, 14-3, in the period. An RIT player was called for checking from behind with three minutes remaining in the period, as the change carried over to the third.
In the Third … With just two seconds left on the major power play, Hein notched his second of the night, scoring from the faceoff circle at 1:58, to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-1. Freshman Michael Gildon (his first career collegiate point) and Wyatt Ege assisted on the tally. Freshman Tate Singleton gave the Buckeyes a two-goal edge at 16:42 with his first career goal, as he got behind the Tiger defense and Matt Miller led him on a breakaway with a stretch pass. A late Buckeye penalty gave RIT a power play and the Tigers pulled their goalie for a 6×4 advantage, but Ohio State held strong. Buckeye goalie Tommy Nappier stopped all 14 Tigers shots in the period, as Ohio State put 10 shots on net.
Shots … The Buckeyes held the advantage in shots, 34-25. Nappier played 59:48 for the Buckeyes and had 24 saves. Logan Drackett made 31 stops in 58:00 for the Tigers. Ohio State blocked 20 shots, led by Miller with seven.
Special Teams … Ohio State was 2-for-7 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill in the win.
Buckeye This and That … Gildon made his collegiate debut and picked up the first point for a Buckeye rookie this year with an assist … Singleton notched the Buckeyes’ first goal from a freshman later in the period … Hein had his third career two-goal game and first since Oct. 13, 2018 at Arizona State … Nappier stopped 68-of-71 (.958) shots in the tournament … Miller’s assist was his 50th career point, while his seven shot blocks were a career best after two five-block nights … Ohio State also competed in the 1998, ’04 and ’16 Ice Breaker Tournaments … Ohio State won its first in-season tournament title since the 2016 Florida College Classic … the game was the first between the Buckeyes and RIT in program history.