February 22, 2020

No. 12 Buckeyes Wrap Up Sweep of Spartans with 4-2 Win


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The No. 12-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team scored three times in the final five minutes against Michigan State to come from behind and defeat the Spartans, 4-2, Saturday in Munn Ice Arena. The win gives the Buckeyes a sweep of the weekend series after a 1-0 win Friday.

In the first, the Spartans opened the scoring but Buckeye sophomore Quinn Preston answered with a power play goal. Michigan State scored with 11 seconds left in the opening period for a 2-1 lead, which stood until Ohio State freshman Jaedon Leslie tied the game at 15:11 of the third. Tanner Laczynski put the Buckeyes ahead with a power play goal at 16:39 and Preston sealed the win in the final second with his second goal of the game. Buckeye goalie Tommy Nappier had 29 saves for the victory.

In the B1G

The Buckeyes are 18-10-4 on the year, with an 11-8-3-1 record in Big Ten play. Michigan State falls to 14-17-1 and 10-11-1-0 in the conference. The sweep moved the Buckeyes into a tie with Minnesota for second place in the Big Ten (37 points) with one week remaining. Ohio State and Minnesota are four points back of Penn State (41), which ended its regular season schedule this weekend. Notre Dame is in fourth (35), with Michigan fifth (33), Michigan State sixth (31) and Wisconsin seventh (20).

Up Next

The Buckeyes end the regular season with a home series vs. Wisconsin. The teams will meet at 6 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. The eight Buckeye seniors will be recognized pregame Saturday.


Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik

“We didn’t play a perfect game, but the guys found a way to come back and get a great sweep on the road.”

Quoting Buckeye senior Tanner Laczynski

“I thought the resiliency in the locker room was second to none. We had no quit in our game and felt we were going to win. That’s a big two wins on the road. We have two more big games left at home to finish out the season. It’s in our hands now to win out.”

Quoting sophomore forward Quinn Preston

“This weekend was one of our most complete weekends of the season as a team. It was also a huge momentum boost moving into our last regular season weekend and the postseason. If we play like that from here on out we can do something special and it’s what I expect us to do.”

Ohio State vs. Michigan State

In the First … Michigan State opened the scoring at 12:53 when Patrick Khodorenko knocked the puck out of the air and in. At 16:10 the Buckeyes tied the game. On the power play, Matt Miller passed to Tanner Laczynski in the faceoff circle and he set up Quinn Preston for a shot just outside the crease. His first attempt was saved, but he chipped in his own rebound for his 12th goal of the year. With time expiring in the period, the Buckeyes turned it over in their zone and the Spartans took advantage, with Jagger Joshua scoring at 19:49. Ohio State outshot the Spartans, 23-12, in the period. It was the first time the Buckeyes had more than 20 shots in a period since Dec. 29, 2018 vs. Mercyhurst. Ohio State had the only power play chance.

In the Second … No goals were scored in the middle period, with Michigan State outshooting the Buckeyes, 13-9. Each team had a power play chance; Buckeye goalie Tommy Nappier had four saves on the PK.

In the Third … The Buckeyes scored three times in the final 4:49 for the win. At 15:11 freshman Jaedon Leslie tied the game. He threw a shot on net from a sharp angle and it snuck behind the goalie for a 2-2 game. Gordi Myer and Austin Pooley had the helpers on the goal, Leslie’s third of the year.

At 15:26 the Buckeyes went on the power play after a tripping call in the neutral zone. Carson Meyer found Laczynski in the faceoff circle and his wrist shot went far side for a 3-2 Buckeye lead at 16:39. The Spartans pulled their goalie in the final two minutes but were unable to generate sustained pressure. Preston sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final second, sending the puck down the ice from the Buckeye zone. Ohio State outshot the Spartans, 9-6, in the period. Ohio State had the only power play chance.

Shots … The Buckeyes ended the game ahead in shots, 41-31. Tommy Nappier played 59:57 for the Buckeyes and had 29 saves. John Lethemon had 37 saves in 58:21 for Michigan State. Ryan O’Connell and Matt Miller each had two blocks to lead Ohio State.

Special Teams … The Buckeyes were 2-for-3 on the power play. The squad was 1-for-1 on the penalty kill for the second night in a row.