COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team opened Big Ten play with a 3-2 win over Michigan Friday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were down 1-0 after the first and 2-1 after the second, but scored twice in the first four minutes of the third to take the lead and then shut down the Wolverines the rest of the way.
The No. 13 Buckeyes improve to 5-1-1 on the year, while Michigan drops to 3-3-1. The squads will close the weekend series at 5 p.m. Saturday in Columbus.
The Short Story – Ohio State 3, Michigan 2
Despite being outshot 13-5, the Wolverines led 1-0 after the first period on a power play goal. Michigan extended the lead to 2-0 midway through the second. At 16:35 of the second, freshman Tate Singleton put the Buckeyes on the board with a power play goal. Just 1:23 into the third sophomore Quinn Preston tied the game with a PPG. At 3:52 junior Austin Pooley put the Buckeyes ahead for the first time, with his shot deflecting into the goal. Ohio State held the Wolverines off the scoreboard for the final 30:51 of the game. Tommy Nappier ended the contest with 20 saves and the team blocked 17 shots. Ohio State was 2-for-3 with the man advantage in the win.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) November 2, 2019
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
On the team’s mindset
“I liked our guys’ jump from the start. I thought they played hard tonight and I could see that from the drop of the puck. Even when we went down 2-0, all I heard on the bench was ‘We’ve got this. We’ve just got to keep playing the same way.’ I give our guys a lot of credit. It’s not easy to win in this league, especially when you spot a team two goals like that.”
“Anytime you play The Team Up North, it’s going to be intense. They have a really good hockey team over there. We knew that. We had to bring our A-game. You drop a few guys early [because of injury] and it shortens the bench in a hurry. I give our guys credit, they left it all out there on the ice tonight.”
Quoting Buckeye senior captain Ronnie Hein
On the mood on the bench
“No frustration tonight, everybody was behind each other tonight. We were playing really well, we just happened to give them two kind-of easy goals. We knew we were playing well. We just got behind each other and kept working.”
Quoting Buckeye freshman defenseman CJ Regula
On overcoming the two-goal deficit
“Everyone banded together and was positive and bought into the structure. We were blocking shots and doing everything we could to get this win. All we needed was that first one and everyone felt it was going to come.
Ohio State 3, Michigan 2
In the First … Ohio State had the advantage in shots, 13-5, including 9-1 early. However, the Wolverines got on the board first, when a shot from Nick Pastujov went off a Buckeye and in as a power play was expiring.
In the Second … Michigan went ahead 2-0 at 9:49 when Emil Ohrwall scored off a pass from Luke Morgan. Ohio State cut the lead in half at 16:35 with six seconds left on the power play. From the point, Ryan O’Connell found Tate Singleton with a cross-ice pass and he one-timed a shot from the faceoff circle. Gordi Myer also assisted on the tally, Singleton’s second of the year. Shots were 10-9 in favor of Ohio State in the period.
In the Third … The Buckeyes tied the game with a second power play goal, as Quinn Preston, with his back to the goalie, scored on a backhand from just outside the crease at 1:23, assisted by Tanner Laczynski and Wyatt Ege. At 3:52 Austin Pooley’s shot went off a Wolverine in front and in to put the Buckeyes ahead. Ronnie Hein and CJ Regula assisted on the goal, Pooley’s first of the season. The Wolverines had the edge in shots, 8-7, in the stanza, and pulled their goalie in the final minute for the extra attacker, but Ohio State closed out the win.
Shots … The Buckeyes ended the game ahead in shots, 30-22. Tommy Nappier stopped 20-of-22 shots in all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes. Michigan goalie Strauss Mann had 27 stops in 59:16. The Buckeyes blocked 17 shots in the win. Grant Gabriele led the way with four, while Ege had three and Myer and Hein each had two. In all, 10 Buckeyes had at least one shot block.
Special Teams … The Buckeyes were 2-for-3 on the power play and are now 12-for-4 (.300) on the year. The penalty kill was 1-for-2.
Buckeye This and That … This was the first time since the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey (2013-14) the Buckeye and Wolverines opened league play against each other … Ohio State has won three straight Big Ten openers … Regula’s assist was his first career point … Nappier and the Buckeyes have not allowed more than two goals in a game and are holding opponents to 1.71 goals a contest … Laczynski shares the team point lead with Gustaf Westlund with eight each; Laczynski has a team-high seven assists.