January 21, 2022

No. 15 Buckeyes Post 4-1 Win at Michigan State

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Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Michigan State 4-1 Friday in game one of a Big Ten series between the teams. Michigan State scored the first goal but the Buckeyes tied the game before the end of the first. Ohio State killed seven minutes of power play time, including a major, in the second and then took the lead late in the middle stanza. The Buckeyes added two goals in the third for the 4-1 final.

The Buckeyes are now 17-7-1 on the year and 9-4-1-0-1-1 in the Big Ten. Michigan State is 11-13-1 and 5-10-0-1-0-0 in league play. The teams will close the regular season and weekend series at 6 p.m. Saturday in East Lansing. The game will be on B1G Plus and Ohio State Radio.

The Short Story

Michigan State opened the scoring at 6:20 of the first. The Buckeyes tied the game at 16:51, as Mason Lohrei sent Tate Singleton in on a breakaway and he scored top shelf. The Buckeyes controlled play in the first, outshooting MSU 16-3. In the first half of the second period Ohio State killed seven minutes of penalties, with a minor at 4:11 and major at 6:27, allowing five shots on goal on the two chances combined. Cam Thiesing broke the tie at 16:43, one-timing a pass from Georgii Merkulov when he was all alone in front. In the third Joe Dunlap and Eric Cooley combined for a goal at 7:09 and Grant Gabriele sealed the win with an empty netter at 18:51. The Buckeyes ended the game ahead in shots, 39-32 and Jakub Dobeš had 31 saves for the Buckeyes, along with an assist. The Buckeyes were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-4 on the power play in the win.

Quoting head coach Steve Rohlik

“We got off to a good start. I thought we were playing well, even though we were down 1-0. The kill on the major in the second period was huge and the story of the game. We got a couple key goals after that to propel us to the win. We played a pretty solid game overall.”

How It Happened

  • Ohio State had the first seven shots on goal, but Michigan State took the lead on a Tanner Kelly goal 6:20 into the contest.
  • At 16:51 Tate Singleton converted a breakaway to tie the game. Mason Lohrei took the puck from goalie Jakub Dobeš and threaded a pass to Singleton, who had gotten behind the Spartan defenders. His shot went top shelf and was stuck behind the center post. It was originally not called a goal on ice, but video review showed the puck was in and the goal stood.
  • Ohio State controlled play and had the shot advantage, 16-3, in the first. The Buckeyes had the only two power play chances.
  • The Buckeyes killed a minor penalty at 4:11 of the first and then a major at 6:27 to keep the game tied. Ohio State limited MSU to no shots on goal on the first chance and five on the five-minute major.
  • Georgii Merkulov found Cam Thiesing all alone in front at 16:43 and he one-timed the pass in to put the Buckeyes in the lead.
  • Shots were 14-11 in favor of Michigan State in the middle period. Ohio State had one power play chance in the stanza.
  • Ohio State outscored Michigan State 2-0 in the third for the win.
  • At 7:09 Eric Cooley scored, scoring off a cross-crease pass from Joe Dunlap. Ryan O’Connell had the second assist, as he led Dunlap up the left wing.
  • Grant Gabriele’s shot from inside the Buckeye blue line found the back of the net with the MSU goalie on the bench at 18:51 to seal the win.
  • The teams combined for 27 shots in the third, with MSU ahead, 15-12.
  • The Buckeyes ended the game ahead in shots, 39-32. Dobeš had 31 saves for the Buckeyes.
  • Ohio State was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and unable to score on four power play chances.

Buckeye This and That

  • McWard has five assists in his last three games combined and a point in five of the last six games. He now has a 1-10-11 line on the year.
  • Merkulov leads the Buckeyes with 25 points this season.
  • Dobeš is 16-6-1 this year, with a 2.07 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. His assist was his second of the year.
  • Lohrei’s helper was his team-best 18th of the season and his 20th point, ranking second on the team.
  • Ohio State is scoring 3.64 goals a game, allowing 2.16 per contest.
  • The Buckeyes hold a 48-15 advantage in goals in the third period this season.
  • Ohio State is 2-1 vs. Michigan State so far this season after a series split in Columbus in October. In that series, MSU won the first game 2-1 before a 5-1 Buckeye victory.