UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On the strength of four power play goals, the No. 4/5-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated No. 13/12 Penn State, 6-4, Saturday in Pegula Ice Arena. The Buckeyes, who won 4-1 Friday for a series sweep, improve to 15-5-4 overall and 8-3-3-2 in Big Ten play. Penn State is 13-9-2 and 5-8-1-1 in league action.
The teams were tied at one after the first period and Penn State scored the first goal of the second for a 2-1 lead. Ohio State tallied back-to-back power play goals to tie the game and move ahead (3-2). A PSU shorthanded goal during a major power play deadlocked the score at three, but the Buckeyes converted twice on the major to lead 5-3 after 40 minutes. Mason Jobst pushed the Buckeye lead to three at 6:09 of the third. Penn State drew within two at 11:04 but could get no closer, as Tommy Nappier had 18 saves in the third period for the Buckeyes.
Mason Jobst, Matt Miller and Gustaf Westlund each had a goal and two assists for three points in the win, while Dakota Joshua scored twice and Tanner Laczynski had two assists. Jobst, Laczynski and Westlund each ended the series with five points.
Ohio State will be off next weekend before hosting Notre Dame for a two-game series Feb. 1-2. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday on the Buckeyes’ annual Teddy Bear Toss night and game two is set for 8 p.m. on BTN. Script Ohio on Ice will be performed during intermission of the Saturday tilt.
Ohio State 6, Penn State 4
In the first … Ohio State opened the scoring at 6:39. Ronnie Hein carried the puck up the boards and put a shot on net. The rebound went to defenseman Grant Gabriele at the point and his slap shot went far side for his first goal as a Buckeye. The Nittany Lions tied the game with a shorthanded goal at 16:38, scored by Evan Barratt. Ohio State had the advantage in shots, 15-11.
In the second … The teams combined for six goals in the second period, with Ohio State scoring four power play goals, and Ohio State carried a 5-3 lead into the break. Penn State went ahead with a goal just 1:43 into the stanza from Liam Folkes but the Buckeyes answered 2:10 later with a power play tally from Dakota Joshua, who stuffed it home from the side of the net at 3:53. Tanner Laczynski and Matt Miller assisted on the goal. At 7:33 Miller scored a goal of his own with the Buckeyes skating 5-on-3, wristing a shot past the goalie, set up by Mason Jobst and Laczynski. At 11:35 a Penn State player was given a major and game misconduct for boarding. The Nittany Lions scored shorthanded at 13:25 to tie the game at three, but the Buckeyes scored twice during the major. At 14:56 Joshua got to a loose puck with the goalie out of position, assisted by Westlund and Carson Meyer, and at 16:19 Westlund went through the zone to create his own shot and scored, with Jobst and Wyatt Ege notching the helpers. Ohio State had 17 shots in the period, limiting Penn State to eight.
In the third … At 6:09 of the third Jobst scored from a sharp angle from the halfwall. Westlund and Miller assisted on the goal, Jobst’s team-best 14th of the year. Chase Berger had a shot go off two Buckeyes and end just as a power play ended for the Nittany Lions for a two-goal game at 11:04. Tommy Nappier did not allow a goal the rest of the way, including when PSU skated with the net empty for nearly the final two minutes. The Buckeyes were outshot, 19-7, in the period.
Shots … Ohio State had the shot advantage, 39-38, in the game. Nappier had 34 saves in all 60 minutes in the Buckeye net. Peyton Jones made 33 saves for PSU in 57:22. Sasha Larocque and Gordi Myer had three shot blocks each to lead Ohio State.
Special Teams … Ohio State had four power play goals on 10 chances, its first time with four power play tallies since Feb. 4, 2017 at Michigan. The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Buckeye This and That …The sweep was the first with two regulation victories for the Buckeyes at Penn State … Ohio State has three or more goals in seven of the last eight games … Jobst leads the Buckeyes with 14 goals and 30 points, while Laczynski has a team-high 17 assists and is second with 25 points … Jobst has 14 points in his last six games combined (3g, 11a) … Laczynski has a 2-5-8 line in his last three games combined … Ohio State is 8-1-4 on the road this season … Joshua had his fourth career two-goal game and first since Feb. 23, 2018 vs. Wisconsin … Joshua has 97 points as a Buckeye and has two points in four of the last seven games … Jobst’s first assist was his 100th point in Big Ten play … Miller had his first three-point game as a Buckeye and his fifth career multiple-point outing … Westlund had his second three-point game in his last four outings; he has a 5-14-19 line this year.
Quoting Buckeye associate head coach Steve Miller
“We battled hard tonight and all weekend. This was a great team win to get the sweep. It was a hard-fought road series against a great opponent.”
Quoting Buckeye junior defenseman Matt Miller
“We came into the game prepared, knowing the situation we were in and how important a sweep would be on the road against a team as solid as Penn State. Our special teams were outstanding tonight. We lost a key player for us in the second and the team really stepped up and battled through some adversity. We played 60 minutes of disciplined Buckeye hockey tonight.”