March 24, 2023

Ohio State Outstanding in 8-1 Win Over Harvard


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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Ohio State men’s hockey team scored a school NCAA Tournament-record eight goals on its way to defeating the Harvard Crimson, 8-1, in an NCAA opening round game at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. No. 3 seed Ohio State improves to 21-15-3 with the win while No. 2 seed Harvard finishes its season 24-8-2.

The eight goals scored tops the previous Ohio State record of five goals in the 5-1 win over Denver in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The seven-goal margin is tied for the second-largest in an NCAA Regional record, set five times previously. Penn State now owns the mark with an 8-0 win in its opening round game later Friday.

The Buckeyes now advance on to the second round of the championship and will play at 4 p.m. Saturday against Quinnipiac (31-4-3), which topped Merrimack, 5-0, in the second Bridgeport Regional game. The game will be televised by ESPN2, on WatchESPN and on Ohio State Radio.

Ohio State dominated against Harvard from the start. The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first period and 7-0 after two. The team sent 34 shots on Crimson goaltender Mitchell Gibson in the first two periods and 40 for the game. Ohio State goalie Jakub Dobes was rarely challenged, but came up big when needed and finished with 22 saves.

Six Buckeyes scored goals, led by two apiece from Cam Thiesing, who scored the first goal of the game, and Cole McWard, who scored the second. Thiesing moved in front of Davis Burnside (14) for the team lead with 15 goals with his two scores. McWard reached double figure goals and now has 10.

Gustaf Westlund, Mason Lohrei, Joe Dunlap and Patrick Guzzo also scored for the Buckeyes. All four had multi-point games. Lohrei and Westlund each had a goal and two assists, while Dunlap and Guzzo also each had an assist. Jake Wise had a four-point game with four assists, giving him 27 on the season. Also tallying helpers: Stephen Halliday, who leads the team with 32, Davis Burnside and Michael Gildon.

Ohio State was 1-of-6 on the power play and Harvard was 1-of-4, with its only goal of the game coming on the power play with just over three minutes left to play.

The Short Story

  • Ohio State dominated the first period, playing with a clinical precision that resulted in 17 shots on goal and a 2-0 lead.
  • After a quick start by Harvard, Ohio State went to work forcing and converting Harvard turnovers into shots on goal at Crimson goalie Mitchell Gibson.
  • Cam Thiesing gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead with a goal just 3:22 into the game. Gustaf Westlund won a puck battle along the boards, slid the puck forward to Thiesing, who skated along the goal line and went up and over Mitchell’s left shoulder for the goal. Jake Wise also assisted on the play.
  • Ohio State went on the power play midway through the first but could not score despite fine opportunities by Cole McWard from the right faceoff circle and Tate Singleton from the left side.
  • Defensively, Ohio State limited the Crimson to just three shots on goal in the period, including a span of 17 minutes with no shots on goal allowed.
  • The Buckeyes scored twice more in the first four minutes of the second period to build a 4-0 lead.
  • Westlund, returning from injury and playing his first game in over five months, created a turnover in the Harvard end. He then gathered the puck and sent a backhand pass between his legs to Wise. Wise skated below the goal line and sent a pass back out front to Westlund, who was unguarded and parked in front. He easily buried his shot into the empty net to make it 4-0.
  • Six seconds later, at 3:50, Ohio State scored again. Wise won the ensuing faceoff, Westlund gathered it in and fed Thiesing, who skated in on Mitchell’s right side and sent a backhand over his right shoulder for his second goal of the game. Wise and Westlund each recorded assists on the play.
  • The lead grew to 5-0 with 8:24 to go in the period. Stephen Halliday sent a pass toward the net from near the blue line that deflected in off Mason Lohrei’s skate. Davis Burnside also assisted on the play.
  • Harvard challenged this play, lost and was penalized but the Buckeyes could not add to the lead on the power play.
  • Ohio State made it 6-0 with just under five minutes to play in the period. Lohrei carried the puck from Ohio State’s end down the middle of the ice, crossed the Harvard blue line and passed to his left to Patrick Guzzo, who went cross ice to Joe Dunlap and he buried the shot.
  • Two minutes later McWard scored his second goal of the game to make it 7-0. On the power play, Wise won a faceoff in the offensive end and McWard fired from the blue line for the goal.
  • Ohio State sent 17 more shots on goal in the second period and allowed Harvard just five shots on goal.
  • It should be noted that Ohio State goalie Jakub Dobes came about five feet out from the crease to make a huge save in the first minute of the middle period to preserve the 2-0 lead at the time.
  • Just over a minute into the third period, Guzzo took a cross ice pass for the easy finish and an 8-0 lead. Michael Gildon had the second assist on the tally.
  • Harvard scored with 3:14 left to play on a power play goal from John Farinacci.

Buckeye This and That

  • Ohio State is now 8-8-1 in games against 2023 NCAA Tournament teams.
  • This marks Ohio State’s 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The squad reached the Frozen Four in 2018, under Steve Rohlik, and 1998, and also earned NCAA invites in 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2017 and 2019.
  • This was just the second meeting between Ohio State and Harvard. The only other matchup was a 4-2 Buckeye victory in the Ohio Hockey Classic in Columbus Dec. 29, 2008.
  • Dobes is now tied for eighth in school history with 42 career wins and is tied for fifth for a single season with 21 victories. He has 1,000 saves this season, the eighth-most in a single year for a Buckeye goalie.
  • Wise has scored points in six consecutive games, and in seven of the last eight outings, and he has totaled 14 points in that span.
  • Stephen Halliday, Mason Lohrei and Cole McWard each have a three-game point streak and points in five of the last six games.
  • Harvard’s roster features 15 NHL Draft picks, the most in Division I, including its top six forwards.