It was a good 3 quarters for Ohio State en route to a good win against Hofstra, but the 4th was pretty awful.
The epitome of garbage time, watching the 4th quarter was enough to make you pray for good health for the first team guys. Hofstra doubled their goal total in the final stanza, making OSU's 14-8 win look closer than it actually was.
Still, the 1st 3 quarters of the game were enough to let us know that this team is going to be really, really good. And it will need to be, as Denver looms on the horizon.
Offensively, Ohio State did everything as well as can be expected. Buckeyes scored 14 goals on 31 shots, good for a shot percentage of .451.
23 of OSU's shots were on goal, for an insane .741 SOG%. This is 14% over last season's average. I cannot emphasize enough how much this team has improved its shooting.
It is night and day from last year, and the team is only benefitting from all the work they put in. Another indicator of how good this offense is right now is their 10 assisted goals.
Just shows how much better the offense is working together this year. Tre Leclaire poured in 4 goals, including a nice behind the back tally on a cut to the back pipe.
Jack Myers led the team in points with 3 goals and 3 assists. Myers may be the best offensive freshman OSU has had in years, and that includes Leclaire. It's just a completely different team with hin out there.
If he had a little more speed, Myers could be a Spencer-level player. He's just so good at reading defenses.
Defensively, outside of the 4th quarter, Ohio State was excellent. Through 45 minutes of play, the Buckeyes only allowed 4 goals on 23 shots.
Even in the 4th, it took the Pride 17 shots to get 4 goals. Even including the 4th quarter's outburst, Hofstra had a shot percentage under .200. It was a good day for the defense.
Joey Salisbury has stabilized the 3rd pole position, and Borges continues to be absolutely outstanding. The only concern was how easily the SSDMs got beat more than a few times. Today it didn't matter, as Hofstra was hapless on O until very late.
But something to watch against a good Denver squad.
In goal, Josh Kirson was really, really good. Kirson had 12 saves on the day, and only allowed 6 goals. He had a save percentage of .667, outstanding at the D1 level. Not much else to say, really.
Kirson benefitted from a great defense performance, bailed out the team quite often, and just did a great job. He's the undisputed #1, and we'll see the team ride his performances moving forward.
At the X, Justin Inacio was well below where I thought he would be. Inacio went 10-18, good for 55.6%, but certainly didn't blow the doors off of Hofstra's FOGO. Feliziani was 2-7, and is making me wonder if any freshman FOGO will push him for the #2 gig.
It was a good enough performance, but OSU is going to need great performances at the faceoff X from here on out. The B1G has no bad faceoff men.
On special teams, the Buckeyes had mixed results. They converted two of their five chances, but still committed six penalties. Luckily they killed off all but one.
This will be something to watch in the days to come, as with an increased level of competition, opportunities on Man Up will give good teams chances to put OSU away.
All in all, a win is a win. And today was a good tuneup for Denver next week. There is a hige difference between the Pios and every other team the Buckeyes have faced, so it will be a fantastic test to see just where Ohio State falls in this year's hierarchy.