Weis Nets Pair of Power Play Goal As No. 9 Buckeyes Sweep Purple Eagles

By Aubrey Nelson on December 30, 2017 at 10:57 pm
Make way. Matt Weis is coming for your penalty kill.
Ric Kruszynski/Ohio State Athletics

The men’s hockey Buckeyes wrapped up their non-conference schedule on Saturday with a final tilt against Niagara. In the first game of the series Ohio State squeaked by with a last second goal. The rematch played out a little differently.

Scoring by Period 1 2 3 Final
Niagara 1 0 0 1
No. 9 Ohio State 2 1 1 4

The Bucks surged ahead early. Matt Miller struck only a minute into the contest for a 1-0 OSU lead. The goal was the third in as many games for the sophomore defenseman. It also brought his season point total to nine. He is the team's leading scorer amongst blue liners. 

Matt Weis then increased the Scarlet and Gray’s advantage with a power play tally. The senior collected a rebound and stuffed it by Purple Eagles goalie Brian Wilson. This would not be the last Niagara would hear from Weis, but that’s getting ahead of the story.

Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists) Pd Time
Matt Miller (Mason Jobst, Michael Rounds 1 1:00
PP - Matt Weis (Ronnie Hein, Tanner Laczynski) 1 7:02
PP - Matt Weis (Ronnie Hein, Mason Jobst) 2 14:01
John Wiitala (Ronnie Hein) 3 2:15

Everything was going the Buckeyes’ way until the midway mark of the frame. That’s when Sasha Larocque exited the game due to a major penalty for contact to the head. Ohio State thwarted the Purple Eagles’ power plays (a spate of penalties chopped up the major into some 4-on-4 action as well as a two man advantage) over the next five minutes.

The Bucks faced the rest of the game without the services of their top defender and shot blocker. Fortunately, the team rose to the occasion. Over the course of the next 48+ minutes 10 of the lineup’s remaining 17 skaters would record at least one blocked shot for a team total of 22. (And the skaters who didn’t block a shot made hefty offensive contributions so don't be too mad at them.)

Despite the team's defensive commitment, Nick Harper pulled Niagara within a goal before the intermission. He exploited a lapse in the Buckeye defense and slapped a rebound past Tommy Nappier with 34 seconds to play. It would, however, be the only blemish on Nappier's night. He would finish with 27 saves and collect his second win in his second start of the season.

OSU came screaming out of the break and dominated the middle frame. The Bucks outshot the Purple Eagles 16-4 and padded their lead. Once again it was special teams getting the job done. And, once again, Weis lit the lamp.

John Wiitala stretched the Buckeye advantage to 4-1 with an even strength goal early in the third period. Ronnie Hein helped orchestrated the tally. The assist was Hein's third of the night, matching a career high for the sophomore forward.

Niagara pressed the Bucks in the final frame, but this time the Scarlet and Gray buckled down and made the score stick. Nothing else got by Nappier and Ohio State wrapped up a series sweep of the Purple Eagles. The Buckeyes are now 12-4-4 on the year. They return to Big Ten play next week with a match up at Michigan State.

  • Ohio State outshot Niagara 39-28 led by Kevin Miller's six shots.
  • The Buckeyes blocked 22 shots to the Purple Eagles' 12. Wyatt Ege, Mason Jobst, Luke Stork, and Matt Miller recorded three each to lead the Bucks.
  • OSU went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Bucks' penalty killers were a perfect 4-for-4.  
View 116 Comments