The men’s hockey Buckeyes crossed swords with the Mercyhurst Lakers one last time on Saturday. The series finale was the final action of the calendar year for Ohio State. It also capped off the Bucks’ non-conference schedule. Things got a little hairy for the Scarlet and Gray but they still managed to pull off a win.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||Final|
|No. 5/7 Ohio State||2||2||1||5|
Mercyhurst got on the board first with a goal at the 9:27 mark. But the Buckeyes dominated the rest of the period and went into the break up 2-1. Ronnie Hein leveled the score at 1-1. Tanner Laczynski swept the puck through a seam in the defense and set Hein up for his sixth goal of the season.
|Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists)||Pd||Time|
|Ronnie Hein (Tanner Laczynski, Sasha Larocque)||1||13:45|
|PP - Freddy Gerard (Ronnie Hein, Tanner Laczynski)||1||16:16|
|Carson Meyer (Dakota Joshua, John Wiitala)||2||3:24|
|Carson Meyer (Freddy Gerard, Dakota Joshua)||2||18:10|
|Sasha Larocque (Gustaf Westlund)||3||10:34|
Ohio State went on the power play right after the tying goal. Unlike in earlier games, the Buckeyes capitalized on the opportunity. Freddy Gerard pounced on a Laczynski rebound, potting a power play goal in his 100th game as a Buckeye.
Back-to-back Mercyhurst goals in the early minutes of the second period catapulted the Lakers into the lead. They only had 21 seconds to enjoy it before Carson Meyer snapped off an equalizer.
Mercyhurst clawed ahead again 14:11 into the second period. But once again Meyer erased the Laker lead. This time the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect buried a breakaway feed from Gerard to tie the game at 4-4.
This series saw some solid snipes and pretty passes but in the end Saturday’s game winner and sweep-clinching goal was a chance chuck. Sasha Larocque launched the puck at the net from the side wall. It beat the surprised Laker goalie and the Buckeyes skated off with a 5-4 victory.
The Buckeyes closed out a sweep of the Lakers tonight with a 5-4 win.#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/hRzoz4EYOn— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) December 30, 2018
Ohio State improves to 11-4-3 on the year. The Buckeyes close out their non-conference schedule with a 7-2-1 record. It’s all Big Ten games for the Bucks from here on out, starting with a trip to East Lansing to face Michigan State next week.
Meyer’s goals tonight were his first since Oct. 27. Steve Rohlik shuffled him off Mason Jobst’s wing this week and onto a line with Dakota Joshua and John Wiitala. The move seemed to provide a boost to all three players. They combined for two goals and three assists in the game. The Bucks’ “third line” of Gerard-Hein-Laczynski was equally productive, contributing two goals and four assists.
Four goals against is a season-worst for goaltender Tommy Nappier. This is only the second time in his career that the sophomore has allowed more than two goals in a game. (Although both times he won the games anyway.)
Ohio State outshot Mercyhurst 50-26 in the game, including 20-7 and 17-12 margins in the first and second periods, respectively. Gerard and Gustaf Westlund were the Bucks’ top shooters with seven shots each. The Buckeyes were 1-for-4 on the power play tonight and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.