According to BTN, the Buckeyes held a players-only meeting last night after coughing up a three-goal lead in the final six minutes of their game against Michigan State. Whatever was said was effective. When the teams returned to the ice on Saturday night, the result was radically different. No. 4/7 Ohio State rolled over the Spartans, 6-0.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||Final|
|No. 4/7 Ohio State||0||3||3||6|
Neither side scored in the first period. The Spartans came out as energized to start this game as they were to finish last night’s. But this time the Buckeyes curbed Sparty’s freewheeling neutral zone fiesta. Michigan State got some looks but they were nothing that Tommy Nappier and his goal posts couldn’t handle.
|Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists)||Pd||Time|
|Ronnie Hein (John Wiitala, Matt Miller)||2||4:40|
|Quinn Preston (Mason Jobst)||2||8:14|
|PP - Mason Jobst (Dakota Joshua, Tanner Laczynski)||2||13:26|
|PP - John Wiitala (Ronnie Hein, Quinn Preston)||3||5:25|
|5v3 - Dakota Joshua (Mason Jobst, Tanner Laczynski)||3||7:31|
|Brendon Kearney (unassisted)||3||16:31|
The Bucks remained dedicated to their defensive clog in the middle frame. MSU’s chances were even fewer and farther between. Meanwhile, at the other end of the ice, Ohio State’s determined puck pursuit and net-front presence vaulted the Scarlet and Gray into the lead.
Ronnie Hein potted the opening goal. He beat Zach Osburn for space out front. When the puck came, he was in perfect position to fire away. The tally was Hein’s seventh of the season. It would also turn out to be the game winner.
Quinn Preston extended the Buckeye lead. The freshman drove hard to the net and banged in his own rebound. It was Preston’s third goal of the series. (If he is not one of the Big Ten’s Stars of the Week this week then the awards are utterly meaningless.)
Mason Jobst joined the scoring bonanza next. He hammered home a power play goal to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead. The goal was career point No. 150 for the hard-working captain, a milestone which hasn’t been duplicated by any Buckeye since 1991.
Special teams were the story of the third period. The Buckeyes won that battle in decisive fashion. At the end of the day, OSU finished 3-for-5 on the power play. The Bucks successfully killed off MSU’s lone advantage.
Three minutes into the third Wyatt Ege had his clock cleaned by Logan Lambdin. The exchange sent Lambdin to the showers and the Bucks to a five-minute power play. John Wiitala struck first, shoving a loose puck into the back of the net.
A second Michigan State penalty put the Scarlet and Gray on a full two-minute two-man advantage. Dakota Joshua made short work of it. The big man executed one of his patented spin-slams for a 5-0 Buckeye lead.
Brendon Kearney capped the scoring late in the third period. He cruised through the Spartan defense and lit up John Lethemon for the sixth time. With today’s win, the Buckeyes improve to 12-4-4 overall and 5-2-3-2 in the Big Ten.
OSU’s defensive effort was vastly improved tonight but there’s no doubt Nappier earned his shutout. From the opening faceoff, he was feisty and alert and he continued that way through the final horn. This is the third whitewash of the season for the sophomore goaltender.
This was a phenomenal outing by the Bucks in which they truly looked like a conference-leading, top-5 team. But there’s no time to rest on their laurels. Next week is Michigan.
Shots were 44-29 in favor of Ohio State. Tanner Laczynski led the Bucks with seven. The Bucks’ top line piled on another five points tonight. Preston added a goal and an assist. Jobst had a goal and two helpers.
Linemate Gustaf Westlund would doubtless have been a factor as well but a collision late in the first period ended his night. Brendon Kearney finished the game on Jobst’s wing. Westlund’s status for next week is unknown at this time.
Michigan State’s electric top line was held to just eight total shots in the contest. It was well into the second period before Taro Hirose put a puck on the net and that was the only shot he would register all night.
Buckeye Women Fall to Whitecaps in OT
Ohio State expected a challenge from the NWHL-leading Minnesota Whitecaps. Boy did they get one. The pro squad, comprised of many former Olympians and WCHAers, outshot the Buckeyes 53-21 in an overtime win. Freshman goalie Andrea Braendli stopped an unofficial (on account of this being an exhibition game) career-high 50 of those attempts.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||OT||Final|
|No. 8 Ohio State||1||1||0||0||2|
Still, the Bucks put forth a game effort, especially considering they competed without the services of Jincy Dunne and Lauren Boyle, two of their top defenders, as well as offensive catalyst Charly Dahlquist.
Emma Maltais scored twice. Hannah Brandt matched her with a pair of goals for the visitors. The Whitecaps laid the hammer down in the overtime session, outshooting the Bucks 8-0. Amanda Boulier collected the game-winning goal at the 3:18 mark.
Ohio State’s penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3. The Scarlet and Gray went 0-for-1 on the power play. The Bucks and Whitecaps meet again on Sunday at high noon to complete their exhibition series.