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Ohio State closes regular season Saturday at home

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 10 ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team fell to Wisconsin, 3-2, Friday in a Big Ten game in Value City Arena. The game was tied at two after the second period, with goals from seniors Tanner Laczynski and Ronnie Hein for Ohio State, but the Badgers notched the gamewinner with 5:09 left in the third.

Ohio State falls to 18-11-4 and 11-9-3-1 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes and Badgers (14-18-1, 7-15-1-1 B1G) will close the regular season at 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena. The Buckeye seniors will be recognized pregame, with the ceremony starting at 7:40 p.m.

The Buckeyes will enter the final game of the regular season in second or third place in the Big Ten, depending on the outcome of the Minnesota/Michigan game in progress. The No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament earns a quarterfinal round bye, while seeds 2-4 host seeds 5-7 in best-of-three series. The loss to Wisconsin eliminated the Buckeyes from the No. 1 seed.

Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik

“We’re obviously disappointed. We have to be better. It’s the time of year where we have to be consistent and we didn’t do that today.”

Quoting Buckeye senior captain Ronnie Hein

“We just need to come together and rally as a group. We all know what we have to do tomorrow; it’s a must win.”

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

In the First … There were 30 shots on net, but no goals in the opening 20 minutes. Buckeye goalie Tommy Nappier had 18 saves and Ohio State put 12 shots on net. The Badgers had the only power play chance.

In the Second … The Buckeyes opened the scoring 1:43 into the period. Tanner Laczynski drove to the high slot and scored far side with the Badger goalie screened. Austin Pooley and Layton Ahac assisted on the tally, Laczynski’s ninth goal and team-best 30th point of the season. The Badgers scored the next two, with an Alex Turcotte goal on a rebound at 6:15 and a Brock Caufield tally after a scramble in front at 11:10. With time running down in the period, Buckeye captain Ronnie Hein tied the game, backhanding in a rebound of a Carson Meyer shot. Jaedon Leslie also assisted on the tally, which came at 18:54. Each team had 12 shots and a power play chance in the period.

In the Third … The Badgers went on the power play at 13:05 of the stanza and took advantage. After a goal was overturned after video review from an Ohio State challenge for goalie interference, Wisconsin tallied a goal that stood for a 3-2 lead at 14:51, with Max Zimmer scoring on a rebound. Ohio State skated with the net empty to close out the game, but the rally fell short. Shots were 13-8 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period. Wisconsin had the only power play chance.

Shots … The Buckeyes were outshot, 38-37, for the game. Tommy Nappier made 35 stops in 57:32 for the Buckeyes and Wisconsin’s Daniel Lebedeff had 35 stops in all 60 minutes. Each team had 12 shot blocks. Layton Ahac, Eugene Fadyeyev and Carson Meyer each had two to lead Ohio State.

Special Teams … The Buckeyes were scoreless on one power play chance and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.