COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Senior Night in Value City Arena, the No. 6 Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Wisconsin, 4-0, in a Big Ten Conference game. The win wrapped up the regular season for the teams. Ohio State is now 21-8-5 on the year and ends Big Ten play in second place with a 14-8-2-1 ledger. The victory gave Ohio State the weekend sweep of the Badgers (14-17-4, 8-13-3-1 B1G) after a 6-2 win Friday.
Next Up – Tourney Time
Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will host No. 7 Michigan State in a quarterfinal best-of-three series Friday-Sunday in Value City Arena. Puck drop each night is at 7 p.m.
The series winner advances to the semifinals, with single games hosted by No. 1 seed Notre Dame and the highest remaining seed from the quarterfinal winners. The highest remaining seed after the semifinals will host the championship game.
Ohio State 4, Wisconsin 0 – The Short Story
After a scoreless first period, the Buckeyes lit the lamp three times in the second. Mason Jobst opened the scoring at 6:43 and notched a second straight goal at 11:19, tallying shorthanded. Christian Lampasso added a third goal 1:10 later, three seconds after the power play ended. Lampasso sealed the win with a late empty net goal. Buckeye freshman goalie Tommy Nappier made 31 saves for his first career shutout. Brendon Kearney and Wyatt Ege both had two assists in the win.
In the First Period
There was no scoring in the first period. Wisconsin, which had the only power play, had the edge in shots, 11-7, and also hit the post.
In the Second Period
The Buckeyes opened the scoring at 6:43 of the period. Wyatt Ege led Brendon Kearney out of the Buckeye zone. He passed to Mason Jobst inside the Badger blue line and his shot beat the UW goalie for his 15th goal of the season.
Ohio State scored twice in a 1:10 span, nearly notching two goals on the same penalty kill, to push the lead to 3-0. The first goal came shorthanded at 11:19. The Buckeyes broke out 3-on-1, with Gordi Myer passing to John Wiitala. He passed back to Jobst outside the crease and he put it home for the Buckeyes’ second shorthanded goal of the season. Near the end of the power play, Kearney broke up the play and sent Christian Lampasso in alone on the Badger net. He converted the breakaway just three seconds after the power play had expired.
Shots were 13-7 in favor of Ohio State in the period. Each team had one power play chance, with a second Buckeye chance carrying into the third.
In the Third Period
There was no scoring in the third period until Christian Lampasso tallied with 20 seconds left in regulation with UW skating with the net empty and the extra attacker. Wyatt Ege made the play in the Buckeye zone and passed up to Lampasso. He shot toward the empty net and a Badger threw his stick at the puck, with the officials awarding the goal.
Tommy Nappier stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third to preserve the shutout, while the Buckeyes put 11 shots on net. Ohio State had a late power play opportunity but didn’t convert.
Blocking the Puck
Each team had 31 shots in the game. Buckeye rookie Tommy Nappier stopped all 31 for his first career shutout. He is 4-0-0 this year, with a 1.33 goals-against average and .956 save percentage.
Wisconsin’s Jack Berry had 27 saves in 57:20.
Ohio State blocked 13 Badger shot attempts, led by Matt Joyaux with four and Wyatt Ege, Matthew Weis and Matt Miller with two each.
The Buckeyes are in the Top 5 in the NCAA in team defense, allowing 2.06 goals per game. It was the squad’s third shutout of the year.
Ohio State was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, ending the weekend 5-for-5 while down a man. The squad leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 112-of-122 (.911) of its opponents’ chances.
The Buckeyes were scoreless on three power plays vs. Wisconsin. The team is 30-for-137 (.219) on the year, ranking in the Top 15 in the NCAA.
Quoting the Buckeyes
Steve Rohlik, head coach
On success against Wisconsin this weekend
“I say this every weekend. It’s very tough to win at this level. Any weekend, any night. The parity in college hockey is off the charts. When you step on the ice against a quality team like that, you know you have to be at your best. I tip my cap for the guys in my room and the six seniors that we have. It was nice to be on top this weekend, win two games and get some momentum going into the playoffs.”
On starting freshman Tommy Nappier
“The thing about Tommy is, every time we’ve called upon him, he’s been phenomenal. He’s in there every day, working hard, and we see where he’s at. He’s capable. I’ve got very good goaltenders right now, but Tommy deserved a chance to get in there, and he proved it again today. I think it speaks to the depth of our team. We’re going to win with 27 guys. We’re not going to win with just one or two guys out there, and that’s exactly why we practice and push each other to be better. It’s no different being a goaltender.”
On special teams success
“I think we might have only had one shorthanded goal all year. They were pressing on the power play, and we just got a couple breaks there. Sometimes special teams is the key to winning, and sometimes special teams can break your back. When you can score basically two shorthanded goals, it’s huge.”
Tommy Nappier, freshman goalie
On his first career shutout
“It makes it easy to play back there when your team keeps the shots to the outside and clears out the front of the net. It easy to see the puck and make the save.”
Christian Lampasso, senior forward
On what it meant to get a win tonight on Senior Night
“Over the course of the years I’ve spent with the five other seniors, we’ve gone through a lot of battles together. However, it all came down to this and we were able to show the culture of Ohio State and the win tonight is just the first step. We know this isn’t the end, we have the rest of the season to be successful and I believe we will.”