COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team downed No. 17 Michigan, 5-3, Saturday in Value City Arena in front of nearly 9,000 fans, wrapping up a weekend sweep of the Wolverines after a 4-0 win Friday. The Buckeyes were 4-0 vs. Michigan in the regular season after a sweep in Ann Arbor Thanksgiving weekend.
Ohio State, which is 9-1 in its last 10 games and on a six-game winning streak at home, improves to 17-5-4 overall this season and is in second place in the Big Ten with a 10-5-1-0 ledger.
Ohio State will close out a four-game homestand with two games vs. Michigan State next weekend. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena. Friday is a shoe drive for Soles4Souls, while Saturday is the Teddy Bear Toss.
Ohio State 5, Michigan 3 – The Short Story
Michigan scored first, but the Buckeyes answered less than three minutes later, with Freddy Gerard scoring unassisted, for a 1-1 game after 20 minutes. Gerard notched his second of the night just 26 seconds into the second period, but the Wolverines again deadlocked the score, tying the game at two at 9:57. Ohio State responded, with Ronnie Hein tallying at 13:12 and Brendon Kearney following with a goal at 16:56 for a two-goal lead entering intermission. The 4-2 lead held until Buckeye captain Mason Jobst scored shorthanded at 11:48 of the third for a 5-2 advantage. Michigan scored at 17:30 to draw within two but could get no closer. The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the game, including stopping a 5-on-3 for 1:20 in the third period.
Quoting Head Coach Steve Rohlik
On sweeping the regular season series vs. Michigan
“It is nice that we were able to go out and win four hockey games against them. We are going to enjoy the win tonight. We have to have short term memory and turn around and get ready for next week.”
On the atmosphere in the arena
“It was incredible. When Mason blocked those four or five shots [in the third period] – I don’t think I’ve heard this place any louder. Our guys feed off of it. Hopefully this spreads and we can get this kind of crowd in here. It was pretty awesome tonight.”
On the power play going scoreless
“Some night’s it’s just not going to go your way. You just have to keep plugging away at it. I like to look at the other end of it, we shut them out on the power play. When you don’t have your power play, some other things have to come out for you. We didn’t score on the power play, but when you can score five 5-on-5 goals, you are probably going to win most of those games.”
Quoting junior forward Mason Jobst
On blocking numerous shots during a Michigan power play
“Anytime you get called to go out on a 5-on-3 you know you have to sacrifice your body, and when you’re playing a team like Michigan you definitely want to lay your body out. I’m just doing my best to lead by example.”
Quoting junior forward Freddy Gerard
On the success of his line with Matthew Weis and Tanner Laczynski
“Any time you’re on a line with two Hobey Baker candidates it’s going to go pretty well. Fortunately for me, I found my ability to fit in with those two. Matt Weis can see the ice from anywhere and Tanner Laczynski is the most dangerous man on the ice every night. I try to fill in where I can and it’s been working out well so far.”
In the First Period
Michigan opened the scoring at 7:08 when a shot by Jack Becker snuck through. The Buckeyes tied the game at 9:57. Freddy Gerard won a race for the puck near the Michigan blue line and his shot was saved, but then deflected off a Wolverine defender and in.
Michigan had 11 shots in the period, with the Buckeyes putting six on net.
In the Second Period
Just 26 seconds into the second period, the Buckeyes took the lead for the first time. Matthew Weis carried the puck into the Wolverine zone and passed to Tanner Laczynski. His shot was saved, but the rebound went to Gerard and he was able to score from a tough angle behind the goalie. Weis and Laczynski both extended their point streaks to 10 with their assists on the goal.
Michigan again tied the game when Niko Porikos tallied at 9:57.
Ohio State then scored twice in less than four minutes to take a 4-2 lead. John Wiitala stole the puck in the Michigan zone and found Ronnie Hein in the slot, with his wrist shot going past the goalie to put the Buckeyes ahead for the second time. At 16:56 Brendon Kearney took a pass from Wyatt Ege and fired a shot through for Ohio State’s first two-goal lead of the game.
The Buckeyes outshot the Wolverines 11-7 in the period.
In the Third Period
At 11:48, Mason Jobst put the Buckeyes up 5-3 with Ohio State’s first shorthanded goal of the season. He took a pass from Luke Stork near the Wolverine blue line and his shot, with the Wolverine goalie screened by his defender, got through.
The Buckeye penalty kill was 3-for-3 in the period. Ohio State killed one chance that carried over from the second. After the shorthanded goal, a penalty was called on the Buckeyes, giving Michigan a 5-on-3 for 1:20. Ohio State killed them both off, led by Jobst who blocked four shots during the kills.
Michigan scored at 17:30 with the teams skating 4-on-4 to draw within two. The Wolverines pulled their goalie late, but were unable to convert.
Sean Romeo stopped 17 of 18 shots he faced in the period, with Ohio State putting seven shots on net.
Blocking the Puck
Ohio State was outshot, 31-29, in the game. Sean Romeo had 28 stops in 59:57 for the Buckeyes to pick up his 14th win of the season. He is in the Top 10 in the NCAA in goals-against average and save percentage. Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne had 24 saves in 59:02.
Ohio State blocked 15 Michigan shot attempts, led by Mason Jobst with six and Tommy Parran with four.
The Buckeye penalty kill was 3-for-3 in the game and 7-for-7 in the weekend series vs. the Wolverines. The squad is now 89-for-98 (.908) on the year, leading the NCAA and the only team over 90 percent.
Ohio State was scoreless on five power play chances, ending a streak of six straight games with at least one power play goal.