ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The No. 1 seed Ohio State men’s hockey team topped No. 2 seed and defending champion Denver, 5-1, in the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional final to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four. The Buckeyes are making their second Frozen Four trip and first since 1998.
Ohio State improves to 26-9-5 on the year and Denver ends its season 23-10-8.
After a scoreless first period, Ohio State scored the only two goals of the second, with Dakota Joshua and Kevin Miller converting. Matt Joyaux extended the Buckeye lead to 3-0 at 9:27 of the third, set up by Tanner Laczynski. The Pioneers got on the board less than two minutes later to draw within two. But just 30 seconds after the DU goal Miller notched his second of the night to regain the Buckeyes’ three-goal lead (4-1). Denver pulled its goalie with more than five minutes remaining and Mason Jobst took advantage, scoring into the empty net for a 5-1 Ohio State lead. Christian Lampasso set up both of Miller’s goals, while Joyaux added an assist for a two-point night.
Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 30 saves in the victory. The Buckeyes blocked 19 shots, led by Wyatt Ege with seven and Sasha Larocque with four.
The Buckeye penalty kill, which leads the nation (.893), was 2-for-2 in the win. Ohio State did not have a power play chance.
Joshua, Laczynski, Larocque and Romeo were named to the All-Tournament Team, with Romeo the Most Outstanding Player.
Ohio State is one of three Big Ten Conference teams heading to the Frozen Four, joining No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed Michigan.
At the Frozen Four, Ohio State will take on Minnesota Duluth at 6 p.m. ET Thursday April 5 at the Excel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The Bulldogs beat the Buckeyes 3-2 in overtime in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last season.