COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite three power play goals, the No. 5/6 Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to Michigan State, 6-3, Saturday in Value City Arena. The loss was just the second for the Buckeyes in the last 12 games and ended the squad’s seven-game home winning streak.
Ohio State is now 18-6-4 overall and 11-6-1-0 in the Big Ten, standing in second place. The squad will play its next four games on the road, beginning with a series at No. 2 Notre Dame next weekend. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday, with the game televised by NBCSN, and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, streamed by NBCSports.com.
Michigan State 6, Ohio State 3 – The Short Story
The Spartans scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game and then added a shorthanded goal with 29 seconds left in the first period for a 3-0 lead. Buckeye junior Dakota Joshua scored with 13 seconds left in the period for a 3-1 game after 20 minutes. The Spartans extended the lead to 5-1 with goals at 11:20 and 14:20 of the second period. Ohio State scored a second power play goal, with Matthew Weis tallying, at 14:58 for a 5-2 game at the second intermission. The Buckeyes drew within one on Ronnie Hein’s power play tally 6:02 into the third, and the Buckeyes outshot the Spartans 9-2 in the period, but could get no closer. MSU sealed the win with an empty net goal at 18:33. The Buckeye power play finished the game 3-for-5, while the penalty kill was 4-for-4, allowing just three shots. Weis and Hein, who each had a goal and an assist, and Mason Jobst, who had two assists, led the Buckeyes with two points in the game.
The Buckeyes were 3-for-5 on the power play vs. Michigan State Saturday.
The squad is 16-for-39 (.410) in the last 9 games combined and 27-for-115 (.235) on the year. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/U79eCEnowX
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) February 4, 2018
In the First Period
Michigan State scored twice in the first 10 minutes, with Butrus Ghafari tallying at 3:23 and Austin Kramer scoring at 9:56.
A Buckeye power play began with less than two minutes to play in the period. At 19:31 the Spartans took advantage of a turnover by the Buckeye net, with Patrick Khodorenko completing the play. On the next shift John Wiitala won the puck battle along the board and found Dakota Joshua in front, who notched his 11th goal of the year.
Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 9-7, in the period.
In the Second Period
Michigan State scored twice in three minutes, with David Keefer scoring at 11:20 and Carson Gatt tallying at 14:20, to push the lead to 5-1. The Buckeyes scored the next goal, as Matthew Weis found a seam, took a pass from Ronnie Hein and scored on a backhand. Mason Jobst also had an assist on the power play goal.
Shots were 15-12 in favor of the Spartans in the stanza.
In the Third Period
At 6:02 of the period Ohio State notched a third power play goal to make it a two-goal game. After a battle along the back wall, Mason Jobst got the puck to Matthew Weis and he fed Ronnie Hein. His wrist shot from the high slot went through for his fourth score of the year.
The Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with more than three minutes remaining and generated some chances, but were unable to draw closer. Logan Lambdin ended the scoring with an empty net goal at 18:33.
Ohio State had nine of 11 shots on goal in the period.
Blocking the Puck
The Buckeyes outshot the Spartans, 30-24, in the game. Sean Romeo started and played the first 34:20, taking the loss while making 12 saves on 17 shots. Tommy Nappier stopped the six shots he faced in 22:08.
Michigan State’s John Lethemon had 27 saves in 59:15.
Matt Miller led the Buckeyes with three shot blocks in the game. The Spartans blocked 21 Ohio State attempts.
Ohio State converted 3-of-5 power play chances and is now 27-for-115 (.235) on the year, ranking in the Top 10 in the NCAA. The squad has two or more power play goals in seven of the last nine outings (and a power play goal in all but one of the last nine), going 16-for-39 (.410) over the stretch.
The penalty kill was 4-for-4, allowing just three shots on goal. The squad is 94-for-104 on the year, leading the NCAA at 90.4 percent.
Noting the Buckeyes
• Matthew Weis extended his point streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist, with a 4-15-19 line in the stretch. He has 10 multiple point games this season and is second on the squad with 22 assists and 31 points.
• Mason Jobst is on a five-game point streak, with four goals and three assists for seven points in the stretch. He has a 13-15-28 line this year.
• Tanner Laczynski had his point streak end at 11 games. It was just the third time in the last 24 games he was held without a point. He leads the Big Ten with 25 assists and 37 points this year.
• Dakota Joshua had three goals in the series with Michigan State and has a point in six of the last eight games (7g, 2a, 9p). He has 11 goals and 20 points this season.
• Ronnie Hein is on a three-game goal scoring streak.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) February 4, 2018
Steve Rohlik, Ohio State Head Coach
“We always felt we were in the game. We always felt we could come back. Again, that’s the locker room, that’s the culture of these guys. They still believed right to the end. The problem tonight was when we had some momentum going all of a sudden, it was a break down the other way, and the next thing you know they have a guy behind our D walking in on goal. We just had too many defensive breakdowns tonight.”
Matthew Weis, senior forward
“Michigan State always puts their body on the line and they’re a very good team. We didn’t play our best tonight but it’s back to work on Monday.”