COLUMBUS, Ohio – Matthew Weis’ overtime goal lifted the No. 6 ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team to a 3-2 win over No. 11 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Saturday in Nationwide Arena. The Buckeyes, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, will face No. 1 Notre Dame at 8 p.m. Saturday in South Bend, Ind., for the tournament title.
The Buckeyes, on a six-game unbeaten streak, improve to 24-8-5 on the year, with a 5-0-0 mark vs. Michigan. The Wolverines, the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, are now 20-14-3.
The win was the Buckeyes’ second straight in overtime. The squad is 4-1 in overtime all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, with the loss in the inaugural championship game in 2014. That was the squad’s only appearance in the final prior to this season.
Ohio State with a 3-2 OT WIN over the Wolverines in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals!
Ohio State is moving on to the Big Ten Championship game! pic.twitter.com/t1hJ3v2z0Z
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 11, 2018
Ohio State 3, Michigan 2 OT – The Short Story
Ohio State led 1-0 after the first period on a power play goal by defenseman Gordi Myer, his first tally of the season. The Wolverines notched the only goal of the second for a 1-1 game after 40 minutes. In the third, Ohio State went ahead on a Dakota Joshua power play goal at 4:01, but the Wolverines’ Cooper Marody scored his second goal of the night, converting on the power play, to tie the game at 7:37.
Just 32 seconds into overtime, Wyatt Ege brought the puck up through the neutral zone and passed off the wall to Tanner Laczynski on the right wing. He found Matthew Weis in the slot and he scored far post for the Buckeye victory.
Ohio State outshot the Wolverines, 35-31, in the game. The Buckeyes were 2-for-4 on the power play, with Michigan 1-for-2. Matt Miller led the Buckeyes with two assists, and Joshua added an assist for a two-point night.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 11, 2018
Quoting the Buckeyes
Steve Rohlik, head coach
On playing Notre Dame in the championship game:
"First of all, it means a lot to me that these guys have an opportunity to go play for a Big Ten championship. That's first and foremost for me because it truly is about the guys and the program. Secondly, we are obviously playing a program that beat us three times this year. We have a lot of respect for their program, their coaching staff, their players. We certainly know we have our work cut out for us. Hopefully we can go in there, compete at the highest level and be at the top of our game."
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 11, 2018
Gordi Myer, sophomore defenseman
On what it was like to play in Nationwide Arena
“At first, I didn’t know how the crowd was going to be, but in warmups I looked around and there were a lot of people. Then when we came out the place was just going crazy. It was just awesome for our last game in Columbus.”
On scoring his first goal of the season
”It’s always nice to get your first goal. Coach puts us out there and gives us opportunities. I had a little room on the wall to walk down and Dakota (Joshua) had a great screen. I think it might have went off of their defenseman’s stick and ramped up and it just happened to go in. In a big game, it’s always nice to get a big goal.”
Matthew Weis, senior forward
On what it was like to play in Nationwide
“It was unbelievable from the time we came out for warmups. It was a great atmosphere. Coming out for the starting lineups it was amazing. Hearing how loud they were got me going, I know I had butterflies. It was great to see the support for our last game in Columbus, and it was unbelievable.”
On scoring the game-winning goal in overtime
"It’s unbelievable. To see where this team is going, it’s great to see. We're looking forward to next weekend in South Bend."
In the First Period
The first goal of the game came at 16:02, when Gordi Myer’s shot from the point went through a screen in front for his first goal of the season (and first since the NCAA Tournament last year). Matt Miller and Dakota Joshua assisted on the goal, which came on the second power play of the night.
Ohio State, outshot 7-2 early in the period, had the edge at the end of the stanza, 13-9.
In the Second Period
The Wolverines scored the only goal of the second, with Cooper Marody tallying from in close at 11:16. Each team had one power play in the stanza and the teams combined for 24 shots, with Michigan ahead 13-11.
In the Third Period
Ohio State went ahead at 4:01 of the third. A shot from Matt Miller at the point bounced off both John Wiitala and Dakota Joshua and in, putting the Buckeyes up 2-1. At 7:27 Michigan notched a power play goal of its own, with Cooper Marody scoring.
The Buckeyes had 10 shots in the period, with Michigan putting seven on net. Each team had one power play chance.
Michigan put two early shots on goal before Matthew Weis ended the game on the Buckeyes’ first shot of OT. Wyatt Ege carried into the neutral zone and banked a pass off the wall up to Tanner Laczynski. He found Weis in the high slot and he put a wrist shot by the Wolverine goalie 32 seconds into OT.
Blocking the Puck
Ohio State had the edge in shots, 35-31. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 29 saves in 60:323, improving his record to 20-8-5 on the year. He has a 2.07 goals-against average and .926 save percentage this season, ranking in the Top 11 in the NCAA in both categories.
Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne made 32 stops in 60:29.
The Buckeyes are in the Top 5 in the NCAA in team defense, allowing 2.08 goals per game. The team has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of the last nine games.
Ohio State was 2-for-4 on the power play in the game and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Buckeyes have a power play goal in 14 of the last 18 games, with multiple goals with the man advantage in nine of those outings. The squad is 36-for-148 (.243) on the year, ranking seventh in the NCAA.
Ohio State allowed a power play goal in back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 27-28. The squad leads the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 116-of-129 (.129) of its opponents’ chances. The squad is averaging 8.7 penalty minutes a game this season, the fourth-lowest average nationally. The team has two penalties in each of the last four games.
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