TROY, N.Y. – Buckeye freshman forward Tanner Laczynski broke a 2-2 tie midway through the third period, leading to a 3-2 win for the Ohio State men’s hockey team Saturday at Rensselaer. The win gave the Buckeyes a sweep of the weekend series, as Ohio State, now 8-1-4 on the year, won the series opener 4-0 Friday night.
Ohio State 3, Rensselaer 2
The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Luke Stork. In the second, the Engineers tied the game twice. They deadlocked the score at 1 at 4:58 with a power play goal. The Buckeyes went ahead 2-1 at 9:51 of the stanza on Sam McCormick’s first collegiate goal, but RPI again converted with the man advantage for a 2-2 game after two. In the third, Tanner Laczynski tallied at 9:56 with the teams skating 4-on-4 to put the Buckeyes ahead for a third time. Ohio State held the Engineers off the rest of the way, including when RPI skated with the extra attacker for the final 1:40. The Buckeyes outshot Rensslear 40-24, with goalie Matt Tomkins making 22 saves, including 11 in the third period.
Quoting Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik
On the win
“It was a full team effort tonight. We played hard and played the right way, all the way to the end. We did the little things a lot better than last night.”
On the bye before opening Big Ten play
“This will be a good week off. We’ve traveled a lot the first half of the season; we’ll be able to give the guys some time away and they can focus on their academics. We will regroup and then head to Minnesota to start conference games.”
Quoting Ohio State freshman forward Tanner Laczynski
"This was a big win for the guys. Anytime you sweep on the road it's huge. We came together tonight in a tough game and found a way to win in the third. It was a great way to end nonconference play before we go up to Minnesota."
In the First …
Ohio State opened the scoring at 14:48 of the first period, as a shot from freshman Matt Miller went off Luke Stork and past the goalie. The assist was the first career point for Miller, with sophomore Mason Jobst also assisting on the tally.
Ohio State outshot Rensselaer, 14-7, in the period. The Buckeyes were unable to score on an early power play chance and RPI’s first chance carried over to the second.
In the Second …
RPI tied the game twice in the second period, scoring two power play goals. At 4:58 Jacob Hayhurst scored to deadlock the game at one.
The Buckeyes went ahead 2-1 at 9:51 when freshman Sam McCormick notched his first goal as a Buckeye, putting the puck shortside from near the post. Classmate Tanner Laczynski and sophomore John Wiitala had the assists on the goal. The Engineers again tied the game when Riley Bourbonnais one-timed a shot on a 5-on-3 advantage.
Ohio State again put 14 shots on net, while Rensselaer had six. The Buckeyes had a power play with 2:02 left in the period, and held the puck in the Engineer zone for more than a minute, but were unable to post the go-ahead goal.
In the Third …
Ohio State held RPI to one shot on an early power play in the period. At 9:20 coincidental minors were called, putting the teams 4-on-4. Senior Josh Healey was able to get the puck to freshman Tanner Laczynski and he scored on the short side on the rush to break the tie and put the Buckeyes up 3-2.
Ohio State held the Engineers off the rest of the way. Goalie Matt Tomkins made eight saves after the Buckeyes regained the lead, including three in the final 1:40 after the Engineers pulled their goalie. Mason Jobst, who won 15-of-19 faceoffs in the game, won a final draw in the Buckeye zone with nine seconds remaining to allow the Buckeyes to run out the clock.
Shots were 12-11 in favor of Ohio State in the third. The Buckeyes had a power play at 12:08 but did not get a shot on goal during the chance.
Blocking the Puck
Ohio State outshot RPI, 40-24, in the win. Senior Matt Tomkins, who had a shutout Friday, played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes, stopping 22 shots. RPI goalie Chase Perry had 37 saves in 58:16.
Ohio State had 14 shot blocks in the win, led by sophomore Sasha Larocque with three.
Ohio State is fourth in the NCAA, averaging 35.69 shots on goal a night.
Ohio State was unable to score on three power play chances and RPI converted 2-of-5 opportunities with the man advantage. The Buckeyes had scored at least one power play goal in each of the last four games. The squad is 13-for-59 (.220) this season, ranking 11th in the NCAA.
On the Scoresheet
• Tanner Laczynski had a goal and an assist for the second game in a row and now leads the Buckeyes with 13 assists and 18 points. It was his second career gamewinning goal. He is third among NCAA freshmen in points per game (1.38) and in the Top 15 among all players in points per game.
• Ohio State was held to less than four goals for just the third time in the last 10 games. The squad is in the Top 3 in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 4.38 goals a game.
• Matt Miller’s assist was his first point as a Buckeye. All 23 Buckeye skaters have at least one point this season.
• Sam McCormick’s goal was his first collegiate tally. He is the 14th Buckeye to get on the scoresheet this year.
• The Buckeyes have scored first in all but two games this season.
• Ohio State has outscored opponents 43-16 at even strength this year, ranking first in the NCAA in even strength goals and even strength goals per game (3.31).
Ohio State will have Thanksgiving weekend off. The Buckeyes will open Big Ten play with two games at Minnesota Dec. 2-3. Puck drop for game one is at 9 p.m. ET, with the game televised by BTN. The second game, which will start at 8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast by FS North+. Both contests will be available online and on mobile devices through BTN2Go for cable subscribers who have BTN as part of their cable package. Ohio State radio will carry the games on 1460 AM in Columbus and online through the Buckeye Vision subscription package.