No. 15 Buckeyes Win 3-2 at No. 17 Michigan
Nov. 24, 2017

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ANN ARBOR, Mich.– Behind two goals from Freddy Gerard and a 31-save effort from Sean Romeo, the No. 15 Ohio State men’s hockey defeated No. 17 Michigan, 3-2, Friday in Yost Ice Arena to open a two-game Big Ten Conference series. The Buckeyes (7-3-3, 2-3-0-0 B1G) and Wolverines (6-5-2, 2-3-3-1 B1G) will face off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Ohio State 3, Michigan 2 – The Short Story
The Wolverines led 1-0 after the first period but Buckeye junior Freddy Gerard converted a Tanner Laczynski pass one minute into the second for a 1-1 game. The teams headed into the second intermission deadlocked at a goal apiece. The Buckeyes scored twice in a 1:08 span in the third, with John Wiitala converting on the power play at 7:24 and Gerard stealing the puck and tallying unassisted at 8:32, for a 3-1 lead. The Wolverines pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and made it a one-goal game with 16 seconds remaining, but could get no closer. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 31 saves in the game, including 13 in the first period. Gerard marked the first two-goal game of his Buckeye career and Tanner Lacyznski picked up his team-best 10th assist and 14th point of the year, with all 14 coming in the last nine games.

Quoting Head Coach Steve Rohlik
“We talked about playing downhill and playing with confidence. I thought early they had momentum and we kind of played on our heels. As the game got going we got more confident. We put a pretty good third period together.”

Quoting Junior Forward Freddy Gerard
“We’re kind of playing slow to open the Big Ten schedule, so starting off the weekend with a win is big for us. This is rivalry weekend. Starting off Friday with a win was exciting.”

In the First
Michigan scored the only goal of the first period, when a shot by Sam Piazza got through at 11:18. The Wolverines had the advantage in shots, 14-9. No penalties were called in the stanza.

In the Second
Just one minute into the second period Freddy Gerard tied the game. Tanner Laczynski won the battle along the back wall and passed to Gerard in front, who was able to score on a quick shot. The teams combined for 20 shots in the period, with the Wolverines ahead, 11-9. Michigan had two power plays, with the Buckeyes allowing just one shot on the two opportunities combined. The Buckeyes ended the period with 45 seconds left on their first power play of the night.

In the Third
Ohio State took control with two goals in a 1:08 span. At 7:24, John Wiitala scored from up high on the power play, putting a shot top corner. Wyatt Ege and Ronnie Hein assisted on the play, with the helper Hein’s first point of the year. Coming on the ice after a change, Gerard raced in the Wolverine zone and stole the puck from a Wolverine. He was all alone in front and converted at 8:32.

Michigan pulled its goalie for the extra attacker and was able to make it a one-goal game at 19:44, but could get no closer.

Ohio State led the Wolverines in shots for the period, 18-8, including 6-2 early and 17-5 with three minutes remaining. The Buckeyes were 1-for-3 on the power play in the period.

Blocking the Puck
Buckeye Sean Romeo played all 60 minutes and had 31 saves. He is in the Top 10 nationally with a 1.75 goals-against average. UM goalie Hayden Lavigne had 33 stops in 58:38. The Buckeyes outshot the Wolverines, 36-33.

Ohio State blocked 17 Michigan shot attempts. Matt Miller had a team-best four, Mason Jobst had three and Wyatt Ege, Dakota Joshua and Matt Joyaux each blocked two. Michigan had 15 shot blocks.

As a team, Ohio State is holding opponents to 2.0 goals a game on the year, ranking among the national leaders in team defense.

Special Teams
Ohio State was 1-for-3 on the power play in the game and is now 4-for-15 (.267) in its last four games combined.

The penalty kill was 2-for-2 vs. Michigan and is 44-for-48 (.917) this year, ranking in the Top 3 nationally.