No. 11/13 Buckeyes Fall to Penn State, 4-0
Dec. 2, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 11/13-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to Penn State, 4-0, Saturday in Value City Arena to close out the Big Ten Conference series between the teams. Friday, the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions tied, 5-5 in overtime, with Penn State winning the shootout for the extra league point.

The loss ends the Buckeyes’ five-game unbeaten streak. The team is now 8-4-4 overall and 3-4-1-0 in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions are 9-7-2 and 4-4-2-1 in the B1G.

Next up, Ohio State hosts Minnesota next weekend to close the first half of its schedule. The teams will meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena, with BTN televising both games.

There was no scoring in the first period. Ohio State had the advantage in shots, 8-5, and had the only power play opportunity.

The Nittany Lions opened the scoring at 1:22 of the second when Andrew Sturtz scored shorthanded, the first shorthanded score allowed by the Buckeyes this season. At 6:21 Denis Smirnov put Penn State ahead 2-0. A Buckeye penalty on the power play put the teams 4-on-4 for 1:26. Just five seconds after the Nittany Lion power play started, Smirnov scored from the top of the faceoff circle. It was the first power play allowed by the Buckeyes in 18 chances.

In the third, Brandon Biro scored for Penn Statae at 4:49 and Liam Folkes tallied the last goal at 15:22. The Nittany Lions outshot the Buckeyes 13-9 in the period and were 0-for-1 on the power play in the stanza. Ohio State had two power play chances, ending the game with the man advantage.

For the game, the Buckeyes were outshot, 36-33. Redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo made 32 saves in 58:06 for Ohio State. Penn State’s Peyton Jones had 33 stops in 60 minutes as the Buckeyes were shut out for the first time this season. The team was last held scoreless Feb. 25, 2017 in a 1-0 loss to Michigan.

The Buckeyes blocked 14 Penn State shot attempts, led by Sasha Larocque and Janik Moser with three each and Matthew Weis with two. Penn State had 13 shot blocks.

Penn State was 1-for-3 on the power play in the game. Ohio State is now 54-for-59 (.915) on the penalty kill this season, ranking in the Top 3 nationally. The Buckeye power play was held scoreless on five chances, ending a streak of three straight games with a power play tally. The team is 10-for-66 (.152) on the year.

Quoting the Buckeyes
Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach
On the difference of being down two goals going into the third period tonight vs. last night
“Well the difference is we just didn’t have it tonight. It was one of those nights and like I told these guys, I’ll take full responsibility but for whatever reason we didn’t have the fire. We didn’t have the push back and I think last night was a little tough to take in the end but that should’ve made us want to come out even more to battle, compete and get the win tonight. It seemed that we just never got it out of first gear tonight.”

On how to recover from this for next week against Minnesota
“Well the first thing I do is look in the mirror. I have to be better and that’s already starting tonight. My focus is on what I need to do to prepare this team to put them in a good position this week and to have success. That’s where it starts and our team will be focused Monday morning at practice.”

Mason Jobst, Ohio State junior forward
On how last night's game affected tonight's game
“I don't know how much last night necessarily took out of us. We've played back-to-back games like this our entire lives, so we're prepared for that. But like Coach said, we never got that goal or that momentum that we did last night. We got that early goal in the third [last night], and I think it jumpstarted us and built our confidence. Unfortunately, they shut us down tonight, and we didn't get that little boost that we needed.”

On struggles with scoring
“I think we played on the perimeter tonight. We didn't convert on the power play and in the past, that's given us a little boost. We didn't get any traffic in front. We made it pretty easy for Peyton Jones to see the puck. He's a big boy, and I think for big goalies like that, you have to take his eyes away and get bodies in front. We just didn't do that tonight.”

Matt Miller, Ohio State sophomore defenseman
On how last night's game affected tonight's game
“We were prepared tonight. No excuses. Special teams let us down a little bit, but you just have to learn from it.”

On struggles with defending Penn State past two games
“They shoot from everywhere, and they go to the net. They're a tough team. I think as a whole we struggled a little bit when we had the puck and with getting it up to the forwards.”