COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 15/13 Ohio State men's hockey team scored three goals in the final 5:13 of regulation to defeat No. 7 Minnesota, 4-1, Saturday in Value City Arena. The win gives the Buckeyes a sweep of the Gophers after a 2-1 victory in overtime Friday.
Ohio State heads into its December break 10-4-4 overall and 5-4-1-0 in Big Ten play, standing in second place. The squad was 5-1-2 in its last eight games. The Gophers are now 10-9-1 and 4-7-1-1 in B1G action.
The series with the Gophers ended the first half of the Buckeyes' schedule. The team will hit the ice Dec. 29 and 30 when it hosts Niagara in Value City Arena in the final nonconference series of the regular season.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) December 10, 2017
Ohio State 4, Minnesota 1 - The Short Story
The Buckeyes led Minnesota 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Mason Jobst. The Gophers scored the only goal of the second to send the teams into the third tied at one. At 14:47 Matthew Weis won a faceoff to Matt Miller, whose blast from the point got through to put the Buckeyes ahead 2-1. Ohio State added empty net goals from Tanner Laczynski and Jobst to seal the victory. Sean Romeo made 33 saves in the Buckeye net and the Buckeye penalty kill was 5-for-5 for the second straight night, including two kills in the third period when the teams were tied.
In the First Period
Mason Jobst opened the scoring at 16:54 of the first. Tommy Parran moved the puck out of the Buckeye zone to John Wiitala, and he passed up to Jobst. He drove the net and scored his team-best eighth goal of the year. Parran's assist was his first point of the year.
Shots were 14-8 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period. Minnesota and Ohio State each had shortened power plays in the stanza.
In the Second Period
Shortly after the Buckeyes killed a Gopher power play, Brent Gates threw the puck toward the Buckeye net and it went off a defender's skate and in to tie the game at one at 16:06. Minnesota had the shot advantage, 13-3, in the period and each team was 0-for-2 on the power play.
In the Third Period
The Buckeyes broke the 1-1 tie at 14:47 of the third period. Matthew Weis won the faceoff deep in the Gopher zone back to Matt Miller and he blasted a one-timer past the goalie for a 2-1 Ohio State lead. With time winding down, Minnesota pulled its goalie for the extra attacker. At 18:48 Tanner Laczynski scored from the blue line, assisted by Mason Jobst and Dakota Joshua, who moved the puck out of the Buckeye zone. Jobst netted his second of the night at 19:45, scoring into the empty net from center ice. Weis and Laczynski had the assists on Jobst's tally.
Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo stopped all 13 Gopher shots in the period and the Buckeyes put nine shots on the Minnesota net. The Buckeye penalty kill was 2-for-2 in the stanza to keep the score tied at one, limiting Minnesota to four shots on net. Ohio State had one late power play chance after it had taken the one-goal lead.
Blocking the Puck
The Buckeyes were outshot, 34-26, in the game. Junior goalie Sean Romeo played all 60 minutes and made 33 saves on 34 shots for the second straight night to pick up the win. He has a 1.93 goals-against average and .928 save percentage on the year, ranking in the Top 10 nationally.
Minnesota goalie Mat Robson made 22 saves in 59:08, allowing two goals.
Neither team was able to score with the man advantage. Ohio State was 0-for-3 in the game.
Ohio State's penalty kill was 5-for-5 for the second straight night and for the fifth time this season. The squad leads the NCAA, holding opponents scoreless on 64-of-69 (.928) chances.
Senior Matthew Weis picked up the 100th point of his Buckeye career with his assist on Matt Miller's third period gamewinner. In his 117 games for the Scarlet and Gray, Weis has 33 goals and 68 assists for 101 points.
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) December 10, 2017
Quoting the Buckeyes
Steve Rohlik, head coach
On 'bending not breaking'
"First of all, the way we came out, I thought [Minnesota was] doing the bending. I thought our team came out and threw the first punch and played well for most of the first period and just couldn't find the back of the net. Obviously, momentum changes through some power plays and they got some momentum but our team just hung in there and our goalie made saves. It was enough to win a hockey game."
On penalty kill success
"We've got a lot of guys buying in. We talk a lot about blocking shots but at the end of the day your best penalty killer is the guy in the net. When we've got as many guys buying in to doing the little things you're going to have a lot of success."
Sean Romeo, junior goalie
On the flukey goal
"I felt like I was seeing the puck well and our team was playing great. Bounces like that are going to happen. You hate to see it in a tight game like that, but I figured that if I could just keep doing my job our team would put the puck in the net and come out on top."
Matthew Weis, senior forward
On the importance of six Big Ten points going into break
"Huge. Like Coach said, that's the first time our program swept Minnesota and I think that's a great accomplishment. It shows where this program is headed and it shows the heart and guts we have in that locker room."
On scoring his 100th point, which came on Matt Miller's gamewinning goal
"It's a great accomplishment. I am very happy and honored but wouldn't have done it without my teammates. Over the four years I was lucky enough to play with some great guys and tonight, obviously big thanks to this guy [Matt Miller] for the rocket."
Matt Miller, sophomore defenseman
On the team defense in the series vs. Minnesota
"It was just buying in. They're a skilled team and we knew that coming in. We just had to weather the storm a few times and Romeo was standing tall in the net."
On the bench recognizing blocked shots
"I feel like it's just a momentum thing. If someone is selling out and putting their body on the line, the next guy will want to do it."
Noting the Buckeyes
Tanner Laczynski leads the Buckeyes with 15 assists and 23 assists on the year. He has a point in eight of the last nine games (5g, 9a, 14p).
The Buckeyes are holding opponents to 2.11 goals per game this season, ranking fifth nationally in team defense. The team allowed one goal to Minnesota each night and has held opponents to one or fewer goals in nine games this season.
Matthew Weis has 16 points this season, with five goals and 11 assists. He has four multiple-point outings on the year.
Mason Jobst posted a season-high three points in the win and now has a 9-9-18 line this season. It was his third two-goal outing of the year.
Ohio State is 6-0-2 when scoring first this season and 4-0-3 when the teams enter the third period tied.
The Buckeyes have outscored opponents 27-16 in the third period this year.
Buckeye Bye Week Update, Part 2
Buckeye Hockey Update – Jan. 15