— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) April 14, 2018
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State found its offensive stride in the first and third quarters and combined that with a stifling defensive effort that resulted in an 8-5 victory over No. 20 Michigan on Friday night at Ohio Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 6-6 overall, 1-2 in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines fall to 7-5, 0-3.
THE STORT STORY
Sophomore Tre Leclaire had a hat trick with three goals as Ohio State jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and then went on a game-changing 4-1 run in the third quarter to put away the Wolverines. Aside from Leclaire’s big day, freshman Jackson Reid chipped in with a goal and two assists while Colby Smith, Jack Jasinski, Gale Thorpe and Lukas Buckley all found the back of the cage.
On the defensive end of the field, Ohio State limited Michigan to 23 shots and had a 23-17 edge in ground balls, thanks in large part to winning 10 of 17 face-offs on the night.
The Buckeyes are now 7-0 since Michigan became a Division I opponent in 2012 and this year’s seniors are the fourth class to go undefeated in their career against the Maze and Blue.
HOW THE GOALS WERE SCORED
• The Buckeyes struck quickly in the first nine minutes of the game, putting three goals on the board. The first came courtesy of a Jack Jasinski scores at the 12:46 mark, and just one minute later, Leclaire got free from 14 yards out and ripped a shot past goalie Tommy Heidt. At 6:20 of the first quarter, a pair of freshmen – Jackson Reid and Colby Smith – connected on a play to make the score 3-0.
• Michigan scored on a Brent Noseworthy goal with 1:28 remaining in the opening quarter, although that would be the only goal on the night for Michigan’s leading scorer, who came into the game with 34 goals on the season.
• Michigan scored the only two goals of the second quarter as the teams were knotted at 3-3 headed into the locker room for halftime. With 10:05 to play in the third quarter, however, Buckley beat the shock clock on an unassisted goal to give Ohio State the lead for good at 4-3. Five minutes later, Reid found Leclaire open in front of the cage to make it 5-3 and Thorpe followed with a transition score at 4:01 to increase the Buckeye lead to 6-3 less than a minute later. Leclaire then completed his hat trick with 2:34 to play in the third quarter, giving Ohio State it largest lead of the day, 7-3.
• Michigan scored with three seconds to play in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 7-4, but Jackson Reid countered with a unassisted goal at 13:40 of the fourth quarter and the Buckeye defense clamped down from there, limiting Michigan to just seven fourth-quarter shots while forcing three turnovers.
Head coach Nick Myers: “To send a deserving senior class out with another win over our rivals is what I’m so proud of. This is a Big Ten win and those are hard to come by. I know this team has a lot of confidence and knows there’s a lot more out there for us.
Senior Bo Lori: I grew up knowing all about the rivalry so to go undefeated against those guys is special. Ultimately for this team right now, we just needed that win. It was big for us and this season, so that’s the most important thing right now.
Senior Erik Evans: We had a great week of practice. I’m proud of the way the guys came out firing both offensively and defensively. I think we’re starting to put things together and I love the way we battled today.
Knotted at 3-3 head into the third quarter, Ohio State was able to string together a 4-1 run thanks to the play of freshman Justin Inacio in the face-off X. Inacio won all four draws that he took in the quarter and 10 of 14 on the night overall.
JUST THE STATS
Shots: Ohio State 44, Michigan 23
Ground Balls: Ohio State 23, Michigan 17
Face-Offs: Ohio State 10 of 17, Michigan 7 of 17
Clears: Ohio State 11 of 11, Michigan 12 of 16
Extra Man Opportunities: Ohio State 2 of 5, Michigan 1 of 3
Saves: Michigan (Heidt) 15, Ohio State (Kirson) 7
Turnovers: Michigan 13, Ohio State 8
THIS AND THAT
• Leclaire has hat tricks in two straight games and a team-high 33 points on the year (23G, 10A).
• The Buckeyes own 10 wins against ranked opponents over the last two seasons.
• Reid is on a nine-game point scoring streak.
• The 44 shots generated by the Ohio State offense tonight is a season high.
• Coupled with 19 face-off win last week, Inacio is 29 for 41 (.707) in the last two games.
The Buckeyes continue the Big Ten schedule next weekend when they make a trip to College Park, Md. for a date against No. 1 Maryland at Byrd Stadium on Sunday, April 22. The game will be carried live on ESPNU.