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Freshman goalie helps Ohio State men’s hockey win 2 against Canisius

With freshman goalie Logan Davis’ first two collegiate starts came two victories as the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team swept Canisius College over the weekend.

Davis took over the reins after fellow freshman Matt Tomkins sustained a lower-body injury in the first four minutes of OSU’s victory against Niagara Nov. 9.

“That’s why (Davis is) out there in practice every day,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “Sometimes you take it for granted, and I know our guys don’t, and Logan went out there and did his job.”

Alongside Davis’ performance, Rohlik attributed the Buckeyes’ (8-4-0, 0-0-0) wins to their defensive unit, which he said has been a focus of the team.

“Our guys played hard. Our guys blocked a lot of shots – I think we blocked over 40 shots this weekend – and Logan, in the nets, did his job,” Rohlik said of the defense, which gave up only one goal against the Golden Griffins. “When guys buy in and they’re willing to sacrifice their body in this game and get in front of pucks like that, you know you’ve got something special, and I think we can build on this.”

Coach Dave Smith of Canisius (2-7-0, 1-3-0) shared the same sentiment of the Buckeyes’ defense, saying “their desperation and their commitment to blocking shots was the difference in the game.”

The second game of the two-game series was played Saturday, and the Buckeyes managed to hold onto to the lead to win, 3-1.

Both teams were held scoreless in the first period, but OSU got on the board and took a 2-0 lead with two goals by senior forward Alex Szczechura and freshman defenseman Josh Healey. Canisius responded with a wraparound goal by junior forward Mitch McCrank at 7:49 to pull the Golden Griffins within one goal.

For the remainder of the game, OSU played a defense-centric game and fended off any attack on the net that Canisius attempted. With less than a second left on the clock, junior forward Ryan Dzingel sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.

The Buckeyes outshot the Golden Griffins in the game, 29-23, and Davis stopped 22 of the shots he faced in his third victory as a goalie.

Healey said playing consistently and not making drastic changes to the gameplay was what helped the team to keep its lead.

“We just stuck to our game plan and kept going,” Healey said. “They pushed at the end, but we stuck to our game — get pucks deep, keep (the puck) on the other side and keep the lead.”

The two-game series opened up Friday, and OSU came away with a shutout victory over the Golden Griffins.

After a goal in the first period by Dzingel, who leads the team with seven on the season, the Buckeyes opened up the gap even more in the second period with goals from junior defenseman Justin DaSilva and freshman forward Nick Schilkey. With these, OSU extended the lead to 3-0, which was decidedly the final score after neither team scored in the third stanza.

The series ended the Buckeyes’ seven-game homestand, during which they won six games. The team has a weekend off before it is slated to open Big Ten play with against rival Michigan in Ann Arbor Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. OSU is then scheduled to return home against the Wolverines Dec. 2 at 7:05 p.m.

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