The Ohio State men’s hockey team gained an extra hour for celebration on its ride back from Buffalo, N.Y., following a Saturday-night win. After tying Canisius College, 3-3, on Friday, the Buckeyes broke their four-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory the following night.
“We just seemed to have a little better jump in our step,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said Saturday. “To get the first goal certainly was a real positive.”
Production from the forward line of seniors Nick Oddo, Chad Niddery and freshman Kevin Miller propelled the Buckeyes (2-3-1), combining for two of the team’s goals on Saturday while Niddery and Oddo teamed up with sophomore defenseman Josh Healey on a third.
“It was good to see them have some success,” Rohlik said. “All four lines need to be effective for us to be successful and tonight was just their opportunity.”
Scoring opened late in the first period of Saturday’s game when Oddo picked up his first goal of the season. OSU made it 2-0 at the 6:14 mark of the second frame when senior forward Darik Angeli also scored his first of the year.
The Buckeyes continued to build their lead early in the third period with two goals separated by 29 seconds. Oddo’s second of the night was followed by Miller’s first collegiate goal.
Canisius (4-3-1) broke OSU sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins’ shutout with a shorthanded goal at the 15:34 mark of the third period. Tomkins finished the night with 20 saves.
While the Golden Griffins’ tally did not stage a comeback, it exploited OSU’s key weakness of the weekend: its power play.
The Buckeyes went 0-3 on the power play on Saturday and 0-9 during the weekend. OSU’s penalty kill went 8-8 during the series.
Friday’s game had a different flow than Saturday’s as the Buckeyes fell behind 2-0 less than two minutes into the game. The lackluster start prompted Rohlik to replace sophomore goalie Christian Frey with Tomkins, who finished the game with 26 saves.
“Frey didn’t have the start he wanted,” Rohlik said. “I didn’t think our team had the start (we wanted).”
Senior forward Matt Johnson, freshman forward Luke Stork and sophomore forward David Gust scored for OSU to finish the night in a 3-3 tie.
Stork’s goal was his second of the season, but Friday’s game marked the end of his series as an upper-body injury kept him out of Saturday’s lineup, Rohlik said.
Senior defenseman Al McLean was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game.
Sophomore forward Nick Schilkey returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
16 Buckeyes have registered a point this season.