Ohio State (4-1-2, 1-1-0-0 Big Ten) secured the comeback victory with a 5-3 win against Robert Morris (2-4-0, 2-3-0 Atlantic Hockey). The Buckeyes came back from a two-goal first period deficit, scoring five of the next six goals en route to their third straight victory.
Three goals in 82 seconds highlighted a fast-moving first period. The Colonials got on the board first on a second-chance shot by sophomore forward Luke Lynch that went over the shoulder of junior goalie Sean Romeo.
Robert Morris doubled its lead about a minute later when junior forward Alex Tonge found senior forward Timmy Moore on a deep pass through the neutral zone, which he then finished with a wrist shot into the top corner of the goal. Head coach Steve Rohlik said the players took charge when Ohio State faced a two-goal deficit.
“These guys are the ones that really did it,” Rohlik said. “They’re the ones that talked on the bench and said, ‘We’re fine, we’re in a good spot, we just have to keep working hard and get back to our details and the way we play,’ so I have to give these guys the credit.”
The Buckeyes took all of 18 seconds to cut the deficit in half as sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski scored off a pass from senior forward Matthew Weis.
“I was coming off a shift where we just got scored on, and we needed to have a big comeback shift,” Laczynski said. “I got the puck, chipped it to [Weis, he says Weiser, not sure which to use here], he was slashing through, made a good play, I was calling for it, made an unbelievable pass back to me and kind of just found the opening.”
The second period brought more of the same frantic energy with junior forward John Wiitala netting Ohio State’s third power play goal of the season on assists by junior forwards Mason Jobst and Dakota Joshua to tie the game at two less than two minutes into the second period.
Freshman forward Eugene Fadyeyev gave Ohio State the 3-2 lead a minute later on his first career goal. The goal came on a head-turning behind-the-back pass by Weis that left Fadyeyev wide open to put it past Marotte.
“I just came into the zone, [junior defenseman Sasha Larocque] made a good play off the wall there, and I just took the D around the net and I heard someone yell for me behind, so I just threw it there, and luckily he was there and put it away,” Weis said.
The Colonials wouldn’t stay down for long as sophomore forward Daniel Mantenuto used a penalty on redshirt sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege to score his first goal of the season midway through the period.
Weis wasn’t done for the period as he scored his 30th collegiate goal with less than a minute remaining in period two to give Ohio State a 4-3 lead heading into the final frame. Lacyznski and Larocque earned assists on the play.
Ohio State padded the shot totals in the third, adding 20 to their 45 shots on the night. Robert Morris finished the third period with seven shots in the frame and 27 overall.
The final goal of the night came from freshman forward Austin Pooley, who joined Fadyeyev by netting the first goal of his Ohio State career to add some insurance to the lead.
“It just tells you that everybody on this team can chip in at any night, and I think that’s the important thing and that’s what we preach all the time,” Rohlik said. “We’re only as good as our 27 guys.”
The Buckeyes travel to Pittsburgh for the second game of the home-and-home series against Robert Morris at 7 p.m. Saturday.