No. 17 Ohio State (6-3-3, 1-3-0-0 Big Ten) defeated Connecticut (3-8-2, 2-4-1 Hockey East) 5-4 in a high-scoring battle in the first game of the men’s hockey weekend series Friday, then tied 1-1 in a goaltender showdown in the second game Saturday. Freshman goalie Tommy Nappier made his first Ohio State start in the opening game of the series and made 35 saves in the game.
The Buckeyes lit up the Huskies for five goals in Game 1. The Buckeyes got up to an early 3-0 lead thanks to two first-period goals by senior forward Matthew Weis. Weis opened up the scoring with a goal 40 seconds into the first period off assists from sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski and junior defenseman Sasha Larocque.
UConn got two back later in the second period off goals by senior forward Jesse Schwartz and senior forward Spencer Naas to bring the score to 3-2 going into the third period.
Junior forward Mason Jobst scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Buckeyes a two-goal lead early in the frame, scoring on the man advantage, something Ohio State has struggled with this season. The Buckeyes went a strong 2-for-4 on the power play in Game 1, with junior forward Dakota Joshua scoring in the second period while a man up.
The Huskies attempted a comeback and were given a great opportunity on a major penalty by senior forward Christian Lampasso, but Ohio State killed off the five-minute power play. UConn cut the lead to 5-4 on a late goal by junior forward Max Kalter with an empty net, but Ohio State held on for the tight victory.
After the nine goals in the first game, only two found their way past redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo and sophomore goalie Adam Huska in a 1-1 draw. Romeo made 29 saves, including six crucial saves in the overtime period to preserve the tie. Huska made 24 saves.
Both teams had numerous opportunities, as Ohio State had five chances on the power play and UConn had four. But neither team found the back of the net while on the man advantage.
Laczynski tallied his third point of the series on a goal halfway through the third period that opened the scoring for Ohio State. Senior defenseman Janik Moser earned an assist on the play.
The Huskies countered late in the third period and scored the equalizer with about three minutes to go on a shot by Schwartz for his second of the series.
The lone goals on both sides of the ice were the only two goals in the game and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. UConn led in shots for the second game in a row 30-25.
The Buckeyes have a bye week next week then travel to Ann Arbor for a rival conference matchup against Michigan. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and 7:30 on Nov. 25.