It took all of about a minute for junior forward Mason Jobst to become a bona-fide puck magnet.
When moving from one side of the ice to the other, Jobst could not seem to escape the barrage of vulcanized rubber.
“They teach you to just try to get in the lane, line up with the stick. I was doing my best to get in line with the stick,” Jobst said. “It seems like they were just kind of shooting at me on purpose.”
The Ohio State men’s hockey team captain blocked five shots and added a shorthanded goal during a single penalty kill late in the third period against No. 20 Michigan Saturday night to preserve No. 5 Ohio State’s first sweep of the Wolverines since the 1985-86 season.
“I’ve never heard the crowd like I heard it when it was done, but also, the bench. Our guys, they were all ready to go jump on him and hug him after the shift,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “I think that just speaks volumes of what guys think and what they saw just happen.”
Jobst has 111 points in 99 career games as a Buckeye, just a year removed from posting career highs in goals (19), assists (36) and points (55). Jobst’s 55 points were the most by a Buckeye in a single season since two-time All-American Hugo Boisvert reached 58 points in the 1997-98 season.
Through 25 games this season, Jobst has 26 points, which is the third-highest total on the team. Jobst is starting to heat up with three goals and three assists in the past three games.
“I think it’s hard to find an All-American that gets 50-plus points a year that’s willing to block (five) shots in a row for you, so it makes him a special player,” redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo said.
Jobst said the willingness to block shots started with a mentality at the beginning of the year, when Ohio State changed from being a run-and-gun offensive team to a defensively stout group.
It doesn’t hurt to have Romeo behind the shot-blockers. He has been a rock for the Buckeyes this year with a record of 14-5-4 and is top-10 in the country in save percentage (.927) and goals against average (1.99). The Buckeyes give up the fourth-fewest goals per game (2.08) in the NCAA.
There is hardly ever a time when Jobst is not working on a certain detail of his game. Jobst also sets aside time to help his teammates improve areas of their games.
“He’s always doing goalie skates with us, he’s always in the shooting room after,” Romeo said. “Guys kind of give him a hard time for always doing stuff, but it really pulls guys along with him and kind of motivates more guys to do what he’s doing.”
Jobst, a first-team All-Big Ten, second-team All-American, as well as an Academic All-Big Ten selection in his sophomore season, leads with his actions rather than his words, Rohlik said.
“He’s not a big rah-rah guy, when he speaks I think the guys respect exactly what he’s saying because he can back it up because of how he plays and what he does,” Rohlik said. “I think that’s the sign of a really good leader.”
The Buckeyes will need the leadership of their captain during the season’s final stretch against some tough Big Ten competition. Ohio State hosts Michigan State Friday and Saturday before going on the road to take on No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 12 Minnesota. Then, it will finish the regular season with a home series against No. 18 Wisconsin.