No. 1 Ohio State men’s hockey scored in the final minutes of the game against UMass to win their first home game of the season by a score of 3-1.
Coming off a 6-3 Friday night loss to the Minutemen in their home opener, head coach Steve Rohlik said the Buckeyes were looking to respond to the loss and play like the No. 1 team in the nation to earn their first home win of the season.
“I like our group and our room. We’ve got a great culture,” Rohlik said. “It was a good response. You don’t like losing, and certainly don’t want to lose two in a row, so it was a good response for our guys tonight.”
The teams traded goals early, with a goal by UMass sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee being followed up only 13 seconds later by Ohio State junior forward Tanner Laczynski’s first goal of the season. Laczynski’s goal was assisted by junior forward Ronnie Hein and sophomore defenseman Grant Gabriele, his first point of the season.
After these goals, however, a scoring drought developed, as neither team scored for the next 51 minutes of game time. Both teams had two power play opportunities during the game that were killed, and had multiple open shots that went off the post or wide of the net.
Ohio State sophomore goalie Tommy Nappier allowed one goal and had 35 saves, tied for a career-high, and has only allowed one goal through two games this season.
UMass freshman goaltender Filip Lindberg contributed to the Buckeyes woes on offense for most of the game, only allowing two goals and saving 36 shots for the Minutemen.
The tie was finally broken with Lacyznski’s second goal of the game, assisted by redshirt junior defenseman Wyatt Ege with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
“Last night we came out, we played hard first couple shifts, but then, you know, we were just flat the rest of the game it felt like,” junior forward Tanner Laczynski said. “It was good today, I thought we came out hard, put the pressure on them, and I thought we were consistent the whole night.”
Ohio State outshot the Minutemen 39-36 on the night. Senior forward Mason Jobst added an additional goal in the empty UMass net with less than a minute left to make the final score 3-1.
The Buckeyes will remain home for their series-opening game against Bowling Green next Friday at 7:00 p.m. and will travel to Bowling Green for their game Saturday at 7:07 p.m.