Ohio State redshirt senior Sean Romeo became the first goaltender in school history to record a three-game shutout streak, saving 32 shots in the No. 6 Buckeyes’ (7-3-1, 2-1-0-0 Big Ten) 4-0 win against Wisconsin (5-6-0, 1-2-0-0 Big Ten).
The Buckeyes have allowed two goals in their past five games and now have three straight shutouts and lead the NCAA in shutouts with five this season.
“I feel good,” Romeo said. “I try not to think about the three in a row, just take it one game at a time. It just goes to show how great our defense is playing in front of us, though. I think we took a big stride tonight, but we still have room to improve.”
For Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik, Friday’s win meant a bit more, earning his 100th career win as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
“The biggest thing for that is just I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of great people around me. I think that’s what means the most to me,” Rohlik said. “This isn’t ever a one-guy show. All the players that have been here, the alumni, and obviously the staff that I’ve been fortunate enough to be around, that means the most to me.”
Junior forward Tanner Laczynski opened the scoring with a power play goal with under two minutes remaining in the first period. The goal was followed up just over a minute later by another by senior forward Brendon Kearney, his first goal of the season, to give Ohio State the early 2-0 lead.
The game was a physical affair that resulted in 12 penalties and 32 penalty minutes. Players were constantly hitting the ice and being slammed into the glass, with Ohio State senior forward Dakota Joshua receiving the brunt of the action when he went sailing over the barrier into Wisconsin’s bench.
While a physical game can be exhilarating, Kearney knows that the Buckeyes need to be careful in chippy games like this one.
“I mean, yeah, but there’s obviously that line, you know,” Kearney said. “You’ve got to keep that always in the back of your head. Physical games are great and all but at the same time you don’t want to put your team at a disadvantage.”
Ohio State was perfect on the penalty kill against the Badgers, improving its season penalty kill percentage to .826. The Buckeyes haven’t allowed a power play goal since they played Bowling Green back on Oct. 27, a series that seemingly has become a turning point in their season.
Senior forward Mason Jobst added an additional power play goal early in the second period for his team-leading sixth goal and ninth point of the season. Kearney scored another goal with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game for his second of the night and second this season.
Eight Buckeyes scored a point in Friday night’s game, a season high for Ohio State.
Ohio State will look for the sweep at the Schottenstein Center with a 5:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday.