No. 13 Ohio State men’s hockey (6-1-1, 2-0-0 Big Ten) swept Michigan (3-4-1, 0-2-0) Saturday night with a 2-1 win thanks to a goal from freshman forward Tate Singleton.
Singleton found the back of the net off a deflection from junior defenseman Grant Gabriele, who had just forced a turnover at the Ohio State blueline which sprung a two-on-one rush for the Buckeyes. The goal came with just 1:31 remaining in regulation.
“I got to give all the credit to Grant Gabriele, I mean what a play by him,” Singleton said. “Just put it in the back of the net and get into the locker room and celebrate with the guys.”
Ohio State’s victory tonight came in large part to returning Big Ten goaltender of the year junior Tommy Nappier, who had 25 saves on 26 shots.
“What can you say about [Nappier], he’s pretty much done that his whole career,” Rohlik said. “He’s such a backstop for us, he’s calm, he makes big save after big save and he certainly gives us a lot of confidence.”
The first period of action failed to record a goal or a penalty, but in the second period the Wolverines were penalized three times, including a five-on-three opportunity where Ohio State took advantage and opened the scoring for the game.
Three Michigan defensemen were caught on the right side of the ice when senior forward Tanner Laczynski fed freshman forward Michael Gildon a one-timer that he sent home. It was Gildon’s first career goal.
Ohio State remained unpenalized through the second period, but that changed when Tate Singleton took a holding penalty just 1:54 into the third period. The Buckeyes took their second and last penalty of the game as junior forward Collin Peters was called for hooking with 15:21 remaining, but the Michigan power play was held without a goal in both of the attempts.
Michigan broke through late, as freshman defenseman Cam York beat Nappier and tied the game with 3:58 left in regulation.
“Never quit, never give up. You know, don’t get down,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “The guys just said, ‘Let’s go win this’ and sure enough the next couple shifts went out and got the winning goal out there.”
“Let’s go Bucks” chants rang through the Schottenstein Center as the Buckeye faithful attempted to rally their team to victory, and shortly after the Buckeyes took the lead and held onto it as they completed the sweep in front of the home fans.
“Any time you win two on a weekend it’s huge, but as we all know it’s such a great rivalry between two good programs, so it feels pretty good.” Rohlik said.
Ohio State will travel to South Bend, Indiana next weekend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.