No. 6 Ohio State Takes Game One From Spartans, 6-2
Four-goal third period pushes OSU past MSU.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sixth-ranked Ohio State topped the Michigan State hockey team, 6-2, in game one of the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal series on Friday night at Value City Arena. Leading 2-1 entering the third period, No. 2 seed Ohio State scored twice in the opening seven minutes and added two more goals later to put the game away.
“I thought they took the play to us in the third,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “I thought it was a little bit of youth and inexperience in not being ready to deal with their pushback. We got on our heels and had one guy working and four guys watching.”
The No. 7 seed Spartans will need a win on Saturday in game two to keep their season alive and extend the series to a game three on Sunday.
“We’ll find out some things, we’ll figure out a couple things we can do in order to give ourselves a good chance to win. There are things we can do better,” Cole said. “That being said, it was 2-1 going into the third and we put ourselves in a decent position; they didn’t score an even strength goal until the third period, so there are things we can build on from there.”
Both teams traded chances to begin the game, but a Spartan penalty with 1:28 to play in the opening period gave the Buckeyes’ an opportunity to take the lead. Ten seconds into the power play, a wrist shot by Tanner Laczynski hit John Lethemon, but the goaltender didn’t get enough of the puck and it trickled over the goal line to give OSU a 1-0 advantage.
The Spartans (12-21-2) struck back 3:12 into the second period as Patrick Khodorenko made good on what was MSU’s first shot of the period. Brody Stevens held the puck in the Ohio State zone before curling near the left point and feeding a pass to Taro Hirose in the right circle. Hirose got the puck to Khodorenko, who eventually settled it down and snapped a shot past goaltender Sean Romeo for his 12th of the season.
Michigan State took a pair of penalties in the second period and the later wound up hurting as Matthew Weis capitalized eight seconds into the power play to reclaim the lead for Ohio State, 2-1, with 3:28 to go.
The Buckeyes (22-8-5) extended their lead to 3-1 1:54 into the third as Mason Jobst redirected a puck from the high slot past Lethemon.
The Spartans nearly made it a one-goal game two minutes after the goal, but Romeo was able to glove a one-timer off the stick of Khodorenko from the right side after an odd-man rush.
Instead of it again being a one-goal game, Ohio State pushed its lead to 4-1 at the 6:36 mark on a shot from the blue line by Sasha Larocque.
After John Wiitala made it 5-1 with 4:20 to play, MSU sophomore defenseman Damian Chrcek scored his first goal of the season to make it 5-2.
Christian Lampasso capped the scoring, getting a power-play goal with 0.3 seconds to play.
Both teams recorded eight shots on goal in the second period, but OSU heavily outshot MSU in the third, 21-7, to finish with a 40-20 edge in shots on goal.
Ed Minney replaced Lethemon in net following the fourth OSU goal and made nine saves. Lethemon made 25.
The teams will play game two of the best-of-three-series on Saturday at 7 p.m.