Niagara probably would’ve had a better chance of surviving going over Niagara Falls in a barrel than they did against Ohio State last night. In a complete obliteration and domination, the Ohio State mens hockey team defeated Niagara 10-2 at Niagara.
The Buckeyes improved to 4-0-2 on the season, staying technically undefeated despite a shootout loss to Air Force earlier in the season. Niagara still has yet to win a game this year and falls to 0-4-2, and it sure doesn’t look like they’ll be getting their first win on the second leg of this weekend series.
The most shocking thing about this game was that Ohio State only needed 31 shots to get ten goals. If OSU would’ve scored half as many goals, that would’ve been a poor save percentage for Niagara’s goalie. This might as well have been an audition for the hockey Washington Generals.
Matt Weis opened the scoring just 40 seconds into the game for his third of the year, with assists from Josh Healey and Tommy Parran. Then just a minute and 19 seconds later, Luke Stork finally got his first tally of the year, with assists from emerging freshman Ronnie Hein and Christian Lampasso. It’s nice to see the latter on the scoresheet after a good freshman campaign followed by a frustrating sophomore one.
Things quieted down after that...for about eight minutes until Parran scored his first of the year at 10:56 from the pair of sophomores Miguel Fidler and Dakota Joshua. Niagara would quickly erase that goal just a minute and one second later, with Nick Farmer’s second of the year on the powerplay, which would be followed by Nick Schilkey matching that one 50 seconds later with his fifth of the year. Weis had the solitary assist on that one.
Boy was that sure an interesting first period with a few particularly brutal minutes for Niagara. Things would calm down in the second right? Nope, Niagara’s team would turn into the “This is Fine” dog and sit there while the whole thing still went up in flames.
After OSU scored four goals on only eight shots in the first, at least Niagara stopped seven of their twelve in the second. If you shoot for the moon but miss, you’ll land among the stars, right?
David Gust scored his third of the season, on the powerplay, at 7:12 from Mason Jobst and Healey to make it 5-1 OSU and Stork would score just 23 seconds later with his second of the game, with Lampasso getting his second assist of the night on a Stork goal. Tommy Parran would score his second of the game just 50 seconds after that to make it 7-1 with assists from Kevin Miller and Joshua. And just forty seconds after that, Schilkey scored his second of the game from Weis and Tanner Laczynski.
That was a hell of a two minutes. And now, all of a sudden, it was 8-1 Ohio State. Schilkey wasn’t done, however. He scored his third of the game for his first career hat trick at 17:39, with assists from Weis and Laczynski once again.
Ohio State went into the second intermission up 9-1. Even the most optimistic Buckeye fans (not me) would never have predicted this. The third would finally calm down, though, with it looking like a normal hockey game. Both teams would score once and get out of there.
Niagara scored the first of the third period, with Derek Brown scoring his third of the year at 5:49. John Wiitala would match that for OSU with one at 14:55, his third of the year, from Jobst, with OSU officially winning 10-2.
There’s not much more you can ask for out of a team, folks. Schilkey had a hat trick. Weis had a goal and three assists. Tommy Parran (!) had two goals and an assist. Lampasso had two assists. Luke Stork was revitalized. Super freshman Laczynski had two assists. Matt Tomkins 19 out of 21 shots for a “good enough” .905 save percentage.
Ohio State scored ten goals for the first time since 2008! They’re earning their current No. 14 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll and No. 15 ranking in the USCHO.com poll. There’s a lot to like about this team, and while they’re not going to shoot it like this every night and chase not one but two goalies, it’s still a nice feather in the cap.
The two teams will meet again tonight at 7pm eastern. Niagara probably felt like they wanted to jump down one of the waterfalls like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive last night, and hopefully they will again tonight too.