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No. 17 Ohio State hockey defeats UConn, 5-4

The Buckeyes go on the road and take down the Huskies.

Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Last weekend, Ryan Nanni, aka @celebrityhottub on Twitter, put a 1950s UConn logo on the dot of the I in Script Ohio after the football team was embarrassed at Ohio. But this weekend, the hockey Buckeyes beat UConn themselves, 5-4.

Revenge, or the best the hockey team could do!

That’s right: the No. 17 Puckeyes went to Hartford and defeated Hockey East’s Huskies by a score of 5-4. Any road win against a major conference opponent is valuable, and that is especially so for the now 6-3-2 Buckeyes, as they were swept last weekend in Columbus by Notre Dame.

This one was a back and forth affair where OSU never trailed but sure seemed like they wanted to give it a try, just to see how it handled. Ohio State had leads of 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 but never allowed UConn to tie it and never trailed in any of the sixty minutes.

It sure didn’t look like it’d be that close, however. Ohio State stormed out to a 3-0 lead by the 4:13 mark of the second. Matthew Weis scored just 40 seconds into the game, with assists from Tanner Laczynski and Sasha Larocque. Matt wasn’t done however, as he scored his second of the game at 7:57, with Laczynski and Gordi Myer credited with the assists.

OSU went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead and 11-7 advantage in shots despite leading for 19:20 of the first and it sure seemed like this one would be a laugher once Dakota Joshua made it 3-0 at 4:13 of the second. Mason Jobst found his way back to the scoresheet with the primary assist, while Matt Miller had the secondary apple.

Then UConn decided this wasn’t fun anymore.

The Huskies scored goals at 8:59 and 18:41 of the second to make it 3-2 going into the third, all of a sudden. UConn scored on a deflection and a reviewed goal and yet, those still count and the lead was down to one. It would’ve been tied had OSU freshman goalie Tommy Nappier, in his first collegiate start, not stopped a UConn penalty shot in the second.

Nappier wouldn’t be able to harness that penalty shot magic into regular game play, as UConn would score again despite Ohio State extending the lead to 4-2 in the third. Just 3:58 into the third, Jobst made it a two goal OSU lead once again, seeming to quell the Husky threat, until UConn came clawing back again to make it 4-3 on a goal by Jesse Schwartz.

Ohio State again extended the lead, this time to 5-3, once again trying to put away the Huskies, as Christian Lampasso scored his second of the year to grow the lead once again. Myer and Joshua had the assists. But UConn wouldn’t die and put in another one to make it 5-4 with just 2:46 remaining in the game.

It could’ve been worse, too. Ohio State had to kill off a five minute major power play for UConn, after Lampasso, deciding his goal needed to be undone, was sent off with a game misconduct and major penalty for hitting from behind. OSU would find a way to kill that off though, before giving up that fourth goal. Talk about dodging a bullet.

The Huskies pulled the goalie for the extra attacker but couldn’t beat Nappier and the No. 17 Buckeyes squeaked out with a win.

UConn absolutely dominated the last two periods of this game, something you don’t want to see when you’re a ranked team, 3-0 lead or not. But OSU has shown a tendency to sink into a shell and it very well might have cost them against a more talented team tonight.

In the second and third, OSU was outshot 19-4 and 13-5, respectively, something you wouldn’t expect if they played the No. 1 team in the nation, much less 3-8-1 UConn. OSU has to keep pushing the offensive envelope against inferior teams if they want to make any conference or national noise this year. They showed they could dominate in the first tonight. They just have to do it for an entire game, regardless of the score.

But the Buckeyes will have a chance to sweep the Huskies on Saturday regardless of UConn’s domination, as the two teams play again in Hartford at 3:35 p.m. ET.