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No. 11 Ohio State downed again by Penn State, 4-0

After losing a heartbreaker on Friday night, the Buckeyes were blown on Saturday afternoon.

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

The No. 11 Buckeyes lost to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 4-0, on Saturday. On the bright side: You can’t cough up the lead, if you don’t score a single goal.

Ohio State outshot the Nittany Lions 8-5 in a scoreless first period, 16-15 in a second period that Penn State outscored Ohio State 2-0, and then Penn State outshot OSU 16-9 in the third despite being up by multiple goals for the entire frame.

Once again, Ohio State has been showing improved possession stats lately, at least in terms of shots on goal, and the results just didn’t show this weekend. They were within four-fifths of a second on Friday of a win and outshot their opponents while the game was close on Saturday. And yet they only have the overtime point on Friday to show for it.

Hockey is a weird sport sometimes.

Anyway, Penn State scored twice in the second period, and the first goal turned out to be the game winner. Andrew Sturtze, he of the last second and shootout goals on Friday, continued to torment the Buckeyes with that aforementioned game winner at 1:22 of the second.

Denis Smirnov iced the Buckeyes with the Nittany Lions’ second of the period at 6:22, and suddenly, OSU was down 2-0 a third of the way through the second. They outshot PSU for the period, but were never able to close the gap.

And in the third, Penn State, put their foot down and outshot (and outscored) the Buckeyes to put this one away. Brandon Birro scored at 4:49 of the third and Liam Folkes scored the fourth goal of the night for PSU at 15:22.

Peyton Jones stopped all 33 shots the Buckeyes put on net and shutout the Buckeyes, obviously, to gain the series sweep (with the aid of the shootout win on Friday). Sean Romeo couldn’t match his adversary, only stopping 32/36 shots, for an .889 save percentage. Not ideal but it wouldn’t have mattered if he stopped 35/36 shots. The Buckeyes just couldn’t beat Jones.

Tanner Laczynski had shots on goal but only a -2 to show for it. Mason Jobst had four shots on goal and a blank night on the scoresheet to show for it. Dakota Joshua had four of his own and Matthew Weis had three as well. None would go in, however.

Anyway, there’s not much more to say about a game where the Buckeyes just didn’t have it. But it’s hard to be mad at a team that was within .8 seconds of a win on Friday, and outshot Penn State over the first two plus periods on Saturday.

Either way, the Buckeyes will look to rebound next week when they host No. 7 Minnesota in Columbus.