Hockey is a very unpredictable sport. You can be outshot by 30 and win. You can get swept at home against an unranked team and then beat the No. 7 team in the country.
Ohio State got that last one’s cheat code enabled, and beat No. 7 Minnesota in Columbus on Friday night, 2-1 in overtime, on a Christian Lampasso goal. The Buckeyes improve to 9-4-4 and earn a split, at minimum, with the conference leader for the weekend.
Not too shabby.
Truth be told, this was about as well as Ohio State can play, and doing it against a top-10 team and conference favorite certainly speaks volumes about where this team’s come to, even after losing Nick Schilkey, David Gust and the entire goaltending lineup from last year’s team.
Sean Romeo’s been the biggest difference maker this year. Christian Frey and Matt Tomkins personified mediocrity and Sean Romeo’s come in and blown them away. He made 33 saves on the night in Columbus, allowing only a single goal to Minnesota. He came in with a .920 save percentage and that’ll only go up after his 33/34 save night.
Tanner Laczynski scored his seventh goal and 21st point of the season in just 17 games as the sophomore put home the first one of the game at 14:46 of the first period tonight. Mason Jobst and Matthew Weis had the assists.
Laczynski got the feed across the netmouth from in below the circles on the man advantage and put it past Minnesota’s version of J.T. Barrett, the player who just never seems to graduate, Eric Schierhorn. Somehow he’s only a junior.
Jobst’s assist was his 100th career point, in just 91 career games as a Buckeye.
OSU outshot Minnesota 10-7 in the first, showing an advantage at 5-on-5 even strength, but were outgunned by a tally of 16-7 in the second. Minnesota coming from behind is where your favorable ratio of shots on goal goes to die.
Minnesota just couldn’t tie this one, though.
The score would remain 1-0 in favor of the No. 15 Buckeyes all the way into the waning minutes of the third. Romeo stopped all of Minnesota’s shots, clearly a feat in itself, until 16:16 of the third. Rem Pitlick scored the tying goal for the Golden Gophers and suddenly we were off to overtime.
Minnesota and Ohio State both had 11 shots on goal each in the third and overtime, despite the Gophers being down until 3:44 was all that remained in the game and they tied it.
They wouldn’t score another one, however.
Christian Lampasso scored his sixth of the year. He came into the night shooting a percentage unsustainable if it was cut in half, 29.4 percent, and then scored tonight on one of his only two shots.
Buckeyes win!— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) December 9, 2017
Lampasso with the OT winner for a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Minnesota. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/Zx52LC8mHl
Lampasso found a way to get the puck after Dakota Joshua crashed the net and hit the open side. Sometimes the puck just finds you in the right place. Joshua had the primary assist and Luke Stork the secondary.
The Buckeyes will hope to continue the magic tomorrow night as they host No. 7 Minnesota again on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.