No. 6 Ohio State hockey’s six game winning streak came to an abrupt end as No. 13 Penn State caused their fans to erupt with the 5-2 victory. The Nittany Lions led for the last 54:42 of the game and put it away late in the third with two late tallies.
Ohio State outshot Penn State 15-11 in the first period and 22-11 in the second, but just couldn’t beat PSU goalie Peyton Jones. To outshoot the team known for putting the puck on net any chance it gets is something; to do it by that much even when trailing is quite the accomplishment. But it wasn’t enough.
Despite Ohio State’s shot advantage in the first, Penn State got on the board first and then added another. The first goal was just bad luck as the puck went wide off a shot and came out in front for a rebound and score. Denis Smirnov grabbed the rebound and scored to give the Nittany Lions a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
They added to it at 16:49 with a 2-on-1 and as Nate Sucese converted and despite OSU’s shot advantage, they went into the dressing room down 2-0.
Mason Jobst would trim the lead to one with a powerplay goal in the second. His tenth of the year came with assists to Tanner Laczynski and Matthew Weis, the first and second leading scorers on the team, respectively. Jobst is of course third.
Penn State would answer, however, as they scored just over four minutes later, at 7:46, on the powerplay. Evan Barratt had the goal with Chase Berger and Ohio State tormenter Andrew Sturtz gaining the assists.
And then Ohio State trimmed the lead to one again. Jobst scored his second powerplay goal of the night, with assists going to Wyatt Ege and Laczynski. OSU would go into the intermission down just one and having outshot the most shooting happy team in the country 22-11 in the second. You’d take the odds on them tying this one up.
That’d be all OSU would get in this one as Jones locked down and saved all ten Ohio State shots in the third period. Penn State actually outshot the Buckeyes when the latter needed the attempts most; it was a 14-10 spread in favor of the Nittany Lions in the third.
Penn State wouldn’t be sent off for a single penalty in the frame (note that the only time OSU could score in this one was on the man advantage), while Laczynski was called for a cross-checking penalty early at 2:23 of the third, which took some time away from the Buckeyes’ attacking capabilities. Ege would be sent off for hooking at 15:47, setting the stage for Penn State to put it away.
Just 42 seconds into the resulting PSU powerplay, Sturtz continued his destruction of all things Ohio State and made it 4-2 despite a failed OSU challenge that the play was offside. The goal stood and there was little hope for Ohio State tonight. But this college hockey. Who knows what could happen?
PSU would then score an empty netter at 18:42, credited to Barratt, and that was that. It was 5-2 in favor of Penn State and the No. 6 team’s six game winning streak was kaput.
Sean Romeo was outdueled by Jones. He wasn’t horrible, stopping 31/35 shots, but when Jones stops 45/47, there’s no much you can do. That’d be a .957 save percentage for Jones. If he did that every game, he’d win the Hobey Baker and Penn State would win the national title.
He doesn’t and they won’t, but he did tonight and it ended Ohio State’s win streak. That’s three losses in three tries so far this season for Ohio State versus Penn State. They’ll look to at least salvage one win in the regular season series Saturday night in University Park.