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No. 8 Ohio State rolls over Michigan State, 4-1

The Buckeyes won their fifth straight, dominating the Spartans.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: NOV 25 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Remember when the Ohio State football team rolled over Michigan State 48-3 in November? That’s back, but now in hockey form!

The No. 8 Buckeyes dominated Michigan State from the puck drop to the tune of a 4-1 victory on the road in East Lansing, Mich.. The Buckeyes are undefeated since their holiday break ended, as they’ve swept No. 10 Minnesota and Niagara back to back and have the chance to sweep a third straight series on Saturday at MSU.

Sasha Larocque got this one started within the first minute and gave OSU a lead at just 33 seconds—they’d never relinquish. Freddy Gerard and Tanner Laczynski had the assists on Larocque’s first of the year. He took an errant pass of the skate of Gerard and shot it off balance from the point, through a screen, and suddenly OSU was up.

Just over five minutes later, Ohio State was back at it again. John Wiitala somehow got a puck out to the front of the net on the powerplay to an all alone Kevin Miller, who put it in for his second of the year. Watch this and see if you’re any less surprised than the announcer that the puck somehow found its way to Miller all alone in front, with no Spartan in the same zip code.

Ohio State outshot the Spartans 13-5 in the first period, attacking the enemy from the initial puck drop. This is what the superior team is supposed to do. They took over this game from the jump. And things would get even worse in the second for MSU.

Once again, Ohio State took off from the initial puck drop of the period in the second. Just 15 seconds in, the Buckeyes struck again. Tanner Laczynski took a pass from Matthew Weis and walked untouched to the middle of the right faceoff circle, where his initial shot didn’t find its way in, but did find Ronnie Hein’s stick on the rebound. He stashed it home for his first of the year and suddenly it was 3-0 just seconds after the period started.

Laczynski wasn’t done, however, and wanted one of his own.

He’d get it 17 seconds later.

Tanner stole an errant Spartan defensive zone pass and fired it home for his 10th of the year and suddenly is was 4-0. Ohio State scored twice within the first 32 seconds of the second period. This team is good this year, folks.

The game was effectively over at that point, and like the football team versus USC in the Cotton Bowl, sat on it after going up big early. Shots would be 10-10 for the rest of the second, with no scoring, and 7-5 MSU in the third, with Brennan Sanford ending Sean Romeo’s chance at a shutout with 9:50 left in the third.

Romeo stopped 21/22 shots and once again improved on his season save percentage of .928 with a .955 mark tonight. He’s gone beyond exceeding the team’s wildest dreams this year. They found a transfer who’s come in and put up a .928 save percentage in an offensive league. Oh, and Tommy Nappier has a .928 save percentage backing Romeo up after last weekend’s solid effort against Niagara. Not bad!

Laczynski was the unquestioned star of this game, though. He had a goal and two assists, raising his season point total to 28 in 21 games. At this rate, one would have to imagine the Flyers, who drafted him in 2016, will want him to turn pro after this season or next with these kinds of numbers. If he can avoid injury and not slow down like he did in last season’s second half, he could be OSU’s best all around player since Ryan Dzingel in 2013-14.

Anyway, the 13-4-4 Buckeyes will look to extend their winning streak to six on Saturday night at Michigan State at 7:05 p.m. ET.