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Men’s ice hockey kicks of 2020 in Las Vegas

Plus, men’s volleyball, swimming and diving sweep the weekend.

Ohio State v Denver Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s ice hockey team was among the first to open up sports in the new year as they traveled to Las Vegas for the Fortress Invitational. The sixth-ranked Buckeyes went 1-1 in the tournament, initially falling to No. 2 Cornell Friday night before bouncing back against No. 20 Army Saturday.

Ohio State fell 5-2 to Cornell in the opening round, ending a seven-game unbeaten streak for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes fell behind early, with Big Red taking a 4-0 advantage by the third period before Ohio State could even get on the board. Finally, at the 7:46 mark in the final period, sophomore forward Matthew Jennings scored his first goal of the season to prevent the shutout. Following a response from Cornell, senior defenseman Matt Miller added a second goal for the Buckeyes to close the game.

Saturday was a different story, with the Buckeyes taking a 2-1 win over a ranked Army team in a thrilling overtime matchup. Once again, Ohio State fell behind early as the Black Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Buckeyes bounced back quickly with a shorthanded score in the second from senior forward Tanner Laczynski. After a scoreless third period, the pair headed to overtime, where senior forward Carson Meyer found the net to give the Buckeyes the win.

With the weekend in the books, the Buckeyes improve to 13-5-2 on the season. Next up, they’ll stay on the road when they head to Wisconsin for a two-game series with the Badgers Jan. 10-11.

Men’s volleyball opens 2020 with a win

With a new coach in Kevin Burch and in a new home in the Covelli Center, Ohio State men’s volleyball had a great start to a new era. The Buckeyes opened their new season with a straight-set win over North Greenville University.

The Buckeyes were paced by young talent, including freshman setter Michael Wright who had 38 assists on the day, while freshman middle blocker Samuel Clark had 10 kills. The veterans, however, showed up to play, too, as senior outside hitter Reese Devilbliss had a team-high 11 kills.

Next up, the 1-0 Buckeyes are scheduled to host Urbana University Tuesday night and Saint Francis University Thursday.

Swimming sweeps dual meet over UK

The 18th-ranked women’s swimming and diving team defeated the No. 13 Wildcats 165-156. The Buckeyes brought home first-place finishes in eight swimming events, as well as two diving events. Leading the way for the women were senior Kathrin Demler, who earned the top-spots in both the 2000-meter butterfly and 500-meter freestyle, and junior Freya Rayner, who had wins in the 50- and 100-meter free events.

The 16th-ranked men, meanwhile, brought home a 177.5-142.5 win over Kentucky, winning seven swimming events and two diving events. Junior Cameron Craig had wins in the 50-meter free and 100-meter fly. He was joined by sophomore Jason Matthews, who had gold in the 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly. Both Craig and Matthews also participated in the first-place 200-meter medley relay team.

In other news…

  • Ohio State women’s basketball has another crack at a top team Monday when the squad heads to College Park to take on No. 12 Maryland. Adding to the intrigue, the game will be nationally-televised on ESPN2. Currently, the Buckeyes are sitting at 8-5 on the season, including 1-1 in conference play.
  • Ohio State wrestling also has a big day Monday, when the seventh-ranked Buckeyes face No. 4 Arizona State in Columbus in a nationally-televised dual on FS1. Ohio State is 3-1 in dual matches this season, while the Sun Devils are still a perfect 5-0, but the Buckeyes hold a 6-2 all-time advantage over Arizona State.
  • Sophomore defenseman Madison Bizal of the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team earned the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Defenseman of the Month honors for December. Bizal has three goals and seven assists on the season. Her talents will certainly be an asset this weekend when the team opens up 2020 against Minnesota State.