MINNEAPOLIS — No. 11-ranked Ohio State closed out the first half of its season with an 8-3 win at No. 11 Minnesota on Saturday in Mariucci Arena. The teams were tied at two after the first period, but the Buckeyes went on a six-goal run, including four in the second period, for the victory.
The Buckeyes are now 9-2-4 overall and 1-1-0 in the Big Ten, along with Minnesota 7-5-2 (1-1-0 B1G). The game ends the first half of Ohio State's schedule; the next game is Dec. 31 vs. Miami (Ohio) in Columbus.
Ohio State 8, Minnesota 3
Ohio State scored the first two goals, with Mason Jobst tallying just 33 seconds in and Tommy Parran lighting the lamp at 9:32. The Gophers tied the game with two goals in a 1:33 span and the teams headed into intermission deadlocked at two. The Buckeyes broke the game open in the second. Nick Schilkey and Jobst scored 14 seconds apart, at 2:06 on the power play and 2:20. Tanner Laczynski followed at 7:07 and Josh Healey scored at 8:51. The Ohio State run continued in the third, with David Gust scoring on the power play at 4:57 and Sasha Larocque tallying at 13:08. Minnesota ended the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:30 left. The Buckeyes were outshot 34-26, with Christian Frey making 31 saves in the Buckeye net. Ohio State was 2-of-5 on the power play and Minnesota was 1-of-4, scoring the one late goal.
Quoting Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik
"It was a good road win. Any time you play a team like Minnesota on their ice and come away with a win you've done something right. Ultimately, it was a great team effort. This was a good way to end the first half."
Quoting Ohio State senior forward David Gust
"It was nice to finally get a win in their arena and an awesome way to end the first half. The whole team contributed up and down the lineup. We had a solid regroup in the locker room after the first period, calming everyone down. We knew what we needed to do to go out there and get the job done."
Quoting Ohio State senior forward Nick Schilkey
"We know Minnesota is always a conference contender team, and it's huge for us to come in here before the break and get a good win to start the conference season on the right foot."
Blocking the puck
The Buckeyes were outshot 34-26 in the game. Frey played all 60 minutes and had 31 saves.
For Minnesota, Eric Schierhorn started and played the first 23:07, allowing four goals on 14 shots before he was replaced by Nick Lehr. Lehr gave up two goals on eight shots in 5:44 before Schierhorn went back in. For the game, Schierhorn allowed six goals and made 12 saves in 54:16.
The Buckeyes blocked 19 Gopher shot attempts, led by Parran with six and Larocque, senior Drew Brevig and freshman Gordi Myer with three each.
The Buckeyes were 2-of-6 on the power play in the game and are now 16-of-68 (.235) on the year, ranking sixth in the NCAA. The squad has a power-play tally in six of the last seven games.
Ohio State's penalty kill was 3-of-4 in the game and 9-of-11 in the series.
Buckeye this and that
• The eight goals were the second-highest total for Ohio State this season, behind the 10 scored at Niagara Oct. 28. The Buckeyes are second nationally in scoring offense, averaging 4.53 goals a night.
• Mason Jobst, with two goals and two assists, had the second four-point game of his career and first since Jan. 15 vs. Michigan. He now has five goals and 11 assists for 16 points this season.
• Tanner Laczynski had a career-high three assists and four points. Through his first 15 collegiate games he has a 6-16-22 line, ranking second in the Big Ten in scoring, 10th nationally in points per game (1.47) and second in the NCAA in rookie points per game. He has eight multiple point games this year.
• Nick Schilkey's goal was his 13th this year. He is fourth in the NCAA with .87 goals per game and tied for second in the NCAA and in the Big Ten in total goals. He is second on the team with 19 points.
• John Wiitala had two assists, his sixth career two-point game and second this year. It was his first game with more than one helper as a Buckeye. He has a 6-7-13 line this season.
• Josh Healey had a goal and an assist for two points. He is tied for fifth in the NCAA in points per game among defensemen (1.00) and shares the point lead among B1G blueliners with 15 points on two goals and 13 assist.
• Sasha Larocque is the 16th Buckeye to score a goal this season, notching his first goal since Jan. 17 vs. Michigan. All 23 Buckeye skaters have at least one assist.
• Luke Stork had two assists for the second time in his career and first since Dec. 5, 2015 at Minnesota. It was his sixth two-point game as a Buckeye.
• David Gust has 10 goals and 16 points this season after a goal and an assist in the win. He is tied for third in goals in the B1G.
• The win was the first for the Buckeyes at Minnesota as Big Ten foes.