From an Ohio State release.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The No. 1 seed Ohio State men’s hockey team topped No. 2 seed and defending champion Denver, 5-1, in the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional final to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four. The Buckeyes are making their second Frozen Four trip and first since 1998.
Ohio State improves to 26-9-5 on the year and Denver ends its season 23-10-8.
After a scoreless first period, Ohio State scored the only two goals of the second, with Dakota Joshua and Kevin Miller converting. Matt Joyaux extended the Buckeye lead to 3-0 at 9:27 of the third, set up by Tanner Laczynski. The Pioneers got on the board less than two minutes later to draw within two. But just 30 seconds after the DU goal Miller notched his second of the night to regain the Buckeyes’ three-goal lead (4-1). Denver pulled its goalie with more than five minutes remaining and Mason Jobst took advantage, scoring into the empty net for a 5-1 Ohio State lead. Christian Lampasso set up both of Miller’s goals, while Joyaux added an assist for a two-point night.
Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo had 30 saves in the victory. The Buckeyes blocked 19 shots, led by Wyatt Ege with seven and Sasha Larocque with four.
The Buckeye penalty kill, which leads the nation (.893), was 2-for-2 in the win. Ohio State did not have a power play chance.
Joshua, Laczynski, Larocque and Romeo were named to the All-Tournament Team, with Romeo the Most Outstanding Player.
Ohio State is one of three Big Ten Conference teams heading to the Frozen Four, joining No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed Michigan.
At the Frozen Four, Ohio State will take on Minnesota Duluth at 6 p.m. ET Thursday April 5 at the Excel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The Bulldogs beat the Buckeyes 3-2 in overtime in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
Ohio State Game Notes
Ohio State earned its second trip to the Frozen Four in school history, first since 1998.
This is Ohio State’s eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and first as a No. 1 seed in a regional.
This was the Buckeyes first-ever appearance in the Midwest Regional.
Ohio State is now 26-9-5, the most wins for the program since it had 27 in 2005.
Ohio State improves to 4-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, and is now 5-1 this postseason.
The Buckeyes even up the all-time series with Denver 6-6, and have now won the last three meetings, and four of the last five. Denver was the defending NCAA Champions.
The five goals scored were the most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
Dakota Joshua tallied his 15th goal this season, and first of the postseason, 3:37 in to the second period opened the scoring and gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Brendon Kearney had the assist, his 13th on the year.
The Buckeyes have now scored the first goal in 22-of-40 games this season, and are now 19-0-3 this year when scoring first. They are also 18-0-1 when leading after the second period.
Kevin Miller tallied his seventh goal of the season, and second in the playoffs, to give Ohio State a two-goal cushion, 2-0 with 4:29 left in the second period. Christian Lampasso recorded his fifth assist of the season, and Matt Joyaux contributed his eighth on the goal.
Joyaux scored his second goal of the season in the period on an assist by Tanner Laczynski to put the Buckeyes up 3-0.
Kevin Miller scored his second goal just 0:30 after Denver broke the shutout with its first goal of the game.
Mason Jobst added an empty-net goal, his team-leading 21st of the season to put Ohio State up 5-1.
Ohio State is second in the country in third period goals and has now outscored its opponents 60-30 in the third period.
Seven different Buckeyes players recorded points in the game.
The Buckeye’s No. 1-ranked penalty kill was successful on two-of-three attempts, and has now killed 125-of-140 penalties this season.
Ohio State was never on the power play during the course of the game. Entering tonight, it had power play goals in 15 of its last 20 games.
Entering tonight, the Buckeyes were allowing just 2.1 goals per game, the lowest in program history. OSU also topped its goals per game average of 3.21.
The two teams combined for two penalties, tied for the fewest in Regional Tournament history.
Ohio State is now 7-2-1 in its last 10 games
FROZEN FOUR TICKET INFO
A limited number of All Session passes will be available for purchase to Ohio State men’s hockey season ticket holders and PSL holders through the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office.
The ticket request period for eligible accounts will begin Monday at 10 am. All eligible ticket holders will receive detailed instructions on how to order via email to the address on record in their ticket account Monday morning. These instructions will include ticket prices, request instructions, and ticket pick up information. All season ticket holder requests must be submitted online by 5 pm ET Tuesday to be considered.
If tickets are still available in the Ohio State allotment after all priority requests have been received, tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Wednesday at 10 am online only at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/tickets.
Those with questions may contact the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS.
[Ohio State hockey photo courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com]