Columbus, Ohio: – So what do you do on a beautiful day in winter in Columbus? Well, you go out and support your Big Ten Champion hometown hockey team that’s what. And come out the fans did in full force as the Buckeyes put on an offensive show for them shutting down the Michigan State Spartans 5-1.
The Buckeyes scored in less than 5 minutes with their 11th shot on goal when Miguel Fidler stole the puck and passed it to Euguene Fadyeyev, whose shot beat the MSU freshman goalie Drew DeRidder glove side. Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 7-5, in the period and would lead 1-0 after the first.
The Spartans struck fast in the second to tie the game up at 1 apiece as Tommy Apap was able to beat Buckeye netminder Tommy Nappier on a beautiful backhand shot from a turnover. Nappier never had a chance on the puck as he was screened on the play. 5 minutes later it was Matt Miller of the Buckeyes giving them the 2-1 lead as he one-timed a pass from Tanner Laczynski into the top corner, with Freddy Gerard also assisting. Gerard scored a goal of his own at 16:32.
In the third, it was Hein extending the lead as he netted his 11th goal of the season. John Wiitala would cap off the scoring at 5:31. Miller caught him with a long pass and he drove the net, putting a chip shot top corner. Ohio State had nine shots in the period and Tommy Nappier stopped all seven MSU attempts, including three on a power play midway through the period. as they cruised their way to their 20th victory of the season, for the third year in a row.
The Buckeyes outshot the Spartans, 32-22, in the game. Nappier made 21 saves in all 60 minutes for Ohio State. Drew DeRidder had 27 saves in 60 minutes for the Spartans. Ohio State blocked 21 shots, led by Laczynski with three and Larocque, Wyatt Ege, Fidler, Brendon Kearney, Miller and Carson Meyer with two each. The line of Hein, Laczynski, and Gerard would combine for 7 points for the number 7 Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes hit the ice again tonight at 5 o’clock to host the Spartans again with senior night ceremonies before the game and the Big Ten championship banner raising after the game.