COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman netminder Logan Davis stopped all 20 shots he faced to stonewall Canisius, 3-0, in his first career start for Ohio State. The shutout was Ohio State’s first at home in over a year, with balanced scoring contributions coming from seven players. Assistant captain Ryan Dzingel and Nick Schilkey each recorded a goal and an assist on the night as the Buckeyes extended their winning streak to four.
Davis expressed excitement regarding his success in Ohio State’s past two games.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Davis said. “I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet, but it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Shots were evenly matched early on, but the Golden Griffins dominated the circles, winning 15 of 19 faceoffs in the first frame and shutting down many of Ohio State’s key players.
“It was frustrating,” Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said. “Tip your hat to Canisius. Their guys did a fantastic job in the circle, and it’s something we got to address, and our centers definitely have to be better, because when you think about it, I don’t know how many we had tonight — if it was 50, 60, 70 faceoffs — it’s the one time in a game where it’s a 50/50 puck battle, and they won those battles.”
Despite being outworked in the faceoff circles, Ohio State battled hard for every puck possession down the length of the ice and broke through with a goal at 14:27 of the first period. Schilkey found Dzingel in front of the net, who slipped the puck past goaltender Keegan Asmundson to put the Buckeyes on the board 1-0.
With that tally, the energy of the game shifted. Ohio State continued to pepper Asmundson for the remainder of the period, while the Griffs struggled with turnovers.
“From about the eight-minute mark of the first period to the end of the second period, we had 14 neutral zone turnovers,” Canisius coach and Ohio State alum Dave Smith said. “It’s impossible to be successful in that against any team.”
When defenseman Justin DaSilva sent a blast from the blue line to increase the Buckeyes’ lead early in the second stanza, the scoreboard read 2-0, but Canisius held a 21-6 edge in faceoff wins. Turnovers continued to plague the Golden Griffs.
“85 percent of the problems today, we created for ourselves,” Smith said. “We need to limit our mistakes.”
Smith added that he has every confidence in his team, which features the second-most upperclassmen in the country this year, who account for 80.4 percent of the team’s points.
“We have a veteran team,” Smith said. “My blood pressure didn’t go up — we talked to them about it and they’re trying. We’re very capable.”
The Buckeyes lit the lamp again at 14:50 of the second period. Schilkey cleaned up a rebound from junior Al McLean and sent a bullet down the center lane through Asmundsen’s five-hole.
“That was not our best performance tonight, and you can see that we have a good team and we’re able to shut down good players, but we just had some brain cramps tonight that ended up in the back of our net,” Smith said.
Ohio State has generated some good momentum recently, winning seven of its last eight games. Despite this, Rohlik is taking nothing for granted.
“The parity in college hockey you can see across the board, and we got to have our A-game again tomorrow night,” Rohlik said. “We obviously enjoy getting this momentum and what we’re bringing forward, but you’re only as good as your last game.”
The Buckeyes and Golden Griffins will meet again Saturday night, with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m.