Gophers complete sweep of Ohio State with 5-2 win

A two-man advantage that netted two power-play goals pushed the No. 4 Gopher men’s hockey team to its seventh sweep of the season as the Maroon & Gold topped Ohio State 5-2 on Saturday at Value City Arena.

Minnesota (15-3-0 overall, 11-3-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) has now won four-straight games and outscored its opponents 30-5 to claim the throne as the top scoring offense in the NCAA this year (4.22 goals per game).

Jackson LaCombe led the way for the Maroon & Gold – matching his career high with three points (one goal, two assists) – Jaxon Nelson and Sammy Walker each added a goal and an assist. Nelson recorded his first career multi-point performance in the win.

The Gophers struck first and improved to 14-1-0 on the year when doing as Nelson forced a turnover and fed Jonny Sorenson for the sophomore’s fifth of the year at 7:44 of the first period.

Ohio State (5-12-1, 5-11-0-1-0-0) committed a pair of costly penalties at the start of the second period as Collin Peters was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct and Ryan O’Connell was called for a minor at the same play stoppage. The Maroon & Gold made the hosts pay with two power-play goals in 26 seconds. Sampo Ranta scored his team-leading 12th goal of the year at 1:59 with assists from Walker and LaCombe while Nelson scored his fourth of the year at 2:25 after being set up by Ben Meyers and LaCombe for the eventual game winner. The Buckeyes broke the shutout with a goal from Tate Singleton at 7:11.

After setting up two power-play goals earlier in the period, LaCombe scored a shorthanded goal for the second night in a row at 18:59 of the second period for the sophomore defenseman’s third goal of the season. Blake McLaughlin and Ryan Johnson earned assists on the goal as Minnesota has now tallied a shorthanded goal in three-straight games with four goals on the penalty kill this year.

The third period saw Kamil Sadlocha bring the Buckeyes within two with a goal at 14:54 but Walker’s forced turnover and empty-net goal at 19:40 sealed the win for Minnesota.

Minnesota was outshot 27-30 on the night while going 2-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Jack LaFontaine (13-3-0) made 28 saves on 30 shots to pick up the win for the Maroon & Gold while earning his NCAA-best 13th win of the year. Evan Moyse (0-1-0) made 22 saves on 26 shots for the Buckeyes.