Matt Miller’s third-period shot from just inside the blue line gave Ohio State the lead for good as the Buckeyes beat the Minnesota Gophers 4-1 in a Big Ten game Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
The victory gave Ohio State (10-4-4) a sweep of the weekend series and pulled the Buckeyes into a tie for second place in the conference with Penn State, one point ahead of Minnesota (10-8-1)
Miller’s third goal of the season broke open a 1-1 tie with 5:13 left in regulation. The Buckeyes added two empty net goals later after the Gophers pulled sophomore goalie Mat Robson.
The Buckeyes controlled play in the first period and got the opening goal when Mason Jobst lifted a puck over Robson’s right shoulder at the 16:54 mark.
The Gophers’ offense came alive in the second period, outshooting Ohio State 13-3 in the frame.
Brent Gates Jr. received a bit of puck luck as Minnesota scored coming out of a power play when his pass attempt ricocheted off the skate of a Buckeyes defender and just inside the near post before goalie iSean Romeo could close the gap, scoring his sixth goal of the season.
After Miller gave the Buckeyes the lead, they got last-minute goals from Tanner Laczynski and Jobst to clinch the victory.
Robson, who was making his Gophers debut, stopped 20 of 22 Buckeyes shots on the evening. His start ended Eric Schierhorn’s streak of 94 consecutive starts for Minnesota.
Minnesota goes on break now for final exams and the holidays. The Gophers will next play host to Army on Dec. 29-30 at 3M Arena at Mariucci.