Freshman goalie Logan Davis is expected to make his first collegiate start as the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team sets its sights on a two-game series against Canisius College.
Originally third in the depth chart, Davis is set to take over the reins from fellow freshman Matt Tomkins, who won’t be in the lineup because of a lower-body injury he sustained in the first four minutes of OSU’S 6-1 win against Niagara Nov. 9. Tomkins’ playing status is day-to-day. Davis’ projected start also comes less than two weeks after Collin Olson, who was Tomkins’ backup, elected to leave the team to play junior hockey in the USHL.
“At this point, I feel like I might’ve gotten over the nerves a little bit after getting that first game under my belt, but I’m still a little jittery,” Davis said.
Coach Steve Rohlik attributed his team’s 4-1 and 6-1 victories against Niagara Friday and Saturday, respectively, to his defensive unit, and said he wants the team to carry the success over into the series with the Golden Griffins (2-5-0, 1-3-0).
“You’re only as good as your D-zone. Our D-zone leads all of our offense,” Rohlik said. “We’re doing a decent job on the penalty kill now, and I think we’ve given up quite a few goals early in the year, so we’re trying to clean that part of it up, but everything starts in the D-zone. If we can shut down teams defensively and still put up three, four, five goals, then we’re doing something right.”
Junior forward Chad Niddery said the Buckeyes have to continue to build on the momentum they’ve generated in the last few games.
“We’re having upbeat practices, just making sure everybody’s still going hard and getting ready for the weekend. These teams are coming in, they’re fast. They work as hard as they can,” Niddery said. “We’ve got to match their work ethic, and we’ve got guys with a lot of skill, so as long as we show as much work ethic — and Logan (Davis) is there backing us up in the net — so we’ll definitely be on top of our game.”
The series will conclude a seven-game homestand in which the Buckeyes (6-4-0, 0-0-0) have only lost once, a 3-1 decision against Minnesota Duluth Nov. 1. OSU is set to open up Big Ten play at Ann Arbor, Mich., against rival Michigan Nov. 29.
The Buckeyes and Canisius are slated to face off Friday and Saturday at Schottenstein Center, with the puck set to drop at 7:05 p.m. for both games.