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Ohio State men’s hockey swept by Providence, off to program-worst start

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OSU then sophomore goalie Christian Frey (30) during a game against Omaha on August 11, 2014 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File Photo

OSU then-sophomore goalie Christian Frey (30) during a game against Omaha on Nov. 8 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Starting out the season 0-4 is never a good thing.

But trying to find the first win against the defending national champion proved to be a task too tall for the Ohio State men’s hockey team.

OSU (0-6) traveled to No. 3 Providence (4-0-1) to take on the Friars for a weekend series and were beaten twice by scores of 2-1 on Friday and 6-4 the following day.

In front of a crowd of 3,033 on Friday night — the first time the Buckeyes and the Friars faced off in Rhode Island’s capital city — Providence jumped ahead 15:24 into the first period when senior defenseman Tom Parisi filtered in his first goal of the season assisted by freshman Erik Foley and junior defenseman Anthony Florentino.

Florentino found the back of the net himself 6:22 into the middle period to swell the Friar’s lead to 2-0. Senior forward Steven McParland and freshman forward Ryan Tait assisted on the play.

Just five minutes later, OSU cut the deficit in half when sophomore forward Matthew Weis scored on the power play.

Junior forward David Gust had the assist on the Weis tally. Gust leads the team in points through six games with a goal and five assists.

OSU junior netminder Matt Tomkins made 28 saves on 30 shots while the junior guarding the other cage, in Nick Ellis, had 26 saves on 27 shots.

The Scarlet and Gray went 1-of-4 with the man advantage, while Providence didn’t score on any of its four opportunities.

In the series finale, 2,764 fans checked into Schneider Arena to watch six goals by six different Friars overpower four goals by four different Buckeyes.

Providence held a 6-2 lead in the third period following senior forward Mark Jankowski’s third goal of the season at the 6:15 mark, but OSU did try and climb back into it.

Weis notched his second lamp-lighter of the weekend with 7:54 left in the game and freshman forward John Wiitala scored his first collegiate goal a mere 31 seconds after that.

The two quick tallies were a nice spark for the Buckeyes, but the hole they dug themselves into was too deep to dig out of.

OSU, despite taking the loss, outshot Providence 34-32 in the contest.

Tomkins and Ellis were again the starters, as Tomkins made 26 stops while Ellis made 30.

Penalties cost the Buckeyes dearly in game No. 2.

OSU took 10 penalties, three of which were cashed in on by the Friars. Two of the Buckeyes’ goals came via the power play, as OSU went 2-of-6 on the night.

Five of OSU’s six losses this season have come by two goals or less. The six losses mark the worst start in program history.

The Scarlet and Gray will look for that elusive first win next weekend as they are set to take on Mercyhurst at the Schottenstein Center on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s puck drop is set for 7 p.m. while Saturday’s face-off penciled in to begin at 4 p.m.

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