Carson Meyer might never top the game he had Friday night while playing for the Ohio State men's hockey team.
The Powell native, former AAA Blue Jackets standout and sixth-round pick of the Blue Jackets started scoring and couldn't stop in a Big Ten opening-round playoff game vs. Wisconsin. Meyer started the college hockey postseason right with four goals and an assist on the No. 11 Buckeyes' first five goals, leading a 9-1 slaughter of the Badgers.
Had the senior ever scored four goals in one game?
"I don't think I ever have," he admitted afterward. "I don't know. I had a hat trick in the USHL. That was the last time I've done something like that."
Things started innocuously enough for Meyer, as he outmuscled a Badgers' defender for the puck as he cut to the net, then quickly spun and fed Colin Peters for his teammate's first career goal to give OSU a 1-0 lead 7:41 into the game.
Meyer's tallies came fast and furious from there. First, he found a rebound and slid it under Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry to make it 2-0. Then, early in the second, he and Tate Singleton worked a 2-on-1 perfectly, as Singleton fed Meyer in alone and he sniped one past the glove of Berry. The hat trick goal then came at 4:42 of the second, as he stripped a Badgers play to create a breakaway and didn't miss, making it 4-0. Finally, the fourth goal for Meyer came on the power play midway through the second as he was open at the top of the circle and gave OSU a 5-0 lead.
As one might expect out of a hockey player, though, Meyer shifted the credit to his teammates after the standout performance, OSU's first four-goal game for a player since 1992.
"I just kept trying to play the right way, and I was the lucky one tonight who got the bounces," he said. "I had some good passes to me and stuff like that."
Meyer added his 17th goal of the season Saturday to help the Buckeyes to a 2-1 overtime victory to complete the two-game sweep of the Badgers, moving the team on to the Big Ten semifinals. OSU will face Michigan on Sunday in Columbus.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, 19th-ranked Minnesota and Robbie Stucker advanced to the Big Ten quarterfinal with a three-game series win over Notre Dame. The seventh-round pick in the 2017 draft had an assist in the series, and now the big blueliner and the Golden Gophers take on Big Ten regular-season champ Penn State in the semifinal.
And in the NCHC, Peter Thome returned to the net as the No. 2 North Dakota squad finished its regular season Saturday with a 5-0 shutout of Omaha. Thome made 17 saves in the victory, his second shutout of the year. The sixth-round pick in 2016 finishes the regular season with a 7-1-1 record, 1.37 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. The Fighting Hawks take on Colorado College in a three-game series next weekend.
In Hockey East play, UConn finished its regular season with a 3-1 loss vs. No. 12 UMass-Lowell, but the Huskies did get a goal from Blue Jackets draft pick Kale Howarth. The fifth-round pick in 2017 banged one home from in front to give him six goals and 16 points in his sophomore season. The Huskies will play Maine in an HEA quarterfinal next weekend.
Christiansen stays hot after signing: Last week, the Blue Jackets pulled off a nice signing, bringing in defenseman Jake Christiansen to the fold. The Everett Silvertips blueliner with elite offensive skill leads all WHL defensemen in goals, and he extended that lead in his first game since signing with Columbus.
Taking on Tri-City on Friday night, the 20-year-old scored twice in a 6-1 victory. He also added an assist, giving him 22 goals and 50 points this year.
He'd go on to add an assist in Sunday's game for the Silvertips. In all, Christiansen's 1.34 points per game are good for 10th in the WHL, and he is plus-29 in just 38 games.
Monsters Monday: The Cleveland Monsters, the top affiliate of the Blue Jackets, continued their downward slide with a pair of home losses to Laval last week, giving the team a 1-7-2 mark in its last 10 games.
It appears injuries, callups and all that turnover have caught up with the team, as the Monsters dropped a 5-2 game Thursday at home to the Rocket before falling 5-1 on Friday night.
In the opening game, Veini Vehvilainen got the start and made 16 saves, but Laval built a 3-0 lead and finished off the win. Brendan Troock and Sam Vigneault scored for the Monsters. In game two, Brad Thiessen was in net and made 19 saves, while Dillon Simpson got the lone Cleveland goal.
The team, which is in last place in the AHL's North Division, plays Tuesday and Wednesday at Charlotte before returning home Sunday to take on Rochester in a game that will be shown on SportsTime Ohio.
- Liam Foudy extended his point streak to 18 with a goal and an assist in London's victory Sunday vs. Oshawa. Foudy now has a 28-40-68 line in 45 OHL games this year, and the 2018 first-round pick has 13 goals and 34 points in that 18-game span.
- Both Kirill Marchenko (SKA St. Petersburg) and Dmitri Voronkov (Ak Bars Kazan) have seen their teams advance to the second round of the KHL playoffs as they battle for the Gagarin Cup. The two 19-year-olds each contributed to the series wins, as Marchenko (second round, 2018) had three goals and two assists in four games while Voronkov (fourth round, 2019) had a goal and an assist in four games.