COLUMBUS — What started as a good-natured text message became reality for Gordi Myer.
The Sylvania native’s first season at Ohio State had the standard highs and lows of a freshman year, as Myer bounced in and out of the lineup during the season. The defenseman appeared in 21 of Ohio State’s first 38 games and did not play in the Big Ten tournament.
Then everything changed. Defenseman Josh Healey took a game misconduct in the conference tournament and earned a suspension, and the Buckeyes received an at-large bid to play in the NCAA tournament, forcing Myer into the lineup for the postseason.
Myer’s teammate, David Gust, joked the game would be a good time for Myer to score his first goal — and Myer just happened to take the advice. He scored the most important goal of the season, a tally that tied the game with Minnesota Duluth in the third period.
“Big players show up in big games and that’s always the kind of player I wanted to be, and the kind of player I want to be here,” Myer said. “Just to get in there and seize my opportunity kind of proved to myself and everyone that I can play in big games.”
The Buckeyes lost the game in overtime, but Myer’s final game as a freshman provided a measure of affirmation he can play at college hockey’s highest levels.
“Scoring a big-time goal in a game like that tells me he has the ability to be there,” Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said. “He has the ability to get those type of minutes.
“He’s never going to forget it, I know that. That’ll carry with him for him forever.”
Ohio State is ranked No. 19, and split a two-game series with No. 12 Wisconsin to begin the season.
Myer grew up playing for the Sylvania Maple Leafs travel team and went to Northview as a freshman and sophomore before moving to the Cleveland area to be closer to his travel team, the Cleveland Barons, one of the region’s better youth programs.
He then played a season in the United States’ top junior league, the USHL, before coming to Ohio State. At 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds, Myer is somewhat undersized for a defenseman, but his best attribute always has been skating.
Myer saw time on the power play last season, and scored four of nine points with the man-advantage. His challenge in Year 2 — now that he has returned from offseason shoulder surgery — is to become a more complete player for Ohio State.
“I want to be an all-around guy. I don’t want to be just an offensive defenseman,” Myer said. “I have to be a two-way guy that can play in every situation.”
In one season of college hockey, Rohlik said he saw significant development from his young defenseman.
With continued growth, Rohlik said Myer will only continue to improve for Ohio State.
“He’s come a long way,” Rohlik said. “His whole game is still evolving. I think his best hockey’s still ahead of him.”
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.