Ohio State junior face-off specialist Justin Inacio and senior attack Tre Leclaire have been named the Big Ten’s Specialist of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week, respectively.
Inacio made history in the face-off X for the Buckeyes against Cornell, winning a school-record 30 of 37 draws. The 30 face-off wins by Inacio not only represented an Ohio State record, but also the most ever by a Big Ten player, and the third most in an NCAA game. Only Matthew Pedicine of Hobart (32 wins against Siena in 2019) and TD Ierlan of Yale (31 wins against Georgetown in 2019) have won more in a single game.
In addition to setting a Big Ten record with 30 face-off wins, Inacio also picked up a game-high 13 ground balls. The Oakville, Ontario native won 44 of 61 (.721) in the X across two games. Displaying excellent consistency, Inacio has won 10 or more face-offs in 19 consecutive contests dating back to his freshman season in 2018.
Entering his third year studying biology, Inacio participated in the Huntington Bucks Go Pro 2.0 class this past summer and worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a surgical student intern. He was one of only two undergraduates to present his research at the SENTAC national convention in December. Inacio’s research focused on the tolerance of one-way in-line speaking valves in the neonatal population, per Ohio State.
Leclaire also put together an impressive week to earn offensive player of the week honors. He tied his career highs in both goals (six) and points (eight) against Cornell.
The six-goal outing moved Leclaire into sole possession of second place on the Buckeyes’ all-time goals scored list. The Surrey, British Columbia, native boasts 135 goals in 54 career games, just 12 shy of tying Logan Schuss, who had 147 from 2010-13.
Leclaire ranks No. 13 nationally and third in the Big Ten this season in goals per game (3.71). He’s scored multiple goals in 17 of the last 18 games that he’s played in since the start of the 2019 season.
With the season being cut short to concerns regarding the coronavirus, it remains to be seen if the player’s will be granted an extra year of eligibility. An extra season could help Leclaire enhance his already incredible Buckeye résumé, allowing him to become the program’s all-time goal scorer.
For four free issues of the weekly print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/