Well, maybe Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick won't be so missed after all.
The Ohio State Men's Hockey team upset No. 3/4 Providence 5-4 in overtime at Value City Arena after battling back over and over and over ... and over again until Anthony Greco netted his third goal of the game in overtime.
The Friars jumped out to 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 leads, but were caught every time by the Buckeyes. Greco tied the game at one and two. Captain Tanner Fritz tied it at three and four with his two goals on the night, his second coming with 7:50 remaining in the third and sending the game to overtime.
Greco scored from the top of the faceoff circle in overtime on the powerplay on a feed from freshman Matt Weis, who had two assists on the game.
For a team that was supposed to rely on its goaltending, OSU really stepped up its offensive game when it needed to last night. Christian Frey in net was far from perfect, though you wouldn't expect him to be against a ranked opponent, and the team needed its returning offensive players to step up. Greco only had ten career goals coming into the game, but upped his career output by 30% in one game.
We all know Christian Frey will probably put it together and will need to if the team wants to make another run to the Big Ten title game, but the most pressing issue on the team coming into the season was who was going to replace Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel's production. And Anthony Greco did his part to replace that. Greco and Fritz, two thirds of McCormick's line from last season, kept that chemistry going and put up five goals combined on one of the better teams in the country.
Really, this was about as encouraging a win for the Buckeyes as you could have realistically hoped for. We know the defense and goaltending will put it together, but the offense was a question and the solution tonight in Columbus.
Greco and Fritz aren't going to combine for five goals every night, but it looks like OSU may have found its offensive spark.
The Buckeyes are taking on Providence again tonight at 7 p.m. at the Schott in their second game of the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge.