In the second half of the home-and-home series with No. 19 Bowling Green, the Ohio State Men's hockey team fell 3-2 in a score mirroring the first game at Bowling Green.
It was another close contest with the outcome coming down to the final few minutes of the game. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Bowling Green's Brandon Hawkins scored at 17:20 of the third to put the Falcons up for good. The Buckeyes had just tied the game at 2 47 seconds earlier on a goal by Nick Schilkey.
OSU fell to 3-6-1 on the season so far, all in out of conference play, while Bowling Green improved to 8-3-1 overall.
Saturday's game was a back and forth affair, with the teams alternating goals, starting with Bowling Green's Mike Sullivan's goal in the first. The Bucks would tie it at 1, then Bowling Green took the lead at 2-1 before OSU tied it again on Schilkey's goal. Josh Healey scored OSU's first goal.
Tanner Fritz got a penalty shot in the first period, but couldn't convert. It was the Buckeyes' first penalty shot chance since 2008 versus Northern Michigan.
OSU was outshot overall, 30-29, but that is a little deceiving in terms of how the game went overall. The Buckeyes outshot Bowling Green 14-8 in the first but got obliterated in shots, 10-1, in the second, allowing Bowling Green to go up 2-1. Shots were 14-12 OSU in the third with the team trailing for all but 47 seconds of it.
Christian Frey got the start for OSU and again failed to put up a decent save percentage, allowing 3 goals on 29 shots, as his season percentage gets closer to the .900 mark. Maybe he's just having a hard time lately for whatever reason or he's let in a few outliers or just had bad defense in front of him, but Matt Tomkins has been the better goalie lately and should get the start for the first Big Ten game next weekend against Michigan State at Value City Arena.
It's been a disappointing out of conference slate for Ohio State, as they have faltered since the surprisingly offensive performances versus Providence to start the season, but after splitting with a ranked team this weekend, things are at least on the upswing going into Big Ten conference play.