After looking terrible on Thursday, the Ohio State Men's hockey team rallied in Columbus on Friday and shut out Big Ten rival Michigan State, 3-0.
Matt Tomkins got his second consecutive start for Ohio State and put up a slightly better performance than his .850 SV% job he put up on Thursday. He faced 29 shots from MSU and stopped them all en route to the victory.
There was no scoring in the first period, though OSU led in shots, 14-11. In the second, Ohio State took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Matt Johnson and extended the lead to two on a score by Nick Schilkey. Shots were only 7-6 in favor of MSU in that period, but OSU capitalized on their opportunities. In the final third, OSU added another goal by Darik Angeli to put the game completely out of reach. Shots in that period were 11-8 in favor of MSU, with Matt Tomkins stopping all of them for his first collegiate shutout. Tomkins' save percentage is up to .917 on the year, getting back to that respectable range that has eluded both him and Christian Frey since the early part of the season.
Tomkins seems to have taken the bull by the horns and locked up, at least for now, the primary goaltender position. If he plays like his did on Friday, it will be hard for Frey to get it back, but if he plays like he did on Thursday, you could stick Frey in there with two broken legs and it wouldn't get much worse. But hopefully for OSU's sake, he'll trend more toward Friday than Thursday.
Goaltending has been the biggest issue for OSU so far this year and if they can get anything close to what they got on Friday, the team is in a much better position.
OSU moved to 4-7-1 on the year and to 1-1 in Big Ten play, while Michigan State fell to 4-7 and 1-1 in Big Ten play. OSU will play next Friday in the Shillelagh Tournament at Notre Dame, with Western Michigan as OSU's opponent in the first round. Notre Dame will take on defending national champions Union on the other side of the bracket.