Maybe things are finally starting to go decently for the team that finished as conference runners up after an overtime loss in the Big Ten Tournament last spring. Maybe. Probably not, but maybe.
After allowing a goal that would be reversed that would have tied the score at four in the third period and then allowing another that actually legitimately did tie the score 4-4 in the third, the Ohio State Men's hockey team rallied in overtime to win on a goal by Anthony Greco with just 45.9 seconds left in the period to avoid the tie.
The Buckeyes haven't exactly held themselves up as contenders this season in conference play, especially after getting vaporized by Michigan before the winter break, but they got off to a decent start here in terms of points. In terms of controlling gameplay or looking like a decent team ... they did neither of those things.
Christian Frey got the start thankfully. Maybe Coach Rohlik is finally learning that Matt Tomkins is just not very good despite a decent run of play in the beginning of the season and that Christian Frey has been better overall since he got to Columbus. Frey again did a yeomen's job in net as he stopped 47 shots in regulation alone and obviously didn't give anything up in overtime. He faltered toward the end, obviously, but he was the only reason OSU had the opportunity to go up by four to begin with.
The game was scoreless after one, but OSU was lucky to be in that position as they allowed an absurd 18 shots on goal in the first while registering a decent eight themselves.
Luke Stork struck first in the game for the Buckeyes to give them the 1-0 lead at 16:45 of the second. The goal was originally credited to Nick Oddo. Freshman walk-on Christian Lampasso scored his first career collegiate goal later in the second at 19:21 to put the Buckeyes up 2-0. OSU rebounded quite well in that period and led in shots 16-13.
The third would start out fairly well for the Buckeyes too. Luke Stork scored his second of the game, with Nick Oddo again getting the primary assist, at 1:05 and Nick Schilkey followed that up with a goal at 2:45 of the third to put OSU up 4-0.
You'd think that would be a pretty safe lead in a hockey game in the third period. Meet the 2014-15 Ohio State Men's hockey team.
Casey Bailey scored for Penn State at 6:59 of the third. 4-1 is still more than ok. Things happen. Then Casey Bailey scored again at 8:06 of the third. Well, they say a two goal lead is the worst in hockey, but how bad would they have to be to give up two that quickly? Then David Goodwin scored to make it 4-3. There were still six minutes left. If you've followed this team this season, you know what's coming.
At 16:38, it looked to be the tying goal, as the puck slid into the net but it was ruled there was incidental contact with Frey so it stayed 4-3 OSU. Looked like OSU finally got a break!
And, we're under a minute left. It looked like OSU would find a way to get out of this.
Then Casey Bailey decided he wanted to see a cavalcade of hats rain down onto the ice. The goal would be reviewed but ultimately stand. We were heading to overtime. The Bucks found a way to blow a four goal third period lead. Fantastic.
But Anthony Greco helped the Bucks rally and put one home with just 45.9 seconds left to give OSU the win.
OSU was hopelessly outshot, but at least found a way to win the game despite the blown lead and the 20 shots allowed in the third. But, if they're outshot like that again or on any kind of normal basis, expect to see blowout losses like those of the Michigan game. Frey can't hold them at bay as well as he did until the third every game. And Matt Tomkins probably can't ever do it without porkers taking to the skies.
Treasure the victory, but realize the Buckeyes probably won't win too many like this. It looks like a step in the right direction but is really quite the opposite.