This has certainly not been an ideal start for your Ohio State Buckeyes men's hockey team. After getting swept last weekend by Bowling Green, this weekend's home-and-home with No. 18 Miami started off with a similar result, a 3-2 loss.
Miami never trailed in Friday night's showdown at Value City Arena but couldn't put away the Buckeyes until a goal by Jack Roslovic put the RedHawks up 3-2 for good. Despite not trailing for a single second, the RedHawks asserted their dominance by outshooting the Buckeyes 30-27 for the game. This is a disturbing sign for the Buckeyes, who had similar issues last weekend. Scoring effects dictate that the leading team generally plays a more defensive style, for good or ill, and tends to be outshot during that period. And yet here are the Buckeyes being outshot without leading at all. Not great, Bob.
Matt Tomkins got his second straight start after outplaying Christian Frey in last weekend's series. This reeks of last season when Frey had a much shorter leash than Tomkins, presumably due to the latter's pedigree before coming to OSU that included being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks. Tomkins has been at least decent in both games so far this year, once again coming out with a .900 save percentage, while Frey struggled in the season opener, but there's no reason based on the last two seasons that Tomkins should be even in an equal time platoon with Frey just based off of raw statistics (mainly save percentage, the most reliable goalie statistic we've got) but here we are. So if Tomkins gets the start on Saturday at Miami, we have a problem.
Anyway, the RedHawks went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Andrew Schmit at 10:04 of the first. Shots were still 10-7 Miami going into the break. The Buckeyes would knot the game in the second period on a shorthanded goal from senior captain Anthony Greco at 13:06. The unassisted tally came off a forced turnover by Greco in the Miami zone.
The game would go into the second intermission tied at one with shots 13-11 in favor of Miami in the second frame. In the third, things kind of went off the rails. Just 3:14 in, Miami took the lead back once again on a Keifer Sherwood blast right off of a faceoff win in front of Tomkins. Kevin Morris won it back and got the lone assist. Ohio State put pressure on the RedHawks for the next 14 minutes before Greco struck again at 17:15 after receiving a pass down low in the zone from David Gust, who seems to be rapidly proving his late season heroics last year weren't a fluke. He may be the third best offensive player the Bucks have after Greco and Nick Schilkey.
But with just 1:33 remaining in the game, Roslovic potted his second goal of the season that would end up being the game winner. Ohio State ended up outshooting the RedHawks 9-7 in the third after having been down so long and playing with the empty net in the last minute, but it wasn't enough to keep pace with the 18th ranked team in the country.
There were certainly some positives, like Greco showing he could score without Tanner Fritz centering his line and Tomkins not being a complete disaster yet again, but the Bucks still fall to 0-3 and will look to get a W on the board this season when they play Saturday night at Miami at 8pm.