The Ohio State mens hockey team fell behind the finally victorious Columbus Blue Jackets in wins, with OSU falling to 0-6 on the season after a 6-4 loss at No. 3 Providence Saturday night. And this one wasn't even as close as the final score would lead you to believe.
Matt Tomkins came down to earth faster than the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, allowing three goals in the first period and only making 26 saves on 32 shots over the course of the game. Despite the molasses-slow start, Coach Steve Rohlik stuck with Tomkins, who'd only come out for the extra attacker late in the third. Free Christian Frey.
Providence struck first as Brandon Tanev put one past Tomkins at 4:30 of the first period. Kevin Rooney put the Friars up 2-0 at 13:18 during a delayed penalty and Ryan Tait added a third at 18:44. Providence put up an unholy 19 shots in the first period to OSU's paltry 5 and looked to have this entire game put away faster than OSU football did at Rutgers.
The Buckeyes showed some measure of heartbeat in the second however, as they'd narrow the lead to two goals. Tyler Lundey scored his first of the year, shorthanded, at 9:55, off a rebound on a Nick Schilkey shot. John Gilmour extended the Friar lead back to three with a goal on the powerplay at 10:58 before OSU answered right back with a deflection goal by Luke Stork off a shot by Kevin Miller, with the second assist going to team points leader David Gust.
In the third, the defending NCAA champions put up two goals within 39 seconds of each other, both on the powerplay, to pretty much seal this one up. Jake Walman put the first one home at 5:36 and former Calgary Flames first round draft pick Mark Jankowski extended the lead to four with another at 6:15.
Ohio State at least tried making this one look closer than it was, with freshman John Wiitala scoring his first collegiate goal at 12:37. Matt Weis added another soon after, but that's all the Bucks could do, even after pulling Tomkins with over four minutes left. The Friars couldn't put another home, but the Bucks couldn't add any, so 6-4 ended up as the final score from Providence.
This one easily could've turned out differently if Tomkins hadn't bombed in net, but even if Christian Frey had gotten the start and played reasonably well, you'd have to think that Providence would've kept their foot on the defensive gas and not allowed four goals to a struggling Buckeye team.
Either way, Providence completes the sweep of the Ohio State mens team and moves to 4-0-1 on the year while OSU falls to 0-6. The Buckeyes will try to match the Blue Jackets' sole win next weekend when they host Mercyhurst next Friday and Saturday at Value City Arena. If they can't win a single one of those, this is going to be a long season.