This does not seem like it's going to be a fun season for the Ohio State mens hockey team, regardless of who or how they play. Despite dominating the entire game in nearly every facet last night, the Buckeyes fell to Mercyhurst, 2-1, at Value City Arena.
When you have a 40-16 shot advantage as well as a penalty shot int he same game, the only way you'd be happy with only one goal is if your team was made up of 19 John Scotts going up against peak Dominik Hasek. That was not the case last night in Columbus, where Mercyhurst improved to 6-3 after weathering the Buckeye storm for three periods.
Things looked good for the Buckeyes after one period. Drew Brevig set up Nick Schilkey who then sliced through the defense to put in a shot over Mercyhurst goalie Brandon Wildung to make it 1-0 at 10:19. That'd be the only scoring in the first, with OSU taking that lead as well as a 12-4 shot advantage into the dressing room.
The second wouldn't be nearly as kind to OSU as Derek Barach scored for the Lakers on an odd man rush just 58 seconds into the middle frame. At 9:40, it looked like the Bucks were going to be able to get that one back as Mason Jobst was tripped after he beat his defender on the powerplay. A dubious penalty shot call was made (it didn't look like a free enough opportunity for a penalty shot, but I digress) but Jobst couldn't convert.
Mercyhurst made Ohio State pay for that failed conversion when they took the lead they'd ultimately hold onto at 15:14 of the second. The Lakers capitalized on a turnover shorthanded and set up Kyle Cook on a breakaway to put one past Christian Frey. Shots were still 14-5 in favor of OSU in the second, so it looked like they'd have enough opportunities to knot things up in the third. Alas, twas not to be.
Nobody could put home a single tally in the third, and the score would remain 2-1 in favor of Mercyhurst. Shots were 14-7 in favor of OSU in the third, but that along with pulling Frey with over two minutes left just wasn't enough.
There's not really much bad to take from this game from OSU aside from the final score, which I guess sounds ridiculous but stay with me here. The Buckeyes showed they can still dominate a team they should dominate. They outshot them and outplayed them. But when Anthony Greco's hitting posts and penalty shots aren't going in, sometimes you just have to be sorry about your dang luck.
The Bucks will look to get their first win of the season in the rematch at Value City Arena today at 4pm. If they can't even split with Mercyhurst, it'll be fitting that the scariest moment of the season comes on Halloween.