The Ohio State football team wasn't the only Buckeye team to win Saturday afternoon. The Ohio State men's hockey team completed the sweep of Canisius with a 6-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes improved to 3-7 on the season with their third straight victory while the Golden Griffins fell to 2-7 following the sweep.
Things didn't start out too fantastically for the Buckeyes, however, as Ralph Cuddemi scored one on Matt Tomkins. It was his second goal in as many games versus OSU to put Canisius up 1-0 early in the first period. Mason Jobst would put home his second of the season for the Buckeyes to tie the score at one at 15:22 as it withstood review by officials. Matt Weis would give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game just under four minutes later with his fifth of the year. And then Nick Schilkey put up another to make it 3-1. He had one goal and two assists just in the first period.
Canisius would narrow the lead to one as Cameron Heath put home his first career collegiate goal. Those two Canisius goals were more first period goals scored by them than they had combined in their first eight games of the season, according to the team's Twitter account. Needless to say, it was not a banner start for the OSU blueline and goaltender.
Things would only get bleaker for OSU as Ohio State was called for a five minute major. That would prove to be a momentum swing for the Buckeyes, however, as they killed it off with no damage taken on the scoreboard. That kill kept the score at 3-2 in favor of Ohio State going into intermission, with the Buckeyes leading in shots 11-7. Both goalies put up horrid save percentages in that period, but when both teams are doing it at the same time, it's hard for one's goalie to completely ruin a team's chances to win.
Following the Script Ohio on the ice after the first period, the Buckeyes would add to their lead with a goal by David Gust on a rebound. Craig Dalrymple then got in on the fun with a powerplay goal to extend the OSU lead to 5-2. Weis took over the team lead for points just in this game with a goal and three assists through two periods. Schilkey was still "held" at just three.
But Canisius just wouldn't go away. They score two goals in the first 12 minutes of the third period to narrow the lead to 5-4 with goals by Daniel LaFontaine and Shane Conacher. It looked as if Tomkins was doing an impression of a NASA satellite falling back to Earth from space, but he wouldn't let in another Golden Griffin tally. OSU would cling to that 5-4 lead until they Anthony Greco put home an empty netter to seal up the victory.
The offense dominated versus a clearly inferior opponent, but Tomkins continues to be up and down with the poor performance today that nearly let Canisius steal one. You'd have to think that Tomkins gets to start the Bucks' next series in two weeks during Thanksgiving weekend at Nebraska-Omaha, but Christian Frey should get another chance if Tomkins continues his seesaw play.
It's hard to complain about a win, though, especially when they've been so hard to find this season for the Buckeyes.