Even when things are looking good for Ohio State hockey this season, they end up in flames by the end of the game. The Ohio State mens hockey team had a two goal third period lead on Minnesota in OSU's Big Ten opener and found a way to lose 3-2 in overtime.
With the loss, Ohio State fell to 3-10 on the year and Minnesota improved to 5-7. Minnesota hasn't been their usual dominating selves this year, but it was still just too much for the Buckeyes in both teams' conference opener.
Things got off to a good start for the Buckeyes as Josh Healey scored from the point through a mass of humanity to give OSU a first period lead. Freshmen Freddy Girard and Dakota Joshua got the assists on Healey's first of the year at 8:53. The Bucks would take that 1-0 lead into the first intermission as Christian Frey stopped all seven Gopher shots.
Nick Schilkey put home his eighth of the season in the second on the powerplay at 3:06. Matt Weis and David Gust got the assists on the tally, with Gust's being his 11th helper of the season. He had a total of eight points all of last season. I don't know what's gotten into him since the Big Ten tournament last season, but he's been second only to Schilkey in offensive impact since then. Anyway, the Bucks took that 2-0 lead into the second intermission, with Frey stopping all 12 Minnesota shots in the period.
In the third, it all went belly up for Ohio State. Tyler Sheehy scored his fourth of the season for Minnesota on the powerplay at 6:10 of the third after Gust went off for elbowing at 4:17. Joshua would then get a cross-checking penalty at 13:54 and that would lead to Tommy Novak tying up the game at 15:33 of the third. The Bucks almost got through both penalty kills, but just couldn't get through those last few seconds in either. Frey still made thirteen saves in the third, but couldn't keep the lead. He made 37 saves for the game, for a .925 save percentage, but it just wasn't enough.
In overtime, Hudson Fasching scored Minnesota's first even strength goal of the game at 1:08 with Novak getting the primary assist. At least the overtime was pretty quick and painless. It was just Minnesota's second shot of the extra frame.
The bright side of this game is that it shows that Ohio State can compete with Big Ten competition, especially with the conference being down this season. And things can't really get more painful than this going forward. But OSU still lost, and moral victories can only help so much.
The two teams will face off once again tonight at 8pm at Minnesota. It really can't get worse.