This was not quite an ideal start in conference play for Ohio State. The OSU mens hockey team fell once again to Minnesota, 5-4, and once again lost in overtime. Tonight it was the Buckeyes who would come back from down two goals in the third period, but Minnesota once again found a way to snatch an overtime victory.
Christian Frey got the start once again in net for Ohio State despite allowing three goals in the span of less than a period on Friday. He did save 37 out of 40 on Friday, however, so Matt Tomkins rode the pine for the second straight game. He wouldn't do quite as well tonight, saving only 35 out of 40 for just an .875 save percentage.
Minnesota started things off with a goal in the first by Tyler Sheehy, one of the architects of Friday's third period comeback. He put in his fifth of the season at 1:02 of the first to make it 1-0, and that score would hold until just over a minute into the second when Drew Brevig scored his first of the season for Ohio State to knot the game at one. Just three minutes later, at 4:34, Josh Healey scored his second of the season and second in as many games to put the Bucks up one. This is offensive production the Buckeyes haven't gotten from the backend this season and could open a new dimension going forward if it continues.
Minnesota would re-tie the game at 13:57 on a goal by Justin Kloos, his fourth of the year. That score would hold, despite Ohio State peppering Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn with 17 shots in the second. Minnesota had 12 shots of their own in the period. And somehow things would get even more hectic in the third.
All that chaos that Championship Saturday was missing found its way into the third period of this game. At just 1:13, Michael Brodzinski put Minnesota up one on a powerplay goal after David Gust was sent off with 18 seconds left in the second for tripping. Minnesota would again score at 2:37 with Sheehy putting up his second of the game.
Things looked like they were calming down with Minnesota having all the momentum on their side. Then things went sideways again, this time in favor of Ohio State. Mason Jobst scored his third of the season at 13:14 and then at 14:53, Minnesota's Ryan Collins was sent off with a game misconduct and major penalty for checking from behind. Ohio State would have a major powerplay for all of the rest of the game, save seven seconds.
They just couldn't put one home. Eventually, the Bucks pulled Frey and, with 27 seconds left and the extra attacker making it a 6-on-4 situation, Anthony Greco struck with his sixth of the season from Brevig and Gust. Things were really looking up for Ohio State. They did just what Minnesota did on Friday and looked to steal the win in overtime just like Minnesota did on Friday.
The same thing happened in overtime that happened on Friday. Minnesota scored just over a minute into the frame on a goal by Leon Bristedt, his eighth of the year. Ohio State had all the momentum, but Minnesota just turned it on in the overtime period, putting up five shots in just over a minute. There's only so much Frey can do in net.
So the Buckeyes fall to 3-11 overall on the season and now just have two overtime losses in conference play to their credit. They will get a break now to figure things out, as they won't be playing again until the Florida College Classic on December 28th and 29th. OSU will take on Cornell on the 28th and either Providence or Boston College on the 29th. No, I have no idea why these teams are playing in a Florida college tournament.