In an effort reminiscent of the early season battles against Providence, the Ohio State Men's hockey team upset a ranked team last night and the fact that it happened to be Michigan makes it all the sweeter.
The Buckeyes took down the No. 15 Wolverines, 5-3, at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes improved to 9-16-2 overall and 4-9 in Big Ten play, while Michigan fell to 16-11 overall and 8-5 in Big Ten play.
The game looked like it was going according to script to start, however, as Dylan Larkin scored at 3:52 for Michigan. Matt Johnson tied it for OSU just under four minutes later, at 7:35, however. Johnson would then score again at 18:16 to put the Bucks up 2-1 heading into the first intermission. They were his 11th and 12th goals of the year. The most encouraging part was that OSU led in shots after the first period as well, 11-10, showing that this wasn't just a fluke or luck; the Buckeyes were standing toe to toe with their rivals.
Things looked to be evening out again and going to form in the second when Zach Hyman tied it for Michigan at 4:45. But just 146 seconds later, at 7:11, Tanner Fritz put the Buckeyes back on top, on a rebound off of a Matt Johnson shot. The Buckeye seniors just weren't going to be denied on Friday. It was Fritz's seventh of the season and 100th career point as a Buckeye. Shots were 13-12 Michigan in that period, and 23-23 overall heading into the third. It was as even as a game could be.
In the third, the Buckeyes would put it away. Another senior, Darik Angeli, put OSU up 4-2 at 17:55 of the third, a lead Ohio State wouldn't relinquish. Tyler Motte narrowed the lead to one after the Wolverines pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but at 19:25, Nick Schilkey scored into the still empty net to put OSU up 5-3 and seal the victory.
Michigan dominated the third with a 16-9 shot advantage, making the totals 39-32 for the game, but that was to be expected with them being more talented and behind in the third. But the Christian Frey of last season came to play and put up a .923 save percentage to hold the Wolverines at bay. Michigan's Steve Racine's number, .875, wasn't quite as good.
Ohio State and Michigan will meet again on Sunday night, this time in Ann Arbor, to close out their series at 5 p.m.