If I've learned anything from the Ohio State Men's hockey team this year, it's that one game where they look competent is probably going to lead to about seven where they look like confused toddlers skating around.
And boy did we get that tonight in Ann Arbor as Michigan blew out the Buckeyes, 5-2, after OSU upset the Wolverines 5-3 on Friday in Columbus.
Senior Zach Hyman got the scoring party started off for Michigan at 13:30 of the first, and the score would remain 1-0 after one. Shots were only 9-8 Michigan, so it looked like the Buckeyes could come back again and upset the Wolverines. The game was at least looking vaguely similar as OSU fell behind 1-0 on Friday too.
Difference was that OSU actually came back in that game. That did not exactly happen this afternoon in Ann Arbor.
Dylan Larkin gave Michigan the 2-0 lead at 5:15 of the second and Zach Werenski would up the lead to three at 8:40. Larkin had assists on both Hyman and Werenski's goals in addition to his own tally and would register another assist later on Justin Selman's goal.
With 10:17 left in the second, it looked like OSU was given a breath of fresh air. Michigan's Mike Downing received a five minute major penalty for illegal contact to the head, and OSU's life support based chances at least had a shock. But in classic OSU fashion, they would be scoreless and have the powerplay cut short with 1:53 left on it as Sam Jardine got called for tripping.
Shots were 10-9 in the period in favor of OSU to even them out at 19 each for the game, but the major powerplay probably at least made that more narrow than under normal circumstances. It was nearly a quarter of a period, after all.
In the third, things wouldn't really get any better for the Buckeyes. Selman would give Michigan a 4-0 lead with a goal at 9:05 of the third. Tanner Fritz at least took OSU off of shutout watch as he scored his eight of the year at 12:25. But Michigan would take the lead back up to four as Werenski scored his second of the game at 14:45. Tyler Lundley scored the definition of a garbage time goal to take the lead back down to three with just over 25 seconds left, but 5-2 would be the ultimate final score.
OSU was down pretty much from the get-go in this one and just couldn't find a way to recover. Michigan pulled out all the stops after Friday, with Denard Robinson in attendance and a proposal happening on the ice and found a way to overpower a team they probably should be overpowering. It was nice sequel to the basketball upset this afternoon for the Wolverines.
Good thing the game in November mattered a lot more than this one.
In the end, the Buckeyes had mediocre goaltending at best, couldn't capitalize on offense and blew a golden opportunity on the five minute powerplay. There weren't any outrageous breaks or crazy happenings. Michigan played like they should have and Ohio State played like they usually do. And that equation equals an easy Michigan victory.