We all probably knew Ohio State's two game winning streak wouldn't last, but that doesn't make this any better.
Coming off two confidence building wins against Penn State last weekend that effectively shelved any chance for PSU to win the Big Ten regular season title, the Ohio State Men's hockey team hoped to carry that momentum into this weekend's two game series against No. 15 Minnesota. Alas, it was not to be.
The Golden Gophers, one of college hockey's traditional powers, took down the Buckeyes 4-2 in Value City Arena last night behind a strong performance from goalie Adam Wilcox and a varied offensive attack.
In the first, at 13:04, Justin Kloos put Minnesota up 1-0 but just 12 seconds later at 13:16, Craig Dalrymple scored his first of the season for the Buckeyes. It was yet another shot from the point finding its way in for the Buckeyes, joining the likes of Sam Jardine and Josh Healey who accomplished similar feats over the last couple of games. They aren't the highest quality shots, but hey if they're going in due to screens or whatever other reason, keep doing it.
But exactly four minutes after Minnesota scored its first goal, at 17:04, Sam Warning put the Gophers back on top. But just 19 seconds later, Tyler Lundley scored off a redirection on a feed from Anthony Greco to tie it back up. It looked like OSU had an answer for everything Minnesota did. Minnesota outshot OSU 14-8, but as long as Christian Frey could stay solid, it looked like the Buckeye offense would be able to keep them in the game. That is not a sentence I have uttered often in these articles.
But Christian Frey couldn't hold Minnesota off the scoreboard and the offense wouldn't be able to put up another goal for the entirety of the game. Minnesota took the lead it would ultimately win by in the second, with goals by Kyle Rau at 6:10 and Seth Ambroz at 15:36, making the score 4-2.
Shots were actually closer in that period, only 12-8 in favor of Minnesota, but the Buckeyes couldn't answer and the team was on life support going into the third. The Buckeyes did outshoot Minnesota 10-6 in the third, but couldn't slip another past Wilcox, even with an extra attacker on for the final 3:31 of the game.
There's not too much to get upset about in this game as Minnesota's clearly the superior team and has blossomed in Big Ten play, going 10-4-3 so far in conference. The Buckeyes weren't favorites but at least stuck around for most of the game.
The two teams will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in Value City Arena for the rematch and Senior Night for the Buckeyes.