Ohio State University enjoyed running roughshod over eastern seaboard schools today. The football team toyed with Maryland and won by 59. The hockey team dominated every facet of the game versus UConn except the scoreboard.
Ohio State hockey officially tied with UConn, 3-3, and lost in and exhibition shootout held after the overtime period ended, 2-1 in five rounds. The final score and shootout would have you think this was an even tilt that could’ve gone either way. That was hardly the case.
UConn was outshot 49-17 over the three periods plus overtime. The first period the shots were just eight apiece, with the Huskies scoring two to OSU’s one and taking that lead into the first intermission. So the onslaught didn’t start right away. Tage Thompson scored both UConn goals, both on separate powerplays, at 2:30 and 9:45 respectively.
Mason Jobst got one back for the Buckeyes at 12:11 with his third of the year. Nick Schilkey had the lone assist. Maybe Christian Frey was shaking off the rust still from his return this weekend. His save percentage has been far from fantastic this season, but Ohio State doesn’t really have any other viable options in net at this point, so they had to keep riding the Texan.
He’d be solid the rest of the game, but wouldn’t really face much. In fact, he’d only face two shots in the second period total. Ohio State had 25 of their own. Yes, Ohio State outshot UConn 25-2 in the second period. That’s the kind of thing I’d imagine would happen to Rutgers if they ever formed a D1 hockey team.
Unfortunately for the Bucks, only one goal would find its way past UConn netminder Rob Nichols. Schilkey scored his tenth of the season from Luke Stork and Matthew Weis at 4:36, but that’d be it for the period. Despite playing probably the best period they’re ever going to play in their collegiate careers, the Buckeyes couldn’t pull ahead.
They would get that go ahead goal just 1:11 into the third, however. David Gust kept his hot streak going one night after his hat trick, with his eighth of the year, on the powerplay. Dakota Joshua and Jobst had the assists.
UConn only had six shots in the third, and yet still one found its way in. Brian Morgan’s third of the year at 10:20 tied the game up once again and for good. OSU would outshoot UConn 14-6 in that third period and still not be able to get another in to take a win they more than earned.
Poor goaltending will only get you so far even if you completely run another team off the ice, and saving 14/17 shots is not going to get you to becoming a competitive top tier Big Ten team. Frey has to be better or Matt Tomkins will get every chance to take the job, and he’s had yet to seize it in his years of opportunity.
Ugliness between the pipes aside, the Buckeyes dominated possession and would win this game going away 99 out of 100 times. They only had two shots on goal in overtime to UConn’s one and lost the exhibition shootout, but the latter’s barely hockey anyway. There’s probably just as much value in watching Tyler Durbin kick field goals into a net and comparing that to his normal on field kicks, for reference. It’s useless.
The Buckeyes should have gotten a sweep, but they’ll have to settle for the 1-0-1 weekend against a middling Hockey East team. It could have been worse — just look at last weekend’s debacle against Robert Morris. OSU will get the chance to avenge these mediocre results with two games at Rensselaer next weekend before opening Big Ten play on December 2 at Minnesota.