Ohio State got a national showcase on ESPNU and decided to use this opportunity to its fullest, laying an egg against one of the worst Division 1 hockey teams. That’s right, No. 10 Ohio State lost to Arizona State in the shootout, 1-0, after the two teams were tied 2-2 through the overtime period.
The Buckeyes took out the Sun Devils 6-1 on Friday, but you could see some cracks in the armor if you were looking for them. Ohio State simply didn’t attack and assert themselves in the final two periods on Friday night, being badly outshot and seemingly willing to just run out the clock. But four goals on 16 shots against a far inferior team in the first period made that moot.
They didn’t quite have that kind of success on offense on Saturday afternoon in Columbus.
Only two goals against one of the worst teams wasn’t enough, though it almost was as ASU had to use the extra attacker to tie the game with just 26 seconds left in regulation. Ohio State couldn’t find the net in overtime or even once in the shootout, as Arizona State goalie Robert Levin kept them out of the back of the net after his team tied it.
The first period would be scoreless in this one, with ASU outshooting the Buckeyes, 8-6. That certainly wasn’t encouraging for Ohio State, but you would have thought they’d wake up eventually to the point of having some kind of attacking performance. They eventually did, but not until Arizona State took the 1-0 lead in the second.
Wade Murphy broke the 0-0 tie for ASU at 9:40 of the second on the powerplay after Brendon Kearney was sent off for roughing at 8:36. It took seven minutes for Ohio State to tie it and just 47 seconds after that to take the lead.
Kevin Miller tied it at 17:16 with assists from Ronnie Hein and Drew Brevig and then Mason Jobst scored a shorthanded tally at 18:03 with the loan assist going to not-Saints Row hacker-Matt Miller. OSU outshot the Sun Devils 9-7 in that period and looked like they would be able to assert their will in terms of scoring when they actually needed, shown as what happened within ten minutes of them falling behind.
The third period sure looked like it would have a goose egg on the scoreboard, with Ohio State surviving giving up powerplays due to penalties on Matt and Kevin Miller. But it was still 2-1 with just under a minute left. Arizona State pulled Levin and brought on the extra attacker and once it got down to 26 seconds, well, bad things, man.
Ohio State had two powerplays earlier in the period and couldn’t score and left the door open. This is a team you have to dominate. They’re inferior. If you want to have a chance in the conference against the Penn States of the world, you have to dominate teams you’re supposed to dominate, and Ohio State didn’t do that outside of the first period on Friday. The Sun Devils took advantage.
Tyler Busch was the Sun Devil who found the net against Frey, who made 26 saves in this one, with just those 26 seconds left and sent it to OT. Ohio State only had seven shots on goal in the third and just couldn’t put away a team that came in at 7-17-1.
Shots would be 3-2 in favor of ASU in the overtime, but neither team would be able to score, so onto the shootout we went, where Arizona State took advantage of OSU’s offensive dysfunction.
David Gust, Tanner Laczynski and Mason Jobst were stoned by Levin for Ohio State, while Busch and Robbie Baillargeon were stopped by Frey. But Wade Murphy put home Arizona State’s final attempt and sent the Sun Devils home with the shootout victory.
Ohio State will be back in action Friday and Saturday at No. 4 Penn State. If they don’t attack any more effectively than they did today, it won’t be pretty.