Ohio State just couldn’t pull off a bigger upset than Noah Brown declaring for the draft by sweeping the No. 2 team in the country. Failing to follow up on the 3-0 shutout victory over No. 2 Penn State on Friday night, No. 11 Ohio State was doubled up despite a spirited comeback on Saturday night in Columbus.
The Nittany Lions didn’t dominate to the same degree as they did on Friday in terms of shots on goal, leading this one only 43-26, but they didn’t trail for a single second in this one and Ohio State didn’t get any opportunity to shrink into a defensive shell and allow more shots, but ones of lesser quality.
They outshot Ohio State 12-5 in the first period, but once again were shut out in that first period. But this time, Ohio State couldn’t steal a goal late in the period and take that momentum into the intermission.
But 4:16 into the second, Brandon Biro put Penn State on top and gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Shots were 20-13 in the second and you’d have to give it up for Christian Frey keeping Ohio State in the game at this point.
The Buckeyes are known for their offense and you’d think they could score at least one on their first 18 shots, but it wasn’t to be. And once again, they just couldn’t generate more shots on goal in the third, even with them behind this time.
Generally when your team is behind, the other team plays more conservatively, allowing your team to get more offensive pressure and more shots on goal. Ohio State couldn’t generate any more and actually only put up eight shots on goal in the third despite trailing for about 20:00 of it.
The third period did go pretty far off the rails, if we’re being fair, though. Penn State looked like they broke it open when Erik Autio scored unassisted after stealing the puck in the defensive zone and whipping it past Frey on a 2-on-1 the other way.
Things would only get worse for Ohio State as Ricky DeRosa then scored for Penn State unassisted at 7:57 of the third. That penalty wouldn’t end quietly, however. Nikita Pavlychev was then sent off for hooking at 8:43 and suddenly Ohio State had a two man advantage.
Nick Schilkey would make Penn State pay. He scored his first of the game at 9:42 to end Zach Saar’s penalty with just six seconds remaining and then scored again at 10:25 to end Pavlychev’s penalty early and make it 3-2 all of a sudden. Mason Jobst had the loan assist on Schilkey’s first goal and Jobst and Miguel Fidler had the helpers on the second.
That’d be as close as Ohio State would get, however. They’d only generate one shot in the last five minutes of regulation, somehow, and David Gust would strangle any chance the team had left after being sent off at 18:24 for interference.
Christian Frey would go off for the extra attacker, but with Gust in the box, all that did was make it even strength once again. OSU’s anemic offense couldn’t get it done and find a way to put one past PSU goalie Peyton Jones. Penn State would add an empty net goal from Chase Berger at 19:59 and that’d be that.
Except for Tommy Parran getting the rare penalty at 20:00 of the third. That’s fun I guess. But Penn State gets the victory and the split in the series with the 4-2 victory.
Ohio State was probably lucky to get the split based on not being able to do much even when down to Penn State, but Christian Frey stole Friday’s game and got the team a victory against the No. 2 team in the nation. That isn’t nothing.
The Buckeyes will be back in action on Friday the 13th when they face the spooky horror of a hockey team from Arizona State.