Rensselaer hockey went 8-28-1 for the 2016-17 season. So of course they come in and tie your Ohio State men’s hockey team, 1-1. (I’m sure the OSU fans in attendance in Columbus, Ohio thoroughly enjoyed this one.)
Much like their cross town hockey bros, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who last season dined out on a higher than sustainable shooting percentage and save percentage, Ohio State had basically a zero percent chance of repeating their otherworldly shooting percentage of last season. Nick Schilkey shot 28.4 percent last season; that may have been cut by two-thirds if he had come back this season.
I had a hard time even picking any offensive breakout players since nearly everyone had higher than average shooting percentages last season. None of this was going to be sustainable offensively.
But you’d think it’d come down over the course of a season.
So naturally, it all comes rushing back to the mean in the third game of the season.
Ohio State registered 57 (57!) shots on goal to RPI’s 24 and somehow didn’t score more than one. Unless 1998 Dominik Hasek decided to travel forward in time and register to take some engineering classes in upstate New York, I have no idea how this happened.
In the scoreless first, the Buckeyes outshot the Engineers (how imaginative) by a tally of 12-4. Okay, not scoring on only 12 shots is not completely abnormal. Then Dakota Joshua scored his first of the year just 2:34 into the second, with assists from Sam McCormick and John Wiitala, and the Bucks sure seemed to be on their way!
They wouldn’t score again, but RPI would!
Seven minutes and a single second later, Jared Wilson scored for Rensselaer on one of their four shots in the second. Ohio State outshot RPI 26-4 in the second frame and somehow the game was still tied.
Talk about a PDO regression. Ohio State’s happened in one period, much less over an entire season.
In both the third and overtime, nobody scored, hence the 1-1 tie. Shots were relatively close in the third, with OSU coming out on top 15-11 on shots. Rensselaer actually outshot OSU in overtime—but still nobody scored.
In the shootout, that doesn’t actually count for anything after the game, Mason Jobst was the only shooter of three for either team who potted one, so Ohio State has that on paper to take home, I guess.
But it’ll still go down in the books as a tie. Yup.
The Buckeyes went 0-6 on the powerplay with seven shots on goal. RPI’s only goal came on the powerplay in the second, though they finished only an alright 1-5 on the powerplay, not capitalizing on their opportunities either.
If I had been at this game I would’ve been having a conniption as Ohio State continued to pepper RPI goalie Chase Perry, who sounds like the new roommate on Zoey 101 after another cast member quit. (I swear, half female cast members on that show quit or were fired every year. Yeah the show was horrible. Yeah I watched every episode. What about it?)
Anyway, at least Sean Romeo stepped his game up and stopped 23/24 shots for Ohio State and they didn’t give this one away completely. Joshua had eight shots and Luke Stork, John Wiitala and Matthew Weis had five each. That’s one shy of the entire RPI total. Yeah.
Thankfully, the Buckeyes will have a chance to redeem themselves on Saturday night when they host Rensselaer once again at the Schott. It can’t get much more infuriating than this one.