Ohio State showing dominance against inferior teams is not something we’ve seen lately as much as we should. But, boy, did it show up in the second period on Saturday night.
No. 14 Ohio State hockey went up 1-0 after twenty minutes, but obliterated Michigan State in the second, outshooting MSU 14-4 in the frame and retaining their lead. MSU had some puck luck in the second, scoring twice on their four shots, but Ohio State’s dominance allowed them to retain their lead despite that disadvantage.
The first and third periods weren’t nearly as impressive, but Ohio State found a way to scrape by and maintain their lead throughout, never trailing or even spending a second tied after scoring their first goal.
The first period wasn’t so nice in the shot total department, with OSU trailing 6-9. But Matt Miller, who had two assists on Friday night, scored at 12:17. His second in three games, on the powerplay, was assisted by Matt Joyaux and Weis.
That’d be all that would appear on the scoreboard in the first, but the second would look like a 1980s Oilers game in comparison. Nick Schilkey scored his 23rd of the year just 1:18 into the second, taking a feed in the offensive zone and firing a sharp angle shot low in the zone to make it 2-0. David Gust got the primary assist for the feed and Gordi Myer had the secondary helper. His 23rd is the most for a Buckeye since 2005.
Brendon Kearney would make it 3-0 in favor of OSU just 27 seconds later, at 1:45 and this one sure looked like it was going to be a laugher. If I told you Michigan State would only register four shots in the second despite being down 3-0, you’d think they got their doors blown off. They did, but still found a way to score. Twice.
Logan Lambdin scored quickly after Kearney, at 2:36 and Mason Appleton made it a one goal game at 13:16, just over ten minutes later. Suddenly, Ohio State looked like they were in deep trouble, but they didn’t stop attacking and give MSU any more chances than they earned.
Michigan State wouldn’t score again in that period and OSU took that 3-2 lead into the intermission. Ohio State would go back to their defensive shell in the third, only registering four shots of their own, but they only allowed six in net and would find a way to hold on.
Weis would provide an ultimately-much needed insurance goal, as he took a feed from John Wiitala after Wiitala won an offensive zone faceoff and put it home. Ohio State was back up two goals, 4-2.
Michigan State wasn’t done, however. The Spartans looked like they got within one with 6:02 left in the third, but Ohio State challenged, thinking that MSU came into the zone offside. The goal, unfortunately for the Buckeyes, was upheld and the lead was down to just one.
But that was all that the Spartans would get. Michigan State would get three shots within the last four plus minutes, but weren’t able to find a way to put one into the OSU net. The Buckeyes held on by a score of 4-3 and improved to 16-8-6 in conference and 7-6-1-1 in conference. MSU falls to 6-19-3 overall and 2-10-2 in conference after the weekend.
The Buckeyes will face the team from Michigan they’ve had substantially more problems with, the Wolverines, next weekend in Columbus and they hope to avenge the split from two weekends ago.