It just goes to show you that if you don’t get run out of the building in the first two periods, you have a much better chance of winning.
The No. 11 Ohio State mens hockey team proved that on Saturday night by hanging with Michigan through two periods and then taking them down in the third. Their valiant comeback effort failed on Friday, as the deficit was just too large to overcome after being dominated in the first two periods. But Michigan was only up one heading into the third last night, and Ohio State took their shot and hit.
The game started on a much better note than Friday’s affair as Nick Schilkey scored his 19th of the year, on the powerplay, just 5:32 into the game. Mason Jobst and Gordi Myer got the assists, extending Jobst’s point streak to twelve games. Schilkey one timed a Jobst feed to put OSU up one early.
Cooper Marody continued his assault on the Buckeyes with his fourth goal in the two game series, unassisted, at 9:01, before Dakota Joshua put OSU back on top just over three minutes later at 12:08. Joshua put in a David Gust rebound for his sixth of the year. Sasha Larocque had the secondary assist.
Michigan apparently didn’t like this, however, as they’d score the next two goals and send the game into the intermission with a 3-2 UM lead. Sam Piazza and Jake Slater scored within 1:27 of each other late in the period and gave the Wolverines all the momentum heading into the dressing room.
Christian Frey had another poor performance, giving up three goals on 15 shots in the first. He’d only last 6:51 into the second when James Sanchez made it 4-2 Michigan. In came Matt Tomkins. For the second straight game, he provided a steadying presence between the pipes and gave OSU a chance for a comeback.
Jobst started the Bucks on the comeback trail just 3:24 later as he redirected a Myer shot on the powerplay to make it 4-3. His eleventh of the year was also assisted by Gust as well.
Max Shuart stopped the Buckeye momentum just over 5:17 later and made it 5-3, restoring the two goal Wolverine lead. That’d be all that Tomkins would give up, however. At 17:49 of the second, John Wiitala scored his ninth of the year to cut down the lead to a single goal heading into intermission, with a good amount of momentum heading the Buckeye direction. Tanner Laczynski and Matthew Weis had the helpers.
Michigan would get no more offensive help in the third period. OSU didn’t dominate, only outshooting Michigan by an 11-8 tally, but with a steadying net presence provided by Tomkins once again, the team made its comeback, and this time came through.
Jobst scored again, this time deflecting a Schilkey pass past UM goalie Hayden Lavigne. Jobst said see ya later boi and the game was tied. Weis had the secondary assist.
The game would remain tied at five until there were just 30 seconds left in regulation. It looked like this one was going to go to overtime, a result Michigan surely would have taken after surviving a comeback attempt on Friday. But Brendon Kearney found Mason Jobst who hit Schilkey in the high slot. Nick didn’t fail and ripped one past Lavigne for his twentieth of the year and the game winner.
The series wasn’t exactly a success for OSU as Michigan, who fell to 9-13-2 overall, is a team this season that Ohio State should beat. They at least attacked more often on Saturday and were able to find the back of the net when they needed it. Plus, showing up at all in the first two periods sure helped for this one.
The biggest question mark is Frey, because if neither goalie is reliable, no matter how well Schilkey plays, it’ll be tough to advance in the conference tournament or even think about the NCAAs. But we shall see when the 13-7-6 Bucks host Minnesota this Friday and Saturday.