Finally, a meaningful game being played at FirstEnergy Stadium after the new year!
This afternoon, Ohio State and Michigan will square off up in Cleveland at the “Faceoff On The Lake”. This won’t be the first time the rivals have played outdoors on the ice in Cleveland. Back in 2012, the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes 4-1 at Progressive Field.
Ohio State will be looking for their first outdoor win, as they enter today’s contest with a 0-3 record when playing out in the elements. On the opposite side, Michigan has a 4-2-1-1 record all-time outdoors.
It’s almost time to drop the puck! pic.twitter.com/GBU0Wa8FR4— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 17, 2023
The two teams played in Columbus on Thursday, with Ohio State earning a win on Senior Night in a shootout. The Wolverines got on the board first, as Adam Fantilli scored his 19th goal of the season less than two minutes left in the period. The Buckeyes responded immediately, as Tate Singleton netted his ninth goal of the year just 28 seconds later.
Michigan put a little distance on Ohio State in the second period, with Luca Fantilli scoring 2:29 into the period. Jackson Hallum lit the lamp four minutes later to extend the lead to 3-1 for the Wolverines. Matt Cassidy cut the lead in half about two minutes later, scoring his third goal of the season for Ohio State. The teams would head to the second intermission with Michigan leading 3-2.
Singleton scored his second goal of the game at 4:56 of the third period to tie the game, and the teams would end up heading to overtime. Neither squad was able to find the back of the net in the extra five minutes, which led to the game being decided in a shootout.
Ohio State wouldn’t allow their rival to spoil Senior Night, as Jake Wise was the only shooter to score in the shootout. The win improved Ohio State’s record to 17-11-3 on the season, with a 10-9-2 record in the Big Ten. Michigan is now 20-9-2 this year, with a 12-8-1 mark in the conference.
1940 ➡️ 2023 ️— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) February 17, 2023
First look at the Faceoff on the Lake sweater❗️#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/EJssf4EQHH
Not only will Ohio State be playing in a fun setting today, the Buckeyes will be wearing “sweaters” to resemble the uniforms in the 1940s worn by the Ohio State football team.
No matter what uniforms the hockey team is wearing today, it would just be very refreshing to see a Buckeye team beat the Wolverines on a football field for the first time since 2019. The fact that the teams are playing on ice is only a small detail! Hopefully Ryan Day is tuning in and taking some notes if Ohio State ends up winning today.
The weather in Cleveland looks fabulous for an event like this, with temperatures expected to top out in the mid-40s with clear skies. The 4:00 p.m. ET start should allow for some darkness to creep in towards the end of the game. More than 50,000 people are expected to be in attendance for the game, and they really lucked out on getting such a tremendous day at this time in February.
Following today’s game, Ohio State will have two more contests left in the regular season. The Buckeyes close out their schedule next Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Currently, Minnesota is slated to earn a bye in the Big Ten Tournament, while Ohio State would be hosting Michigan State in a best-of-three series to earn a spot in the semifinals.
With his two goals on Thursday night, Tate Singleton is now the fifth Buckeye to reach double-digits in goals this year. Davis Burnside leads Ohio State with 13 goals, while Cam Theising, Jake Wise, Joe Dunlap, and Singleton all have now scored 10 goals on the season. Stephen Halliday leads the Buckeyes with 31 points this season.
TV: Big Ten Network
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET