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Dec. 28, 2015

ESTERO, Fla. – The Ohio State men’s hockey team opened the second half of its season with a 3-2 victory over No. 4-ranked Boston College in the first round of the Florida College Hockey Classic in Germain Arena. The Buckeyes trailed 2-0 early but scored the game’s final three goals – with tallies in the second from seniors Anthony Greco and Tyler Lundey and the gamewinner from freshman John Wiitala in the third – for the win. Junior goalie Christian Frey made 30 saves for the Buckeyes, who will face No. 9 Cornell in the tournament championship game at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday.

Boston College led 2-0 just 2:29 into the game. At 1:22 Adam Gilmour’s shot from near the wall deflected off a Buckeye and in and at 2:29 Zach Sanford converted a 2-on-1 shorthanded with Austin Cangelosi. With 3:58 left in the period the Eagles went on a major power play, but the Buckeyes were able to hold them off the scoreboard during the five minute advantage. BC outshot Ohio State 11-6 in the first period.

The Buckeyes tied the game with two second period goals. At 3:10 Greco scored on the rush off an assist from sophomore Matthew Weis, marking Greco’s seventh goal of the year. At 17:21 Lundey put in a rebound of a David Gust shot, marking his second goal of the season. Gust’s assist was his team-best 13th of the year and he now shares the team point lead with 15. Freshman Miguel Fidler picked up his first career point after getting the puck to Gust down low for the shot to start the scoring play. Boston College had 11 shots in the period, with Ohio State putting nine on net.

The Buckeyes converted their fifth power play chance of the game for the eventual gamewinner. Junior Josh Healey kept the puck in along the boards and made the play to get the puck to freshman Dakota Joshua in the slot. He got the puck over to Wiitala, who was able to redirect it home before the BC goalie could get in position. Frey made 10 saves in the period, with the Buckeyes putting four shots on net.

The Buckeyes were outshot, 32-19, in the game. After allowing the two early goals, Frey stopped the last 30 shots he faced. Thatcher Demko had 16 saves in the Eagles’ net. The Buckeyes blocked 22 shots, led by junior defenseman Drew Brevig with six, sophomore blueliner Janik Moser with three and senior forward Nick Schilkey and Healey with three each.

Ohio State was 1-for-5 on the power play in the game and held the Eagles scoreless on two chances.

Postgame Notes

  • The win was the Buckeyes’ first over a team ranked in the Top 5 since beating then-No. 3 Providence, Oct. 10, 2014 (5-4 OT).
  • The Buckeyes’ 19 shots on goal were a season low and the first time Ohio State was held to less than 20 shots on net since Feb. 7 at Minnesota (18).
  • Ohio State is making its fourth appearance in the Florida College Hockey Classic and is now 4-4-1 all-time in the tournament. Tuesday will be the team’s second appearance in the tournament championship. The squad lost to Cornell, 4-3 in overtime, in the 2003 final. Ohio State and Cornell have met in the tournament each year both have participated, with each team posting two wins. 
  • Ohio State has scored on the power play in each of the last three games and in five of the last six outings.
  • Joshua has an assist in five of the last seven games.
  • Wiitala now has three goals on the year, tying for the team’s lead among rookies.
  • Gust has an assist in each of his last four games and in 10 of the Buckeyes’ 15 games this season.
  • Weis has a point in eight of his last 10 games and is fourth on the team with 10 points (5g, 5a).
  • Greco has a goal in five of his last seven games and a point in six of the last seven. He had a team-high seven shots in the game and is third in the NCAA with 4.53 shots on goal a game.
  • Healey is on a four-game point streak, with two goals, three assists and five points in the stretch.
  • The game was the Buckeyes’ 12 this season decided by two or fewer goals and the sixth one-goal game (including the third in a row).
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