Jan. 15, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio —COLUMBUS, Ohio – In front of a crowd of nearly 9,000, the Ohio State men’s hockey team skated to a 5-5 overtime tie vs. No. 6 Michigan and then prevailed in the shootout, 3-2 in nine rounds, to clinch the extra point in the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes, who are unbeaten in their last five games (3-0-2) and Wolverines will close the series at 5 p.m. Sunday in Ann Arbor.
Ohio State (6-11-2, 1-2-2-1 B1G) led 3-0 on a first period goal from freshman Mason Jobst and second period goals from senior Anthony Greco shorthanded and freshman John Wiitala on the power play. The Wolverines drew within one in the second with two goals in 24 seconds and then tied the game at three 1:19 into the third on the power play. Ohio State regained the lead (4-3) when junior David Gust scored at 6:54 just after a Buckeye penalty expired. At 17:19, UM tied the game at four and the Wolverines took the lead for the first time at 18:26. Greco’s goal, scored with the extra attacker, came after a Jobst faceoff deep in the Michigan zone (and after Ohio State had stopped multiple Wolverine chances at the Buckeyes’ empty net). Neither team was able to score in overtime, with Ohio State putting four shots on net and the Wolverines getting three through.
In the shootout, Michigan (13-3-2, 4-1-2-1 B1G) shot first. Sophomore Matthew Weis and Gust scored for Ohio State, tying the shootout in the third and fourth rounds, and freshman Dakota Joshua won it for the Buckeyes in the ninth round after a save by junior goalie Matt Tomkins to open the round. Tomkins, who made 41 saves in the game, had six saves in the shootout, including on the last three shots he faced.
“I’m proud of the guys in the room,” Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. “You went from elation to gloom and to hang in there in the end and score the goal and then get the extra point in the shootout was huge for us. We did a lot of things right and we did a lot of things not so well. We gave them a few gifts, but that’s Michigan, they’re going to capitalize on mistakes. I think our guys gained some more confidence and understand if we play the right way we can compete with anybody.”
The Buckeye won the special teams battle, going 1-for-1 on the power play and holding Michigan scoreless on 6-of-7 chances. The Wolverines’ power play goal at 6:17 of the third period ended a streak of 19 consecutive penalties killed for the Buckeyes. The Buckeye power play has a goal in six of the last seven games.
Michigan outshot the Buckeyes, 46-33, notching a Buckeye opponent season high for shots on goal. Tomkins played 64:06 and had 41 saves for the Buckeyes. Michigan’s Steve Racine had 28 stops in all 65 minutes. Ohio State blocked 18 Wolverine shot attempts, led by junior Drew Brevig, who is in the Top 3 nationally in blocks per game (3.11), with five.
Greco shares the team lead with 10 goals this season and is the first Buckeye with three shorthanded goals in a year since Mathieu Beaudoin in 2007. It was his second two-goal game of the year. Jobst had three assists in the game, his second three-assist outing of the year (and in the last four games), and a career-high four points. He is on a five-game point streak with two goals, nine assists and 11 points in the stretch. Freshman defenseman Sasha Larocque had his first two-assist and multiple-point game as a Buckeye. Wiitala had a goal and an assist for two points, his second multiple point game for Ohio State. Gust’s goal extended his point streak to eight (3g, 5a, 8p) and he shares the team point lead with junior Nick Schilkey with 19 each.