MANCHESTER, N.H. In the first NCAA tournament game for the Buckeyes since 2005, Ohio State fell behind 3-0 after the first period and couldn’t recover, falling to No. 1 overall seed Boston University, 8-3, Saturday at Verizon Wireless Arena. The Terriers move on to face New Hampshire in the NCAA Northeast Regional final, while the No. 4 seed Buckeyes end the year 23-15-4 overall.
Against the Terriers, the Buckeyes scored three-consecutive goals to cut the score to 6-3 with less than nine minutes remaining in the third period. The Buckeyes pulled their goalie early for the extra attacker, but the Terriers scored twice to seal the win.
Ohio State was down 3-0 after the first. BU scored twice in 45 seconds. Nick Bonino scored at 8:49 just nine seconds after a BU power play started when his wrist shot found the top corner, on assists from Brandon Yip and Hobey Finalist Matt Gilroy. At 9:34 Jason Lawrence was able to shuffle the puck under Buckeye goalie Dustin Carlson, set up by Bonino and Colby Cohen. Zach Cohen added to the lead at 13:16, with Luke Popko and Gilroy picking up the helpers. The Buckeyes were outshot in the period, 9-6. Ohio State had three power-play chances in the stanza. BU was 1-for-2.
The teams combined for five goals in the second, with BU leading 6-2 after the stanza. Corey Trivino scored at 5:57, followed by Yip’s second of the game 1:04 later (7:01). BU made the score 6-0 on a Lawrence goal at 13:34. The Buckeyes got on the board when Hunter Bishop scored on a 2-on-1 with Corey Elkins at 18:45. Senior Zach Pelletier followed at 18:45, scoring from a pass from Kyle Reed after Patrick Schafer won the draw in the Terrier zone. Ohio State had 10 shots on goal, with BU putting eight on net.
The Buckeyes scored the first goal of the third when Matt Bartkowski’s shot from the point got through with the Buckeyes on the power play, assisted by Ian Boots and Bishop. With more than seven minutes remaining and the Buckeyes down by three the Buckeyes pulled the goalie for the extra skater while in the BU zone. Ohio State had a few chances, but BU was able to clear and Cohen converted into the empty net. With the Buckeyes on the power play Ohio State again pulled the goalie and Chris Higgins tallied shorthanded for the final goal of the game, scoring at 17:12. Shots in the third were 10-9 BU.
For the game, Boston University outshot Ohio State, 27-25. Buckeye starter Dustin Carlson played the first 27:01 and had nine saves, allowing five goals. Freshman Cal Heeter came in midway through the second and had 10 saves on 11 shots in 27:01.
The game ended the career for Buckeye seniors Nick Biondo, Elkins and Pelletier.
The 23 wins for the season were the most since 2005 and marked the seventh 20-win season under head coach John Markell.
NCAA NORTHEAST REGIONAL
MARCH 28, 2009: OSU VS BU
Head Coach Jack Parker: Opening Statement
The game was over pretty quickly but Ohio State kept working. In general I thought we played a pretty good game. The puck just jumped in for us tonight. Credit to them [OSU] they kept working. Overall you win a tournament game 8-3 you have to be very happy. The best way to win hockey games is to get off the bus the winning team.
Head Coach Jack Parker: General Comments
I think we have pretty good balance. I think we have two first lines and two second lines and that’s a pretty good combination to have.
Head Coach Jack Parker: Comments on UNH game tomorrow
Henry Ford once said experience is one of the greatest things in life. We have that experience. It’s going to be a hard fought game. We have a lot of respect for them and they have a lot of respect for us. It’s going to be a very emotional game. The puck jumped into the net for us tonight, we’ll have to do that tomorrow night too.
Senior defenseman Matt Gilroy: On taking advantage of power-play opportunities
That’s what we’ve been doing all year. We’re going to need that tomorrow since we are playing a rival in UNH.
Senior defenseman Matt Gilroy: General Comments
The guys came ready to play. It was a lot of fun. It’s been our goal all year to win the National Championship. We’re ready to compete.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Head Coach John Markell: General Comments
I want to congratulate BU, they’re obviously a great hockey team. We got behind three quick goals and it’s obviously tough to recover with a team they have. All the credit goes to BU, they’re a great hockey team.
I want to thank the seniors and their competitive level. It was awfully tough on them, but we got to this position and now its up to us to continue to build.
I thought their defensemen were tremendous. They had great gaps, good puck movement. They were banking the puck off the boards, using the place like a pool table. It’s a credit to them, they’re good defensively.
Sophomore forward Hunter Bishop: General Comments
We didn’t have the start that we wanted to. When you get down 5-0 nothing, that’s a pretty big hole to climb out of. That’s just the it fell tonight. I think our team really fought back and never gave up until the end. I’m definitely proud of us for that. It’s definitely a learning experience.
Sophomore forward Hunter Bishop: On OSU’s power play frustrations
This year we’ve kind of struggled on the power play. It’s frustrating when you get that many power plays and you’re down four, five-nothing, a power play goal is what you need. So when it wasn’t coming it was definitely frustrating.