February 15, 2019

No. 2/3 Buckeyes Drop 4-3 Game to Minnesota

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2/3-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team could not overcome a two-goal deficit, falling to Minnesota, 4-3, Friday in Value City Arena. The loss ends the Buckeyes’ winning streak at seven, as Ohio State moves to 19-6-4 on the year and remains in first place in the Big Ten with a 12-4-3-2 record. Against the Gophers, the Buckeyes drew within one three times but were unable to get the equalizer.

The Buckeyes and Gophers (12-14-4, 9-3-3-0 B1G) close the weekend and season series at 6 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena. Ohio State can clinch its first Big Ten regular season title with a win and can clinch at least a share of the crown with two points Saturday.

Minnesota 4, Ohio State 3

In the first … Minnesota took a 1-0 lead at 16:44 of the first period when Jack Sadek scored from the point. Ohio State had the advantage in shots, 7-5, in the period.

In the second … The Gophers extended the lead to 2-0 at 11:56 on a goal from Nathan Burke. With time running down in the period, the Buckeyes made it a one-goal game. Dakota Joshua won a faceoff to Carson Meyer. He passed to Gordi Myer, whose shot went off a Gopher defenseman’s skate to John Wiitala in front and he converted at 19:44. Ohio State had just two shots in the period, with Minnesota putting nine on net.

In the third … The Gophers pushed the lead to two again on a Ryan Zuhlsdorf tally at 6:10. At 8:41 the Buckeyes made it a one-goal game when Sam McCormick scored his first of the season. Ronnie Hein took a pass from Freddy Gerard and carried into the zone. His shot went wide, but McCormick was at the side of the net to put the rebound off the backwall off the Gopher goalie and in. Minnesota answered 2:03 later with a power play goal from Scott Reedy. The Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and it paid off, as Quinn Preston redirected a pass from Mason Jobst into the net with the goalie on the other side. Hein had the second assist on the goal, which came at 16:25. The Buckeyes had to kill a penalty with less than three minutes remaining and could get no closer after the kill, despite skating with the extra attacker in the final minute. Shots were 15-9 in favor of Ohio State in the third.

Shots … Ohio State was outshot, 24-23, in the game. Sean Romeo had 19 saves in 58:48 for the Buckeyes and Eric Schierhorn had 21 stops for Minnesota. John Wiitala led the Buckeyes with two shot blocks.

Special Teams … The Buckeyes were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and did not score on their one power play chance.

Buckeye This and That … Hein had his second two-assist night and fifth multiple point game of the season. He has a career-high nine goals, nine assists and 18 points this year … Matt Miller had a seven-game point streak end … Preston’s goal was his sixth of the year … Ohio State is 0-1-2-2 vs. Minnesota this year … Jobst leads Ohio State with 15 goals, 19 assists and 34 points … the game was just the seventh time this season Ohio State allowed more than two goals … the Buckeyes are 5-4 in one-goal games this season.

 

Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik

On the game

“We probably played our worst first two periods of the year. It’s disappointing to come out against a really good hockey team and play the way we did for two periods.”

On the lack of shots and offense

“At the end of the day you have to generate some offense – you can’t always win 2-1, 2-0. You have to work for your opportunities and tonight we didn’t do that for two periods.”

Quoting junior forward Ronnie Hein

On regrouping entering the third period

“In the room we know our guys and we’re a good enough team to know we have to go out and play desperate hockey. We have one period to put 20 minutes together and see where we end up at the end. We have the group of guys to do it. Obviously we saw that, but it’s got to start in the first period, not the third.”

John Wiitala scored with just 16 seconds left in the first period

Sam McCormick scored his first goal of the season in the third period

Quinn Preston – from Mason Jobst – drew the Buckeyes within one

Ohio State Buckeyes

Prior to the game, Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik presented a check for $13,000 to United Heroes League, donating proceeds from last year’s military jersey auction.

The Buckeyes wore the 2019 military sweaters in game one vs. the Gophers. This year’s auction started Friday and runs through 5 p.m. March 3.

For more information and to bid, visit go.osu.edu/MHKYAuction19.