MADISON, Wis. – Junior defenseman Matt Miller’s goal with 9.5 seconds left in overtime lifted the No. 3 Ohio State men’s hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Wisconsin Friday in the Kohl Center. Ohio State trailed 1-0 after the second period but senior John Wiitala tied the game with a power play goal in the third before Miller’s OT goal. Sean Romeo had 20 saves in the Buckeye net.
The victory extends the Buckeyes’ winning streak to six and moves the team’s record to 18-5-4 overall and 11-3-3-2 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes and Badgers (9-13-5, 5-7-5-2 B1G) will close the weekend and regular season series at 8 p.m. ET Saturday in Madison. The game will be televised by Fox Sports North Plus, with the broadcast carried by SportsTime Ohio and BTN2Go. The game can also be heard on Ohio State radio.
And that's a winner for @OhioStateMHKY!
With 9.5 seconds left in OT, Matt Miller shoots & scores! pic.twitter.com/iPGhcOzP4Y
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) February 9, 2019
Ohio State 2, Wisconsin 1 OT
In the first … The teams were scoreless after the first period, combining for just eight shots (Wisconsin 5, Ohio State 3). A Buckeye was assessed a five-minute major at 15:33 of the period, early in a Buckeye power play. The teams skated 4×4 for 1:42 and the Buckeyes then killed the major, with 33 seconds carrying into the second.
In the second … The Badgers scored the only goal of the second period, with Mick Messner tallying at 8:48. The Buckeyes had two power play chances in the period and killed a UW opportunity. Shots were 9-4 in favor of Wisconsin in the stanza.
In the third … At 8:48 of the period John Wiitala tied the game, scoring from the high slot on the power play. Brendon Kearney and Quinn Preston assisted on the goal, Wiitala’s fifth of the year. Ohio State carried play in the period and outshot the Badgers, 15-6. The Buckeyes were 1-for-2 on the power play in the period and held UW scoreless on one chance early.
In OT … Both teams had chances in overtime, with Ohio State putting four shots on net and Wisconsin getting one through. With time winding down and the Buckeyes sustaining pressure in the UW zone, defenseman Matt Miller moved to the top of the crease. Quinn Preston found Miller with a pass from the wall and he backhanded a shot over the UW goalie. Austin Pooley had the second helper on the goal, Miller’s second straight gamewinner.
Shots … Ohio State, which was outshot 14-7 through the first two periods, ended the game with the shot advantage, 26-21. Sean Romeo made 20 saves in 64:50 for the Buckeyes, improving to 8-4-2 this year. Daniel Lebedeff had 24 stops in 64:50 for the Badgers. Ohio State blocked 22 UW shots, led by Ryan O’Connell and Matt Miller with three each. Gordi Myer, Tommy Parran, Dakota Joshua, Freddy Gerard and Grant Gabriele each had two shot blocks.
Special Teams … Ohio State was 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the game.
Buckeye This and That … The Buckeyes’ six-game winning streak is the team’s longest since winning six in a row Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018 … Miller extended his point streak to six … Preston had the second two-assist and multiple point game of his Buckeye career. He has four assists in his last three games combined … Ohio State has allowed two or fewer goals in 21-of-27 games this year and is limiting opponents to 2.07 goals a game … the Buckeyes are 9-1-4 on the road this season … Ohio State is 10-1-3 in the last 14 games … the win was the Buckeyes’ first in overtime this season after three ties.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“I don’t think we played our best. They had a lot of jump. Our guys decided if we’re going to go down, let’s go down swinging, and we played our best period in the third. We started to get a little bit of jump and a little bit of confidence.”
Quoting junior defenseman Matt Miller
“It definitely was not our best start to the game tonight. But when we were struggling we relied pretty heavily on Romeo to keep us in it. He played outstanding and I think we built a lot of momentum off of him throughout the game. It wasn’t pretty, but taking three points on the road at this point in the season is huge. The guys stuck together and found a way to come out with the win.”