Feb. 8, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - With two goals from junior Matt Johnson, two assists from senior Alex Lippincott and 30 saves from freshman Christian Frey, the Ohio State men's hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie and shootout win at Michigan State Saturday in Munn Ice Arena. The Buckeyes, now 14-9-3 and 4-5-3-2 in the B1G and on a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2), come away from the series with Michigan State (8-13-6, 2-5-5-3 B1G) with four points after two overtime ties and shootout wins.
Ohio State trailed 2-1 in the third period but Johnson scored his second of the game to deadlock the score at two and neither team was able to score in overtime. For the third consecutive game between the teams, the game went to a shootout to determine the extra point in the Big Ten standings. Ohio State prevailed for the second time this weekend, with freshman Nick Schilkey scoring the lone shootout goal and Frey making three saves.
"Four points is huge against a very good hockey team," Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. "They shut you down. I'm a little disappointed with our second period, a little undisciplined with the penalties which gave them the momentum back, but our team righted the ship and played a pretty good third period."
Ohio State will host Wisconsin at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday (NBCSN) in Value City Arena. Friday is the Teddy Bear Toss - fans are invited to bring a new stuffed animal wrapped in a plastic bag to throw on the ice during the first intermission. All animals collected will be delivered to Ronald McDonald House Charities and Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Ohio State led 1-0 after the first period. Lippincott blocked a Spartan shot near the Buckeye blueline and skated into the MSU zone. He found Johnson and he was able to pull the goalie out of position and backhand a shot in at 3:29. Ohio State controlled play through much of the period, outshooting the Spartans, 19-10, but could not find the back of the net again. There were no penalties called in the period.
The Spartans' Greg Wolfe scored two power play goals in the second period to carry a 2-1 lead into the final period. Wolfe tied the game at 1 just 41 seconds into the stanza and then gave the Spartans the lead with a goal at 18:26. Michigan State outshot the Buckeyes, 14-11, and had four power play opportunities in the period.
In the third, Lippincott fed Johnson and he skated into the zone, going to the front of the net and beating the MSU goalie fivehole with a backhand at 11:01 to tie the game at two. Ohio State put 17 shots on net in the period, holding the Spartans to seven.
For the third game in a row between the teams, the game went to overtime. Neither team was able to score, with a shot from Ohio State junior Tyler Lundey going off the post. Buckeye goalie Frey made a point blank glove save to keep the game tied, the lone shot he faced in overtime. Ohio State had three shots on net in the extra five minutes. Both the Buckeyes and Spartans earned one league point for tying the game.
The game went to a shootout to determine the extra point in the league standings. In the first round, Frey made a save on Travis Walsh before Schilkey scored for a 1-0 Buckeye lead, his second shootout goal of the series. Neither team scored in round two, with Frey making another save. He then stopped Villiam Haag in round three to secure the shootout win for Ohio State.
Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 50-32, in the game. Frey played all 65 minutes, making 30 saves. He is now 5-1-2 on the year, with a 2.11 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. He and the Buckeyes have given up two goals or less in each of the last five games. MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand had 48 saves in all 65 minutes.
Ohio State was unable to convert on its two power play chances, while Michigan State was 2-for-6 with the man advantage. It was just the fourth time in the last 14 games Ohio State was held scoreless on the power play, with the team 17-for-53 (.321) during the stretch. On the year, the squad is 27-for-116, ranking in the Top 10 nationally at 23.3 percent.
Johnson had the first two-goal game of his career and his third two-point outing as a Buckeye (second this season after a goal and an assist vs. Robert Morris Oct. 25). Lippincott had his third two assist game and first since Nov. 19, 2011 at Michigan. The helpers were his first of the season.
This is the second time in the series between Ohio State and Michigan State three games in a row went to overtime but the first time the teams tied three consecutive games. The teams went to overtime March 21, 1998 (a 3-2 MSU win in the CCHA tournament), March 28, 1998 (a 4-3 Buckeye win to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four) and Oct. 24, 1998 (a 4-4 tie).