Feb. 15, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to No. 8-ranked Wisconsin, 4-2, Saturday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes drew within a goal twice (2-1 in the second and 3-2 in the third) but were unable to get the equalizer and the Badgers sealed the win with a late empty net goal.
The Buckeyes (15-10-3, 5-6-3-2 B1G) and Badgers (17-9-2, 8-5-1-0 B1G) split the regular-season series, with each winning one game at home and one on the road. The loss ended the Buckeyes’ six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2).
Ohio State has the next weekend off before a home-and-home series with Michigan. The teams will meet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 in Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor (BTN) and at 2 p.m. March 2 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus (FS Detroit/SportsTime Ohio).
“I think our play came up in the first period (compared to last night),” Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. “They’re a very good hockey team; no one wants to get on streaks and lose two in a row. We knew we were going to get their best shot. Even down by two I give our team credit – we just kept battling back.”
Against Wisconsin, Buckeye junior leading scorer Ryan Dzingel notched the 100th point of his Ohio State career. Dzingel, who has skated in 101 games for the Scarlet and Gray, has 40 goals and 60 assists as a Buckeye and is the first Ohio State player to hit the century mark as a junior since RJ Umberger in 2003. Dzingel leads Ohio State with 17 goals, 21 assists and 38 points on the year.
“Ryan plays a solid game,” Rohlik said. “As long as the team does well, he may not score but we’re all satisfied. His skill set is right there. He has played a lot of games here, puts himself in good situations and has great teammates. There’s no secret to success. It’s his hard work. I’ve seen a huge jump in his all-around game.”
Wisconsin led 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. At 9:44 Morgan Zulinick scored on the power play with a shot from the faceoff circle and Mark Zengerle redirected a Grant Besse shot at 11:50. The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes, 10-6, in the period. Each team had one power play chance.
Ohio State got on the board at 12:54 of the second on a Nick Schilkey goal on the fly from the right wing. Drew Brevig and Dzingel assisted on the tally, Schilkey’s ninth of the year. Each team had 13 shots on goal in the period and the Buckeyes were unsuccessful on two power play chances, stopping the Badgers on one opportunity.
Just 1:02 into the third Zengerle gave Wisconsin a two-goal lead, scoring in front on a rebound. Just 55 seconds later Max McCormick completed a rush with Brevig and Fritz, scoring his 11th goal of the season off a cross-ice pass from Brevig at 1:57. Brevig leads the Buckeye defensemen with 13 points this season and marked his second two-assist game of the year, while Fritz is second on the squad with 20 assists and third with 25 points. The Buckeyes had a power play chance with less than six minutes remaining but were held without a shot on net by the Badgers. Ohio State skated with the net empty for the final 1:54 but was unable to convert. Wisconsin clinched the win when Nic Kerdiles scored as time was expiring, assisted by Keegan Meuer who blocked a Buckeye shot attempt at the UW blueline. The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes, 9-7, in the period.
In the game, Ohio State outshot Wisconsin, 30-28. Freshman goalie Christian Frey made 24 saves in the Buckeye net, allowing three goals, in 58:06. He is now 6-2-2 on the year and third in the NCAA with a .934 save percentage, ranking 13th with a 2.10 goals-against average.
The Buckeyes were unable to score on four power play chances and the Badgers converted one of three opportunities.