March 2, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men’s hockey team was defeated by No. 13 Michigan, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Buckeyes (15-11-4, 5-7-4-3 B1G) were unable to overcome a two-goal first-period deficit, drawing within one three times but unable to get the equalizer.
The Buckeyes will return to action next weekend, hosting Minnesota to close their regular-season home schedule. The teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday (FS North/SportsTime Ohio) and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPNEWS) in Value City Arena. The Ohio State senior class will be recognized pregame Saturday. Ohio State will then travel for two games at Penn State March 14-15 to wrap up the regular-season slate.
Sunday in Nationwide Arena, Michigan led 2-0 at the end of the first period on the strength of power play goals from Alex Kile at 2:26 and Luke Moffatt at 7:03. The Wolverines outshot the Buckeyes, 14-11, in the period. Michigan had three power play chances in the stanza, with Ohio State 0-for-2.
Buckeye freshman David Gust scored his sixth goal of the season at 3:03 of the second period to cut the Wolverines’ lead in half. Freshman defenseman Josh Healey led junior Chad Niddery into the zone; he passed to Gust in the slot, who was able to draw the UM goalie out of position and score on a backhand. Michigan regained its two-goal advantage on a goal from Derek DeBlois at 6:12. At 17:45, Buckeye junior Darik Angeli drove to the net and his shot went over the UM goalie and in to make it a one-goal game (3-2). Defensemen sophomore Sam Jardine and senior Curtis Gedig assisted on the power play goal, Angelis’s ninth of the season. Michigan outshot Ohio State, 13-11, in the period. Ohio State had the only two power play chances of the stanza.
Each team scored once in the third. At 10:30 Phil De Giuseppe scored on the power play from the faceoff circle, pushing the lead back to two (4-2). Just over a minute later the Buckeyes answered, when Jardine’s shot from the point got through for his first career goal. Niddery had the first assist, marking the first two-point game of his Buckeye career, with junior Matt Johnson also picking up a helper on the tally. The Buckeyes skated with the net empty for the final 1:16, but the Wolverine defense held the squad off the scoreboard. Ohio State put 15 shots on net in the period, with the Wolverines getting 11 shots through. Each team had one power play opportunity.
Freshman goalie Matt Tomkins made 34 saves in the Buckeye net, playing 58:44.Michigan goalie Steve Racine made 34 saves in 59:54. Michigan outshot Ohio State, 38-37, in the game.
The Wolverines won the special teams battle, as UM was 3-for-4 on the power play and held Ohio State scoreless on 4-of-5 chances.
Ohio State Postgame Quotes
Steve Rohlik, head coach
On the Buckeye deficit after two early Michigan power play goals
“This time of year, special teams are going to win the game and that was the case tonight. We shot ourselves in the foot right away, gave them a running start and we couldn’t catch up.”
On the flow of the game
“The game had some momentum changes. We felt good going five on five. We just ran out of time at the end. It was probably an entertaining hockey game for most people to watch at this time of year when games are tight. You have to limit your mistakes and we made a few too many mistakes, especially on special teams.”
Sam Jardine, sophomore defenseman
On the Buckeye momentum after his first career goal
“We have a ”never say die” attitude. We would have liked to tie it up later, and we believed we could have. If you would put us in that situation again, we’ll still believe we can. We just keep learning, keep progressing and take what we learned into the next game.”
On playing at Nationwide Arena
“It felt like a home game. Our guys come to Jackets game quite a bit and it’s a thrill to come play here. It was special to be able to play here with our home crowd cheering for us.”