March 20, 2014
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Ohio State men’s hockey downed Michigan State in overtime, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the inaugural Big Ten Tournament Thursday night in the Xcel Energy Center. Ohio State trailed after the first period but Buckeye junior Tanner Fritz tied the game in the second period and freshman Drew Brevig – a Minnesota native – netted the gamewinner 4:23 into overtime.
Ohio State (17-13-5) advances to the semifinals, where it will take on top seed and No. 1-ranked Minnesota at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET Friday. The game will be televised by BTN and on 1460 AM in Columbus.
Michigan State scored 4:04 into the game as Greg Wolfe tallied from below the faceoff circle, assisted by Lee Reimer and Travis Walsh. Ohio State was outshot, 8-7, in the period and had the only two power play chances.
Ohio State trailed until 16:26 of the second period, when Fritz was able to put a third Buckeye attempt home, scoring from right in front of the net after the Spartan goalie stopped attempts by Curtis Gedig and Anthony Greco, who picked up the assists. Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 12-9, in the period. The Spartans had the lone power play early in the stanza.
Each team put nine shots on net in the third but neither was able to convert. Ohio State had two power plays but got just one shot on net, while the Spartans had a chance with the man advantage with less than three minutes remaining but the Buckeyes held strong.
Ohio State controlled play in overtime, outshooting the Spartans, 6-1. On the gamewinner, MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand made a save on McCormick but the puck came out to Fritz. He dropped the puck to Brevig, who waited out the Spartan defensemen and scored high on the far side.
Buckeye freshman goalie Christian Frey made 26 saves on 27 shots in 63:35, moving to 8-3-3 on the year with a 2.19 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. Hildebrand had 32 saves on 34 Buckeye attempts.
Neither team was able to score on the power play – Ohio State was 0-for-2 and Michigan State was 0-for-4.
This was the fourth consecutive game between Ohio State and Michigan State that went to overtime. After the Spartans won the shootout in the first matchup Jan. 11, Ohio State won shootouts in both games Feb. 7-8 before the overtime victory in the tournament. It was the Buckeyes’ first overtime win since Dec. 10, 2011 at Miami.
Mason Jobst - All-American