MADISON, Wis. – The No. 19-ranked Ohio State men's hockey team scored twice in 24 seconds in the third period but could not overcome a three-goal deficit entering the stanza, falling to No. 12 Wisconsin, 3-2, Saturday in the Kohl Center. The Buckeyes split the weekend series with the Badgers after a come-from-behind 3-2 victory Friday. The games were the first for the Buckeyes this season. Wisconsin is now 2-1 and both teams are 1-1 in B1G play.
Wisconsin 3, Ohio State 2, Briefly
Wisconsin led 1-0 after the first period and 3-0 after two, tallying twice in less than two minutes in the middle stanza. Freddy Gerard and John Wiitala scored for the Buckeyes at 11:15 and 11:39 of the third to make it a one-goal game but the Buckeyes could not find the back of the net again. Buckeye redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo, making in his second straight start, made 22 saves.
In the 3-2 loss at UW:
✔️ Jobst - 2A (2G/2A in the series)
✔️ Gerard - 1G/1A (1G/3A in the series)
✔️ Romeo 22 saves
✔️ Wiitala 2nd goal of series
✔️ PK 4/4
Stats: https://t.co/CSMo8jXxvI pic.twitter.com/sL2uCZtQYz
— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) October 8, 2017
Ohio State will take on nonconference foes in its next six games, starting with two games at home vs. Rensselaer next weekend. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena. A full team meet and greet will be held after the Saturday game.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
On the season-opening series
“It was two good hockey games. For a while there it looked like it was going to be a yawner tonight, but give my guys credit, they battled to the end. Just came up a little short.”
On the team not giving up
“They’re just relentless. It’s kind of that belief we’re not going to stop no matter what the score is until the buzzer. You have to have that mentality. If you don’t, teams are going to pass you.
In the First …
Wisconsin controlled play in the first period and carried a 1-0 lead into intermission. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Will Johnson put in the rebound of a Badger shot on a 3-on-1. The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes 9-3 in the stanza. Ohio State was 0-for-3 on the power play and Wisconsin was 0-for-2. Each team had one chance that was just seven seconds after a Badger nullified a power play opportunity shortly after it started.
In the Second …
Wisconsin scored twice in less than two minutes, at 9:00 and 10:43, to extend the lead to 3-0. Ohio State had chances late, but was unable to convert. For the period, the Buckeyes had the edge in shots, 8-7. Each team was 0-for-1 on the power play in the period, with Ohio State putting three shots on net during its chance.
In the Third …
The Buckeyes made it a one-goal game with two goals in 24 seconds. On a faceoff after Wisconsin called timeout following an icing, Mason Jobst won the puck back to Matt Joyaux at the point. He found Freddy Gerard at the far post and he redirected it into the net with the goalie covering the other post, scoring his first goal of the year at 11:15. On the next shift, Jobst started the play up the ice. Gerard found Wiitala streaking down the right side and his redirection of the pass marked his second goal of the weekend.
Wisconsin held its one-goal edge. The Buckeyes skated with the net empty for the final 45 seconds, and had a late faceoff in the UW zone with 6.1 seconds left, but could not get the equalizer.
Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo stopped all nine shots he faced in the period and Ohio State put seven shots on the Badger net. Ohio State had two power plays in the stanza and UW was 0-for-1.
Blocking the Puck
Ohio State was outshot, 25-18, in the game. Sean Romeo played 59:15 for the Buckeyes and made 22 saves. UW’s Kyle Hayton made 16 stops in 59:53.
Ohio State was 0-for-6 on the power play in the game and held the Badgers scoreless on four chances. The PK was 5-for-5 in the series.
• Jobst had four points on the weekend, with two goals Friday and two assists Saturday. The Big Ten’s leading scorer last year, he now has 89 career points in 76 games for the Scarlet and Gray. Jobst has notched multiple points in 25 games at Ohio State.
• Gerard had a goal and three assists for four points against the Badgers, with two helpers Friday and a goal and an assist in game two. He now has three career multi-point outings as a Buckeye.
• Wiitala had a goal in each game vs. the Badgers.
• The loss ended an eight-game unbeaten streak for the Buckeyes in Madison. The Buckeyes dropped the first Big Ten game at Wisconsin Jan. 24, 2014 before going 6-0-2 in the next eight games in the Kohl Center.
Buckeye Hockey Update – Jan. 15