Eventually the weird schedule will work itself out and this is what a typical Tuesday post will look like. Here's my take on the highs and lows of the game at Bowling Green as well as a look at former and future Buckeyes in the news this week.
Week Two Rewind
The Buckeyes built a comfortable three goal lead over the Falcons and then pressed their luck by taking penalty after penalty. Seeing as how there isn't anyone on the team named Michael Larson it was only a matter of time before they got whammied. (There was a game show back in the day called Press Your Luck. Hopefully you’re passingly familiar with it, otherwise none of that made any sense.)
What Went Wrong
Even More Penalties: After a relatively tame opening 15 minutes the game turned into a whistle-fest. A total of 24 penalties were called. The majority of them went against Bowling Green, but what the Buckeyes lacked in quantity they made up for in dumbness. Just past the midway point of the game OSU found themselves up 3-0 and beginning their sixth power play of the night. The team appeared to be well on its way to victory. Then Max McCormick took an unsportsmanlike penalty, evening the teams back up, and the Falcons scored. Nine times out of ten McCormick's gritty, intense style of play is an asset for the Buckeyes.
This would've been a good time to dial that back, though. He was by no means the only player whose undisciplined play contributed to Ohio State’s downhill slide. The penalty box door was a revolving one for the Buckeyes. By the time the game clock had ticked off ten more minutes, three more Buckeyes had been penalized and Bowling Green had scored three more goals (two power play and one even strength). Kudos to the Falcons for rallying. Ohio State really shot themselves in the collective foot, though.
Captain Down: Sometime in the early stages of the game Tanner Fritz left the ice and wasn’t able to come back. As of Tuesday’s postgame there wasn’t any timetable for a return. If he’s out any substantial length of time it will leave the Buckeyes with a big gap to fill in both scoring and leadership.
In case there's anyone out there saying to yourself "Matt Tomkins has given up nine goals in two games. How is 'goaltending' not on this list?" The reason is this: I don't feel right about making a judgment based only on a few highlights and two radio broadcasts. The radio guys haven't said much about him one way or the other and the highlights consist of about three of the 118 minutes he's played. Without having personally seen him play it's difficult to know whether there are mitigating factors such as how much support he's getting from his teammates, whether he's having to deal with a lot of turnovers, etc. that would make that nine goal mark less freaky.
What Went Right
Secondary Scoring: There were questions coming into the season about whether Ohio State would get goal support from anyone not named Fritz, McCormick, or Ryan Dzingel. Well, so far this season the Buckeyes have eight goals to their credit and not a single one has been recorded by that trio. Darik Angeli and Alex Szczechura have two scores apiece.
Nick Schilkey netted his first collegiate goal against Bowling Green while Justin DaSilva recorded his first goal of the season. Tyler Lundey and Chad Niddery have also graced the stat sheet already this year. The Buckeyes haven’t had many early season trends that fans are eager to continue, but goal production throughout the lineup is a pleasant exception.
Freshmen Firsts: Like I said, Schilkey picked up his first goal. I suspect some day we'll look back and say "Do you remember when he scored his first goal?" And then we'll say "Heck no. That was a hundred points ago."
Drew Brevig also registered his first point as a Buckeye with an assist on Angeli's tally.
There are dozens of Ohio State alums abroad in the hockey world and a handful of verbal commits on which to keep an eye. Here are a few making headlines this week…
- Rod Pelley will captain the AHL’s Albany Devils this season. Pete Daugherty explains why the role suits Pelley here.
- Bryan Levine talked to C.J. Severyn about his summer training regimen and caddying alongside Jim Furyk at Muirfield.
- The ECHL released its season opening rosters. Seven teams feature former Buckeyes: Chris Reed (Cincinnati), Devon Krogh (Gwinnett), Danny Dries and Brandon Martell (Kalamazoo), C.J. Severyn (Orlando), Chris Crane (San Francisco), Peter Boyd (South Carolina), and Mike Folkes (Utah).
- Buckeye commit Matt Weis has been named to Team USA’s roster for the World Jr. A Challenge.
- And finally Ryan Kesler had the gamewinner for the Canucks against the Flyers on Tuesday.