Points were left on the table by both Buckeye hockey teams this week. The series weren't all bad, though. The men split with No. 8 Wisconsin. The ladies traveled to Bemidji State with the same result. Read on as we recap the week in Buckeye hockey, including
Ohio State and Wisconsin each won a game, splitting last week's as well as their season's series. The Buckeyes took advantage of a slow start by the Badgers on Friday. By the end of the first period the Tyler Lundey-Nick Oddo-Darik Angeli line had staked the home team to a 2-0 lead, helped along by an uncharacteristically poor defensive effort from Wisconsin.
UW rallied midway through the game. The Badgers took some postwhistle pokes at Christian Frey. The Buckeyes objected and when the dust settled Wisconsin's Chase Drake and Ohio State's Sam Jardine were given the gate. Wisconsin gained momentum from then on. Michael Mersch cut the Buckeyes' lead to 2-1 early in the final period, but OSU hung on to take the victory.
Saturday's rematch was a different story. Wisconsin took advantage of an early lead and held Ohio State off by a final score of 3-2. The Bucks just seemed to be a little off all night. They made a couple mistakes and failed to finish a few scoring chances, little things they'd been doing during their unbeaten streak that weren't happening last Saturday.
One bright spot was that Ryan Dzingel assisted on Nick Schilkey's second period snipe, earning his 100th collegiate point. He's the first Buckeye junior to join the century club since RJ Umberger in 2003.
Games like Saturday's happen. It stinks that one happened on a night when Ohio State had such a great opportunity to better their Big Ten standing, but it is what it is. As the B1G stands now, Minnesota is seven points up on Wisconsin and controls their own destiny as far as the regular season title goes. A mere six points separate the second place Badgers and fifth place Spartans. The Buckeyes and Wolverines sit between those two, tied for third.
Jardine's misconduct and subsequent ejection on Friday was a particular shame as I thought he'd played an excellent game up to that point. He'd been strong defensively and had visibly irritated the Badgers. No doubt this was a contributing factor to the game's escalating tensions/"fight." It's unfortunate Jardine wasn't able to skate away and continue a well-played game.
I haven't seen many games outside the Big Ten this season but it's hard to imagine there are many other conferences that can boast the goaltending talent that the B1G can. Joel Rumpel stood on his head more than a couple times to keep Wisconsin in the game.
The Badgers held the Buckeye power play scoreless in the series (0-8). They also held Ohio State to two goals in each game. It's the first time in a long while (if ever this season) that fans left the arena without at least one free food coupon.
With the CBJ on an Olympic break, Ohio State fans were treated to the rhythmic stylings of Shirtless Dancing Blue Jackets Guy. (Apologies to SDBJG for not knowing his actual name.)
I didn't have time for MS Paint this past weekend. (My electricity just came back on.) I'll work on it this week and when we take a look at the remaining Big Ten schedule on Friday we can rehash this one a little through "art."
The Bucks are off this week. They return to action the following week in a home-and-home series with Michigan. Fans should note that Ohio State's half of the series (Sunday, March 2nd) will be played at Nationwide Arena instead of the Schott.
- Rachel Lewis photographed both games of the series. You can see her work from Friday's game at USCHO and from Saturday's at Inside Hockey.
- Ohio State's official recaps feature boxscores, press conferences, etc. Friday's is here and Saturday's here.
- Other recaps can be found from Craig Merz for Buckeye Sports Bulletin (Friday and Saturday), Andy Baggot for the Wisconsin State Journal (Friday and Saturday), J. Justin Boggs for USCHO (Saturday), Taylor Cameron for The Lantern (series), and Benjamin Worgull for Badger Nation (series).
- Brett Amadon of The Lantern checks in with departed Buckeye goaltender Collin Olson here.
Bemidji State got the better of Ohio State's special teams on Friday. The Buckeyes earned their first power play opportunity toward the end of the first period, but weren't able to convert. Instead the Beavers scored one shorthanded goal and added another just as the penalty expired.
Taylor Kuehl struck on OSU's next man advantage and the Buckeyes outshot BSU 15-4 in the middle frame. Unfortunately that was as close as the ladies would get. The Beavers took Friday's game by a final score of 4-1.
However the Buckeyes had plenty to celebrate on Saturday. Sara Schmitt drew first blood with a first period power play tally. Tess Dusik drew the Beavers even just seconds before the intermission, but third period goals from Danielle Gagne and Ally Tarr propelled the Bucks to victory.
Tarr's goal and two assists in the series brought her career point total to an even 100. She's just the ninth lady Buckeye to achieve the milestone. The points also vaulted her over Shana Frost and Emma Laaksonen and into sole possession of ninth spot on the Buckeyes' all-time leading scorers list.
The ladies wrap up their 2013-14 season by hosting North Dakota at the Ice Rink on Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm.
- Ohio State's recaps feature game stories and boxscores. You can find Friday's here and Saturday's here.
- A few photos of the Buckeye ladies are included in Brent Cizek's series gallery.
Around the Big Ten
Minnesota swept Michigan. It was a rough series for the Wolverines as they not only lost the series but also lost Michael Downing and Andrew Sinelli for this Friday's game vs. Penn State. The pair have been suspended one game each by the Big Ten. In other conference action Michigan State took five of six points from Penn State.
- Conference wrap ups come to you from Jashvina Shah of CHN and Drew Claussen of USCHO. Sean Merriman also recaps BTN's Frozen Friday action here.
- Paul Shaheen looks at former Gopher Herb Brooks' legacy for BTN.
- CHN's Sam Obermyer writes about the experience and leadership Eric Scheid brings to Penn State.
- Shah also featured Husdon Fasching for CHN and Pete Jensen focused on PSU's David Glen for NHL.com.
The women's tournament is winding down. Emma Terho, Minttu Tuominen (1a), and Team Finland were defeated by Sweden in their quarterfinal match up. The Finns then took down Germany 2-1 and Russia 4-0 to secure a fifth place finish.
Natalie Spooner (2g, 2a) and Team Canada are headed for a showdown against Team USA. The two teams renew hostilities on Thursday morning with the gold medal on the line.
On the men's side, Ryan Kesler (1g, 1a) and Team USA breezed through opening round games against Slovakia and Slovenia and defeated Russia in a thrilling shootout win. They now await the winner of Czech Rupublic-Slovakia in the quarterfinals.
- Jason Brough reported that Kesler felt great coming into the Olympic Games.
- Mark Staffieri features the women's hockey veterans who are providing media coverage of this year's Games, including Tessa Bonhomme.
- If you're not up to date on the US-Canada women's rivalry Meri-Jo Borzillieri has a primer here.
- Per Nathan Wells of SBN College Hockey Ohio State decommit Tyler Sheehy has committed to Minnesota. So that's awesome.
- Another goal for Peter Boyd, another game for which there is a complete lack of highlights.
- First Cal Heeter fought Mother Nature. Then he fought Louis Domingue.