Hockey Bucks Fall to No. 2 Wisconsin in Overtime of B1G Tourney Championship

By Aubrey Nelson on March 22, 2014 at 11:55p

Ohio State’s hockey season came to an end tonight with a 5-4 overtime loss in the Big Ten championship game. The Buckeyes got scores from Ryan Dzingel, Nick Oddo, Clark Cristofoli, and Tanner Fritz and freshman netminder Christian Frey stopped 31 shots, but No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers prevailed in the end, though, and hoisted the trophy as the Big Ten’s inaugural tournament champs.

  1 2 3 OT F
#2 WISCONSIN 1 1 2 1 5
#4 OHIO STATE 2 1 1 0 4

Like last night, the Buckeyes started fast. Their energy resulted in several scoring chances and they cashed in twice. Ryan Dzingel drew first blood at 4:51 of the first period, when Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel tried for a poke check, failed, and Dzingel put the puck in the back of the net.

The same line struck again four minutes later. Rumpel stopped the initial shot from Dzingel but Nick Schilkey and Nick Oddo were both in good position to clean up the rebound. It was Oddo lighting the lamp with his ninth goal of the year.

Wisconsin answered with two power play goals. Both were the result of shots through heavy traffic in front Ohio State goalie Christian Frey. The pro-Badgers crowd didn’t celebrate for long. Defenseman Clark Cristofoli stepped into a Max McCormick pass and blasted the puck by Rumpel. The goal was the central Ohio native’s first of the season.

The furious pace of the game began to catch up with the Buckeyes in the third period, who played their third game in as many nights. The Badgers came out of the second intermission with a ferocious energy that had the Bucks on their heels through much of the final frame.

Despite this, Ohio State was able to increase their lead. Tanner Fritz wired a shot to the top corner of the Badger net at 13:08, running the score to 4-2. Unfortunately, all that breathing room evaporated within seconds.

Back to back Badger goals 28 seconds apart erased the Buckeyes’ two goal lead. Both goals came on net mouth scrambles as the Wisconsin players outworked the gassed Buckeyes. Ohio State rallied in the latter minutes of third period, making several bids to retake the lead. However, Rumpel made as many stellar saves and sent the game to overtime.

The game and the season ended for the Bucks 7:48 into the extra frame. Wisconsin’s Mark Zengerle picked the puck out of yet another net front scramble and fired it past Frey.

It’s a disappointing result for Ohio State as the team put themselves in good position to win the inaugural Big Ten hockey tournament. There is no way to soften a blown two-goal lead in the biggest game of the season.

But when this particular loss isn’t so fresh in the mind, fans may be able to look back over the season, see how far the team has come, and be excited about the future of the program. This one stings, but the Buckeyes will be back.


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KBonay's picture

Outplayed Wisconsin all but :28 seconds of regulation.  Had a lot of great scoring opportunities too.  Great run and a lot of heart shown by this team.

+4 HS
PalmettoNut's picture

My hat is off to this Buckeye team and also to the Badgers for fighting back more than once.  

That is what a championship game should look like.

The future looks bright for tOSU hockey as they proved that the Big10 is very competitive and they can play and beat the best out there.  I wish these Bucks had a chance to prove themselves in the NCAA tourney because I know they have the skill and guts but they were just one OT goal short.  

Way to fight to the end, thy honor defend...

+2 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

Great effort. Things are looking up for the program. 

Im not too familiar with the NCAA tourney selection. How does it work and why is OSU out? Is it similar to baseball?

NC_Buckeye's picture

It goes #1 by the conference auto-bids. Then it comes down to the Pairwise Rankings.

The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament. The PWR compares all teams by these criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, and the RPI.

For each comparison won, a team receives one point. The final PWR ranking is based on the number of points (comparisons) won. Ties are settled by the RPI.

Read more:

The Big Ten's auto-bid was defined by the conference as the winner of the tournament. (link) I believe most conferences use their tournament winner as opposed to their regular season winner. It's up to the conference though.

Good news is that since Robert Morris and Denver won the Atlantic Hockey and NCHC tournaments -- they took the 15th and 16th spots thus preventing Michigan from being selected. Suck it Wolverines!

+3 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

thank you, great explanation. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

They fell asleep for a minute after scoring their 4th goal and they paid for it!  Great game to watch even though we didn't come out with the higher score.  Tip of my hat to the Buckeye pucksters - they did the university proud this year!!!  Congrats to playing hard and finishing strong!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+2 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

Post-game interviews:

COACH ROHLIK: Well, it's that time of year where one team moves on, one team goes home. Obviously, unfortunately for us, they got the last shot and scored the big goal there. I'm really proud of our guys in the locker room. They emptied the tanks this weekend. They gave it all they had. That's all I ask. It's a big, big step for our program. 

Have to agree with Coach Rohlik. This weekend was a huge step for our program. Minnesota fans didn't want to be in a hockey league with us or Penn State. The message Rohlik needs to drill home to our players and recruits is that we deserve to be in the same league with these guys. We beat the #1 team in the country and came 1 goal away from beating the #4 team in the country.

Hey... has anyone seen any attendance numbers for the 2013-14 season? That's the next step for the hockey program. If we can start to get 7000 or 8000 Buckeye fans per game -- then this program will start running downhill.


+2 HS
William's picture

I went to a couple of games this year, and the attendance was never that impressive. The team needs their own arena, playing in the Schott, even when they draw 5,000-6,000, still makes the arena seem like a graveyard. 

FROMTHE18's picture

agreed. Would love a hockey arena (e.g. Miami) 

Crumb's picture

Such a heartbreaker. Went from thinking we had it won after McCormick's goal and thirty seconds later we our hearts ripped out. But we'll be back and better than ever next year!!!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+1 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

So here are the tournament selections by conference. Number on left is school's final conference standing. Number on right is the school's final PairWise Ranking (only for top 14). If a number is listed twice, then schools with same number tied for that place. If no number is listed than the school was not in the final top 14. Tournament winners are marked as auto-bid.

Atlantic Hockey
5. Robert Morris (auto-bid)

1. Minnesota [1]
2. Wisconsin [3] (auto-bid)

1. Union [3] (auto-bid)
2. Colgate [11]
3. Quinnipiac [5]

Hockey East
1. Boston College [2]
2. UMass-Lowell [7] (auto-bid)
3. Providence [11]
7. Vermont [13]
7. Notre Dame [8]

1. St. Cloud State [9]
2. North Dakota [14]
6. Denver (auto-bid)

1. Ferris State [5]
2. Minnesota State [10] (auto-bid)

Is anyone else questioning how the PairWise Ranking came up with Notre Dame as #8 and Vermont as #13? Schools that shared a 7th place finish in Hockey East? The knee-jerk reaction is that their out-of-conference wins elevated their PairWise Ranking. Looking at their OOC schedules, I'm not seeing it though. Take a look.

Notre Dame
Oct. 11    Western Michigan    4-0 W
Oct. 12    @ Western Michigan    3-0 W
Oct. 18    Michigan Tech        3-2 W
Oct. 20    Michigan Tech        7-3 W
Oct. 25    @ Minnesota-Duluth    3-2 W
Oct. 26    @ Minnesota-Duluth    1-4 L
Nov. 8    Minnesota        4-1 W
Nov. 9    Minnesota        4-5 L
Nov. 29    Alabama-Huntsville    5-2 W
Jan. 10    Alabama-Huntsville    7-1 W
Jan. 11    Alabama-Huntsville    5-0 W
Jan. 17    Lake Superior        6-3 W
Jan. 18    Lake Superior        4-2 W

Oct. 11    @ North Dakota    3-5 L
Oct. 12    @ North Dakota    2-2 T/OT
Oct. 26    Penn State    5-2 W
Dec. 14    St. Lawrence    5-1 W
Dec. 28 Clarkson    3-2 W
Dec. 29    Canisius    6-2 W
Jan. 3    Dartmouth    1-1 T/OT
Jan. 4    Yale        3-3 T/OT
Jan. 7    @ St. Lawrence    4-2 W
Jan. 11    @ Colgate    2-3 L

Plus in-conference, Vermont went 10-19-0 in Hockey East and Notre Dame went 9-9-2 in Hockey East. Not very impressive.

+1 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

To answer my own question, I think Hockey East is getting the college hockey equivalent of the SEC bump. IMO, they're getting jacked up in the PairWise for playing each other. Hockey East doesn't deserve 5 spots in this tournament.

+1 HS
William's picture

No they certainly don't, and I think Notre Dame got a bit of a bump merely because of their name. I think Hockey East is overrated this year, because if Minnesota plays to their full potential, no one can skate with them, no one. They went to Boston College earlier this year and slapped them around their own arena. 

As for OSU, there are a couple of pluses to take away from their end to the season. 1) Fritz and Dzingel are going to come back with a vengeance as seniors, 2) Frey looks like a total stud in net (how was this guy playing in the USHL as a 20 year old??) and 3) OSU's charge in the B1G tourney helped to knock Michigan out of the NCAA. 

Next year's OSU team is going to be very fun to watch, they'll be an offensive dynamo, they'll have great goaltending, and will have two additions to the blue line that I really like, Janik Moser and Victor Bjorkung, two mobile, puck-moving defenders that should definitely add an offensive touch from the blue line. 

Piece on Bjorkung:

Piece on Moser:

+2 HS
Crumb's picture

Like you said, at least we kept those lousy wolverats out!!!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

KBonay's picture

This is one of those questions of is it overall win/loss or who is playing better.  Buckeyes just beat the #1 team in Minny.  And had the #3 team on the ropes and lost in OT.  I question how ND gets the nod over Buckeyes.

William's picture

Name recognition. North Dakota has been a hockey powerhouse for decades, so when it comes to bubble teams, the selection committee, and rankings, are going to choose the blue blood program (North Dakota), over the perennial also-ran (OSU).

+1 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

Did you mean Notre Dame or North Dakota? I okay with North Dakota being in the tournament. But not Notre Dame and Vermont.

Seattle Linga's picture

So excited that this team is really young and have some weapons that are just hitting their grove. Will make more noise next year. So close last night and it was a fun 2.85 periods to watch.

+1 HS