The last time Ohio State and Wisconsin met, the Badgers erased a two-goal Buckeye lead to force overtime. On Friday the Bucks returned the favor. A third period rally secured a B1G point for the home team.
|scoring by period||1||2||3||OT||final||so|
Nick Schilkey staked Ohio State to an early lead. The Buckeyes’ leading scorer slipped behind the Wisconsin defense where he redirected a perfect pass from Matt Weis past Badger goalie Matt Jurusik. It was OSU’s first shot on goal in the game.
Wisconsin knotted the score by taking advantage of a fortunate bounce. The puck came to Luke Kunin in the slot. He wasted no time in beating Buckeye netminder Christian Frey.
OSU’s seniors took center stage in the next stretch. Tyler Lundey tipped home a Tommy Parran point shot, putting Ohio State back on top. Craig Dalrymple preserved the advantage with some strong penalty killing. As the Badgers eyed an open net, the Buckeye captain put his lumber to good use and ended Wisconsin's hope of an easy goal.
|pd||time||buckeye goal scorers (assists)|
|1||1:30||Nick Schilkey (Matt Weis, Tommy Parran)|
|1||8:37||Tyler Lundey (Tommy Parran, Luke Stork)|
|3||12:45||John Wiitala (Craig Dalrymple)|
|3||19:12||EA - Nick Schilkey (Anthony Greco, Dave Gust)|
However, with less than a minute to play in the frame, a hideous Buckeye giveaway ended up in the back of the net. Seamus Malone patiently potted the game tying score at the 19:17 mark.
The Buckeyes began the second period in dominant fashion. The line of Schilkey, Weis, and Freddy Gerard asserted itself again. For about three and a half minutes it looked like just a matter of time until Ohio State reclaimed its lead.
But again the Bucks’ carelessness with the puck turned the tide in favor of Wisconsin. A turnover, a stickless defenseman, and a rebound kicked right to the stick of Matt Ustaski combined to make one extremely unfortunate play. The Badgers held a 3-2 lead at the final intermission.
Wisconsin stretched its lead to two goals in the third period when a seemingly harmless centering attempt went in off the stick of Buckeye defender Janik Moser. The Bucks battled back. Again, it was the seniors and the Schilkey-Weis-Gerard line powering the offense.
Dalrymple slung a shot at the net that was stopped by Jurusik. John Wiitala slammed home the rebound, drawing Ohio State within a goal of the Badgers. With time winding down and the extra-attacker on for the Buckeyes, Anthony Greco deftly threaded a centering pass to Schilkey who potted the game tying tally with 40 odd seconds remaining.
Neither side prevailed in the overtime session though Gerard came very close. A funky bounce off the wall landed in the Badger crease. Only the swift response of the Wisconsin defenders kept Gerard from sealing the deal for Ohio State.
The stalemate lasted through five rounds of the shootout. In the sixth, Matthew Freytag finally solved Frey. Juruisk stopped Lundey. For reaching the shootout each team earned one conference point. The Badgers were awarded an extra point for the shootout win.
By grabbing a point tonight Ohio State moves into a tie with Michigan State for fourth place in the Big Ten. Each team owns 16 points. Wisconsin remains in sixth spot but increases its point total to 9.
This was not an exemplary outing for the Buckeyes. They were plagued by bad luck and turnovers throughout the game. The offense struggled mightily against Wisconsin’s aggressive and persistent defense.
On the positive side, the team found a way to hang tough. Frey was stellar in net and kept Ohio State competitive in the game. He finished with 32 saves.
The Schilkey-Weis-Gerard line was brilliant as well. (S, W, G…Swing shift line?) It accounted for a third (10) of the team’s shots on goal and, along with the senior leadership, drove the team to salvage some points out of an off night.
The Bucks and Badgers conclude their series tomorrow night at 7pm. OSU will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony. Fans not attending the game can view it online with a BTN Plus subscription.