Certainly a bitter pill to swallow after clawing back from a terrible 1st quarter. But the Buckeyes showed a ton of mettle on the way to the OT defeat, 10-9, at the hands of #2 Maryland.
It was a brutal, brutal game, that the Buckeyes did just enough to lose.
Once again, the offense went into hibernation from the opening whistle. The Buckeyes started the game 2 for 16 shooting, falling behind 6-2 at the half.
A 3rd quarter run was stopped by Maryland to bring the score to 7-5 in favor of the Terps. Ohio State took a 9-8 lead to under a minute to play, but stall-ball failed and Maryland tied the game to send it to OT.
The Buckeyes had a big day from Jack Myers, who scored once and dished out three assists. Tre Leclaire extended his multi-goal game streak to 11, but needed 10 shots to do it.
Jackson Reid had 2 goals also, but on 8 shots. Between them, Reid and Leclaire went 4 for 18, which is just not good enough for the Buckeyes' primary goalscorers.
Freshman phenom Johnny Wiseman went 0 for 4 today, crashing back down to earth after helping the Buckeyes to a huge win over Hopkins.
Overall, the Buckeyes shot 23% today, which is appallingly bad. I don't know what the answer is, other than more talented O middies. Many of whom, hopefully, are on the way.
Defensively, after a terrible 1st quarter, the Buckeyes actually played pretty well. Yes, the team lost. But no Terp shot better than 33%, Bubba Fairman went 0 for 5, and Wisnauskas scored his hat trick on 10 shots.
The Terps as a team shot 24%, thanks to the OT winner. They had fewer than 50% of their shots on target. That's for the #4 shooting offense in the entire country. Regardless of score, the defense did its part to put the Buckeyes in a position to win the game. And that's all you can ask for.
Goalie play was a mixed bag for the Buckeyes. Josh Kirson had 9 saves, including 6 in the 3rd quarter, but failed to make a save in the 4th quarter or overtime.
It is highly disappointing to see how much the Buckeyes have struggled at just the wrong time in goal. But, with Skylar Wahlund seemingly unable to unseat Kirson, we're just going to have to live with it.
At the faceoff X, Justin Inacio was spectacular...until he wasn't. Inacio ended the day 15 of 23, good for a 65% winning percentage.
At the most important time, however, Inacio jumped and gave the ball directly to Maryland, who promptly went and won the damn thing.
Until that moment, Inacio did every bit of his job against 3 different UMD FOGOs. It was a great rebound from last week, but still not enough to win.
A bad break that ended up giving the Terps a chance to win. Which they buried.
Finally, special teams. It was a remarkably penalty free game, with each team only committing one penalty. Surprisingly, it was the Buckeyes who converted their only opportunity, going 100% for the first time in ages on EMO.
Maryland, obviously, failed to convert their own opportunity and allowed the Buckeyes to score. Maybe the only time ever they'll go 0% on both sides. Since there were only two penalties, special teams really didn't have a major impact on the game.
A pity, since the Buckeyes did so well.
As much as it hurts, an OT loss to the #2 team in the country isn't going to keep the Buckeyes from the national tournament.
It may not even keep them out of the B1G tourney, if the Nittany Lions and Terps do their part. I believe the Buckeyes would win the tie-breaker over Hopkins, but I am unsure of the exact order.
Either way, there's still one game that matters more than all the others: TTUN.
Hate week's here.