Bucks Upset Gophers on Senior Night

By Aubrey Nelson on March 7, 2015 at 8:55 pm
Ladies and gents, your game winner
Ohio State University

Ohio State sent its seniors and its fans out with a one heck of a bang. Physical play, gritty goals, and a fearsome penalty kill gave OSU the edge as the Bucks upset No. 15 Minnesota. Oh yeah, and that big Buckeye sniper on the blue line too. 

Goals by period 1 2 3 final
No. 15 Minnesota 0 2 0 2
Ohio State 1 1 3 5

The opening period was all Ohio State. The Bucks significantly increased their level of physicality from Friday's effort, drew penalties, put traffic on Gopher goalie Adam Wilcox, and controlled much of the play. Their efforts paid off in the game's first goal. 

As Ohio State swarmed the Minnesota goal Matt Weis got the puck out front to Darik Angeli. The senior's shot was stopped by Wilcox, but Nick Schilkey collected the rebound and lifted a backhand over the fallen netminder. 

The Gophers attempted just eight shots in the first period. Only three found their way to the net. Christian Frey barely broke a sweat fending them off. 

Pd time buckeye goal scorer (assists)
1 8:54 Nick Schilkey (Darik Angeli, Matt Weis)
2 8:07 Matt Johnson (Matt Weis, Clark Cristofoli)
3 5:42 Craig Dalrymple (Luke Stork, Josh Healey)
3 18:58 Anthony Greco - ENG (Tanner Fritz, Matt Johnson)
3 19:32 Tanner Fritz (unassisted)

Minnesota must've gotten an earful from coach Don Lucia at intermission because they came out buzzing for the second period. The Buckeye defenders did a decent job of sticking with them but the Gophers still dented the net. Frey was unprepared when Taylor Cammarata unleashed a weird angle shot. The puck ended up in the back of the net. So did a later deflection off the traffic in front of Frey. 

The Gophers on their game are an impressive sight. But this game belonged to Ohio State. The Buckeyes' bounce back started with an extended shift in the Minnesota zone. 

OSU's pressure caused the Gophers to commit a penalty. With an extra attacker on, Wilcox coughed up a rebound. Matt Johnson pounced on it, tying the game with his 13th goal of the season. 

The Scarlet and Gray comeback continued with some masterful penalty killing against the nation's most dangerous power play unit. The Buckeyes iced two Minnesota man-advantages over the last 22 minutes. Christian Frey recovered his earlier poise and was sharp in net. 

Craig Dalrymple put the Bucks ahead early in the third period with his second goal in as many games, sliding across the ice to tee up a Luke Stork pass. Action in the final 15 minutes was fast as furious as both teams battled with the desperation you'd expect to see this late in the season. The goaltenders traded flashy saves and fortunate dings off the goalposts. 

With just under two minutes to play Minnesota pulled Wilcox for the extra attacker. The Buckeyes locked down the win with solid D and a pair of empty net goals. Tanner Fritz set up Anthony Greco on the first one and the hockey gods repaid Fritz, setting him up for the final nail in the coffin. 

Two games remain in Ohio State's regular season schedule. The Bucks travel to Wisconsin next week. Then they're Detroit-bound for the Big Ten tournament. If they keep up this level of play they're going to be a very unpopular opponent at the tourney. 

Other Notes...

All seven healthy seniors played in tonight's game. They combined for three goals and four assists. 

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