The men's hockey Buckeyes continue to roll through the postseason. Ohio State dusted off Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals last week. Today the Bucks ousted the other Mitten State squad in the B1G semifinal. They took down third seed Michigan in overtime.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||OT||Final|
|No. 11 Michigan||0||1||1||0||2|
|No. 5 Ohio State||1||0||1||1||3|
The first half of this game was weirdly tame given its importance and the mutual dislike of its combatants. But it picked up steam around the halfway mark. By the end, it had all the intensity one expects from Ohio State and Michigan, plus a happy outcome for the home team.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Wyatt Ege drew a penalty on the Wolverines. On the ensuing power play, Gordi Myer blasted a shot from the perimeter shot that zipped past the screen of Dakota Joshua and Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne.
The Wolverines had some chances early. Two of the best came from Quinn Hughes. First Sean Romeo stoned him on a breakaway. Hughes got the puck past Romeo on his next try but he didn’t beat the goalpost. He just rang a loud miss off the inside of the iron.
|Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists)||Pd||Time|
|PP - Gordi Myer (Matt Miller, Dakota Joshua)||1||16:02|
|PP - Dakota Joshua (John Wiitala, Matt Miller)||3||4:01|
|Matt Weis (Tanner Laczynski, Wyatt Ege)||OT||0:32|
However, all the luck Hughes lost was apparently picked up by teammate Cooper Marody. As Michigan gained momentum in the second period, the Big Ten’s leading scorer evened the game at 1-1. Kind of.
Marody capped a dogged Wolverine assault by batting down the puck and reaching back to flip it past Romeo. OSU appeared to have a legitimate complaint that Marody closed his hand over the puck during the play. However, after the officials reviewed the play, the goal stood.
Undeterred, Ohio State regained the lead early in the third period. Once again, it was the Buckeye power play getting the job done. A shot to the net bounced off Joshua and/or his stick and tickled the twine.
OSU’s 2-1 advantage held until the 7:27 mark of the third period. Romeo made some brilliant saves to preserve the Bucks' lead but again he was burned by the infernal luck of Marody. This time the Wolverine forward spun around and swept the puck toward the net where it ricocheted off the post and went in.
The game headed to overtime knotted at 2-2. But the puck hardly dropped in the extra session before Matt Weis put it into the back of the net. The senior took a pass from Tanner Laczynski, went mano a mano with Lavigne, and sniped the game-winner like it was no big thing. 32 seconds and the Bucks were into the Big Ten championship game.
Buckeyes WIN!— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) March 11, 2018
Ohio State with a 3-2 OT WIN over the Wolverines in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals!
Ohio State is moving on to the Big Ten Championship game! pic.twitter.com/t1hJ3v2z0Z
With the win, Ohio State advances to the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes will travel to face regular season champ, Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish edged Penn State in the other B1G semi match up with a game-winning tally in the final minute of regulation.
The B1G tourney title game is scheduled for next Saturday, March 17, at 8pm ET. Fans not in attendance can view the game live on BTN or stream it via BTN2Go.