No. 4/7 Ohio State and Michigan State drew up their lines on Friday night for the first Big Ten battle of 2019. Like so many prior contests between the teams, this one was a bonus hockey barnburner. 65+ minutes and 15 goals later it officially it ended in a tie with the Spartans claiming an extra conference point.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||OT||Final||3v3|
|No. 4/7 Ohio State||3||1||3||0||7||0|
Gustaf Westlund put the Buckeyes on the board with his first career goal a mere 1:16 into the contest. Taro Hirose responded, scoring one goal and setting up another to give Michigan State a 2-1 lead. The Spartans held that lead all of 35 seconds before Tanner Laczynski snapped his seven-game goalless drought and leveled the score once again.
|Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists)||Pd||Time|
|Gustaf Westlund (Mason Jobst, Quinn Preston)||1||1:16|
|Tanner Laczynski (Gordi Myer, Sasha Larocque)||1||14:59|
|Quinn Preston (Gustaf Westlund)||1||16:43|
|Mason Jobst (Quinn Preston)||2||8:28|
|PP - Gustaf Westlund (Dakota Joshua, Mason Jobst)||3||2:20|
|Ryan O'Connell (Mason Jobst)||3||7:24|
|Dakota Joshua (Carson Meyer)||3||15:00|
The Bucks surged ahead late in the period. The top line struck for a second time. Westlund hustled behind the net and bounced the out front. Quinn Preston slammed it into the empty net. Preston also took center stage in the second period with a backhanded spin-o-rama set up for Mason Jobst and a 4-2 Buckeye lead. (Embedded below.)
Michigan State cashed in on a power play early in the third period to narrow the gap to 4-3. Ohio State regained command with its fifth and sixth goals of the game. Westlund netted a second score, capitalizing on the man-advantage. Fellow freshman Ryan O’Connell fired home his first collegiate goal with a little over 12 minutes to play.
What. A. Goal.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) January 5, 2019
That should have been the game. But the Bucks didn’t lock it down. The Spartans kept flying through the neutral zone. The fast pace put the Buckeye defenders on their heels and led to some defensive breakdowns.
To make matters worse, the hockey gods decided to reward Michigan State’s efforts with a bevy of fortunate bounces. MSU outscored OSU 4-1 over the final 6:05 of the game. Dakota Joshua scored the lone late Buckeye tally.
Neither side prevailed in the 5-on-5 overtime. The teams each claimed one Big Ten point. But, riding high on their massive wave of momentum, the Spartans netted a 3-on-3 overtime goal and an extra conference point.
Although this wasn't a terrible game, it is a bad result against the Big Ten's last place team. The Bucks had the win in the bag and let it slip away. They did a better job of controlling the pace of the game and limiting quality chances in the second period with a 4-2 lead than they did with the three-goal lead in the third.
It was also not a good night for the OSU penalty kill which technically went 1-for-3. But, since the Spartans scored seconds after that one successful kill, it was kind of 0-for. The Buckeyes are now 11-4-4 overall and 4-2-3-2 in the Big Ten.
The top trios for both teams impressed. OSU’s leading line of Westlund, Jobst, and Preston combined for four goals and six assists. They edged MSU’s Hirose, Patrick Khodorenko, and Mitch Lewandowski who posted two goals and seven assists.
Ohio State's scoring depth was not showcased. The remaining Buckeye forwards contributed a collective two goals and two assists in the contest. The Bucks and Spartans renew hostilities tomorrow at 8pm ET. The game can be viewed live on BTN or streamed via BTN2Go.