Men's Hockey Raises Championship Banner, Drops Game

By Aubrey Nelson on March 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Buckeye forward Freddy Gerard races Spartan defenseman Dennis Cesana to the puck.

The historic regular season campaign of Ohio State men’s hockey fizzled to a close on Saturday with a loss to Michigan State. Despite a furious final push, the Big Ten champion Buckeyes dropped a 3-2 decision to the Spartans. OSU finishes the regular season with a 20-9-5 overall record and a 13-11-2-2 slate in conference games.

Scoring by Period 1 2 3 Final
Michigan State 0 1 2 3
No. 7 Ohio State 0 1 1 2

The Bucks and Spartans skated a scoreless opening period. They traded power play goals in the middle frame. Patrick Khodorenko potted his eighteenth tally of the season at the 5:52 mark. Wyatt Ege answered for the Buckeyes midway through the period.

Despite an 18-8 shot advantage for Ohio State in the third period, Michigan State regained and extended its lead. Mitch Lewandowski wrangled a rebound and banked his sixteenth goal of the year a minute into the stanza. Brody Stevens gave MSU a two-goal cushion at the 8:38 mark.

The Bucks pulled Sean Romeo for the extra attacker with three minutes to play. They unleashed a furious fusillade on Spartan goalie John Lethemon over that stretch. Tanner Laczynksi jammed home a goal in melee, narrowing the scoreboard gap to 3-2. The Scarlet and Gray quickly resumed their determined assault, but they simply didn’t have time to right the wrongs of the rest of the game in one brief final push.

The good news is this result does not change the fact that Ohio State is the 2018-19 Big Ten champ. Take a minute to enjoy the first conference championship banner-raising in OSU hockey history. (Apologies to that 1971-72 team if you guys had a banner. I've never seen or heard of it.)

The team has earned a week to rest, refocus, and maybe (hopefully, all the fingers crossed) heal up on a bye week while the rest of the conference battles through the first round of the B1G tournament. The bad news is that, whichever one of those teams OSU faces next is going to be flying full steam into the semifinal while the Bucks are...well, not.

But let’s end this on a positive note which is that OSU has one line which is en fuego and that is the trio of Laczynski, Ronnie Hein, and Freddy Gerard. They accounted more than a third of the Bucks’ shots on goal this series as well as nine points (3-6--9). Stevie Wonder could see that they were the best line on the ice this week.

  • Ohio State outshot Michigan State 34-25 in the game and 18-8 in the third period.
  • Both OSU and MSU were 1-for-4 on the power play tonight. 
  • The Bucks host their Big Ten semifinal match-up at the Schott on Sunday, March 17 at 3:30 p.m.
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