Ohio State Men's Hockey Falls to Quinnipiac, 4-1, in the 2023 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals

By Chase Brown on March 26, 2023 at 6:33 pm
Ohio State Hockey
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

Ohio State men's hockey saw its season come to an untimely end this weekend.

After a dominant 8-1 win over No. 3 seed Harvard in the NCAA Tournament's first round on Friday, Ohio State could not muster the same offensive firepower in its matchup with No. 1 seed Quinnipiac on Sunday, resulting in a 4-1 loss for the Buckeyes in the quarterfinals.

As was the case against Harvard, No. 4 seed Ohio State stunned Quinnipiac with a quick score. Joe Dunlap gained possession near the middle of the ice, skated toward the net and the puck past goaltender Yaniv Perets despite pressure from two Bobcat defensemen. 

Unlike the Buckeyes' blowout over the Crimson, Ohio State would not enter a scoring frenzy against the Bobcats. Instead, Quinnipiac was the team to generate a heavy offensive push and peppered goaltender Jakub Dobeš with shots for the rest of the first period.

After countless attempts on the net, Quinnipiac finally answered with its own score at the 6:40 mark, as Christophe Fillion snuck one past Dobeš in close quarters. Victor Czerneckianair and Christophe Tellier received points for assists.

Fifteen seconds later, Skyler Brind'Amour put Quinnipiac up 2-1 after a chaotic sequence for Ohio State's defense, namely Dobeš in the net. The 2022 Big Ten Goaltender of the Year stood on his head and made three saves in three seconds, deflecting a howitzer from the point and deterring two rebound attempts.

Dobeš did his best to save the fourth Bobcat attempt, but Brind'Amour's momentum as he surged into the slot allowed him to push the puck past him and into the left side of the net. Desi Bugart and Ethan de Jong, Quinnipiac forwards who attempted shots two and three in the sequence, received credit for assists.

Both teams went scoreless in the second period, but the 20 minutes were not without plenty of offensive action for the Buckeyes. Ohio State outshot Quinnipiac 15-3 in the frame and looked poised to even the score, but Perets – a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the NCAA's best hockey player – remained stout in net and saved every one of the Buckeyes' attempts on the net. 

In the third period, the Buckeyes sold out for an offensive attack while the Bobcats parked the bus. Those tactics led to Ohio State outshooting Quinnipiac 8-0 in the first 10 minutes of the frame. It wasn't until the 8:55 mark that the Bobcats registered its first attempt, and they immediately added three more, including a shot that almost snuck underneath the outstretched stick of Dobeš.

That offensive sequence for Quinnipiac ended when Ohio State's Gustaf Westlund was sent to the box for a minor boarding penalty. Now on the power play, the Bobcats entirely abandoned its defensive-heavy approach as it started to smell blood in the water.

Two seconds after the power play ended, Tellier received a pass courtesy of Fillion and Jacob Quillian that he sent into the top right corner of the net. Dobeš made a glove save on the attempt, but his mitt was past the red line when the puck landed in the webbing. Play continued briefly before Dobeš covered the puck. When refs reviewed Tellier's shot, they awarded the Bobcats with their third goal to put them up 3-1.

In a last-ditch comeback effort, Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik pulled Dobeš from the net in favor of an extra skater. The Buckeyes managed to put a few shots on the net with six on the ice, but a long rebound led to a two-on-one transition opportunity for the Bobcats, and Jayden Lee capitalized on an empty-net chance that made it 4-1 in favor of Quinnipiac.

When the clock reached triple zeroes inside Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Ohio State's 2022-23 season officially ended. The Buckeyes completed the year with a 21-13-6 record and were 11-11-2 in Big Ten competition – good for a third-place finish in the conference. Rohlik's squad also reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament and finished behind Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State.

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