MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 6-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team fell to No. 10/9 Minnesota, 2-1, Friday in a Big Ten Conference game in 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The Buckeyes, now 19-8-4 overall and 12-8-1-0 in the Big Ten, and Gophers, 19-13-1 and 10-10-1-1 in league play, will close the weekend and regular season series at 5 p.m. ET Saturday, with ESPNU televising the game.
Minnesota 2, Ohio State 1 – The Short Story
The Gophers led 1-0 after the first period and extended the lead to 2-0 midway through the second. The Buckeyes got on the board late in the second on a Matt Miller power play goal for a one-goal game entering the final period. The Buckeyes outshot the Gophers 9-7 in the third, but were unable to net the equalizer. Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo made 26 saves in the game. The Buckeyes were 1-for-3 on the power play and did not face a Gopher chance with the man advantage.
Quoting head coach Steve Rohlik
“For whatever reason we came out and seemed to be on our heels a little bit in the first period. Once we settled in I thought we had some opportunities. Most games you’re going to have to score more than one goal to win. Give Minnesota credit, they came out and threw the first punch. We have to make sure we are better tomorrow.”
In the First Period
Minnesota notched the only goal of the first, when Brent Gates scored on a rebound at 9:02. The Gophers had the edge in shots, 13-5, and the Buckeyes had the only power play chance. A second Buckeye chance started with 20 seconds left in the period.
In the Second Period
The Gophers pushed ahead 2-0 at 9:43 of the stanza, when a shot by Jack Glover at the point got through. Ohio State got on the board with a power play goal by Matt Miller. Freddy Gerard passed back to Gordi Myer at the point, and he passed over to Miller. His shot fluttered and went in far side, marking his sixth goal of the season. Just five seconds remained on the Buckeye power play when the goal was scored.
The Buckeyes had the momentum early, with six of the first seven shots on goal, but the teams ended the period with each putting eight shots on net.
In the Third Period
Neither team scored in the third, with Ohio State putting nine shots on net and Minnesota getting seven through. Ohio State pulled its goalie with 1:08 remaining and had chances, including a shot that went off the post and through the crease, but was unable to tie the game.
Blocking the Puck
The Buckeyes were outshot, 28-22, in the game. Junior Sean Romeo made 26 saves in 58:52 for the Buckeyes. He has a 2.10 goals-against average and .925 save percentage on the year, ranking in the Top 10 in the NCAA in both categories. Minnesota goalie Mat Robson had 21 saves in all 60 minutes.
The Buckeyes were 1-for-3 on the power play in the game, giving them a goal with the man advantage in 10 of the last 12 games. On the year, the squad is 29-for-127 (.228), ranking 12th in the NCAA.
Ohio State was not assessed a penalty in the game. It was the first time the team did not face a power play since Jan. 26, 2017 vs. Wisconsin and its first game with zero penalties since March 19, 2015 vs. Penn State. The Buckeyes lead the NCAA on the penalty kill, stopping 90.4 percent of their opponents’ opportunities.