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LGHL Ohio State hockey's season ends with 4-2 loss to Minnesota

Matt Torino

Ohio State hockey's season ends with 4-2 loss to Minnesota
Matt Torino
via our friends at Land-Grant Holy Land
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


After last night's emotional overtime win versus Michigan State, Minnesota took down the Buckeyes in the semifinal of the Big Ten Tournament

If you just took the first two periods of this game, Ohio State played a whale of a game. Coming off last night's overtime win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal, the Buckeyes looked energized in the first two period's of tonight's contest versus regular season conference title holders Minnesota. They played evenly with the Gophers and took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

In the third period, it all came apart as Minnesota took the game 4-2. Minnesota scored all four of their goals in the final frame as Ohio State just seemed to run out of energy after the prior night's longer than regulation affair. Minnesota, coming in rested having received a bye for being one of the top two seeds via the conference's regular season standings, looked a little rusty and couldn't keep up with the energetic Buckeyes early.

Things really looked to be heading Minnesota's way early when Dakota Joshua received a five minute major and game misconduct for a questionable hit along the boards, but Minnesota couldn't generate any offense on that powerplay, and almost immediately after OSU found a way to kill it with no damage done, Kevin Miller put Ohio State on the boards on a rebound at 13:01. Ohio State would hold off the Gophers, who still couldn't get anything going, and take that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Nick Schilkey hit a crossbar that almost made it 2-0, but in the second, Minnesota looked to finally start looking like the team that won the regular season Big Ten title. Schilkey's missed opportunity soon after Miller's goal would prove to be costly. Minnesota wouldn't be able to put up a goal in the second, but started taking control, especially with Hudson Fasching's line controlling play mercilessly when they took the ice. The Gophers led in shots, 13-8, in the second but even that didn't show how much the rested Gophers were starting to take over.

In the third, the dam broke and Christian Frey's solid play up to that point couldn't rescue the tired Buckeyes. Tyler Sheehy scored the Gophers first goal on a two on one just 1:36 into the third period. Just under four minutes later, at 5:20 of the third, Leon Bristedt laid a perfect pass between two Ohio State defenders to hit Vinni Lettieri's stick and he put it top right corner over Frey to give the Gophers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

At 11:11 of the third, Minnesota made a wish and gave themselves a 3-1 lead with Sheehy forcing a turnover and hitting Taylor Cammarata who put it home. But that wouldn't be all for the Gophers. Sheehy found Cammarata again, who put it between the legs of Frey to make it 4-1 at 16:38 of the third. David Gust would add one for the Buckeyes to make it 4-2, but it would be for naught as that would be as close as the Bucks would get.

Ohio State just couldn't find a way to keep up with the more rested and talented Minnesota team after the first two periods. The Gophers won the regular season conference title for a reason and they showed why in the third period tonight. OSU did the absolute best they could and prevented the Bucks from getting a shot at Michigan for the Big Ten Tournament title.

Minnesota takes on Michigan for the conference title, while the Ohio State hockey season ends on a sour note. The team is young and shouldn't be losing much next year. They could and should be better, possibly challenging for one of the top three spots in the conference if everything breaks correctly.

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