Regardless of venue, the outcome was the same for the Ohio State men’s hockey team against top-ranked Minnesota: cold.
The Buckeyes (11-8-1, 1-4-1-0) dropped back-to-back contests against the Golden Gophers (17-2-3, 7-0-1-0) over the weekend in Minneapolis.
Saturday evening’s game began with a two-goal Buckeye advantage. Junior forward Nick Oddo scored his sixth goal of the season 10:35 into the first period before freshman defenseman Drew Brevig doubled his team’s lead less than four minutes later.
Minnesota’s junior forward Sam Warning answered just 24 seconds after Brevig’s tally to cut OSU’s lead to one. Warning then scored two more times in the second period to complete his hat trick and the turnaround for the Gophers. The hosts added another goal in the final period to complete a 4-2 victory.
Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said he thought his team “played a pretty good hockey game” but ultimately “came up a little short,” according to a press release.
Buckeye freshman goalie Christian Frey – making his third career start – stopped 28 shots in his first-ever defeat.
On Friday night the two teams met in the 2014 Hockey City Classic. The game was played outside at Minnesota’s football venue, TCF Bank Stadium, and the difficult conditions slowed down two of the nations top three offenses, producing a 1-0 win for the Gophers.
“The little things you can do on the normal ice were harder for me so I just tried to keep it simple,” senior defenseman Curtis Gedig said in a press release. “I think the 1-0 score reflected how tough it was.”
First period shots were 8-7 in favor of the Gophers, though the Buckeyes had the clearest opportunity through a Ryan Dzingel breakaway that was saved by Adam Wilcox in the Minnesota net.
“I tried to go upstairs with it and just didn’t get a hold of it as much as I would like,” Dzingel said in a press release. “He obviously made a great save.”
The visitors regretted that miss 4:20 into the second when a Taylor Cammarata shot squeezed through the body of OSU freshman goalie Matt Tomkins to give Minnesota the lead.
After that goal the Buckeyes did all they could to draw level in the remaining period and a half but the couldn’t beat the impressive Wilcox, who became the first net minder to hold OSU scoreless all season.
The Buckeyes are back on the road this upcoming weekend with two games against the Wisconsin Badgers. Friday’s game is set to begin at 9 p.m. and Saturday’s is scheduled for 8 p.m.