It’d be an interesting debate to see which gophers frustrated who more.
The gopher pestering Bill Murray in “Caddyshack,” or the Gophers wearing maroon and gold jerseys against Ohio State men’s hockey this weekend.
OSU (3-11, 0-2) was swept by Minnesota (6-7, 2-0) in crushing fashion, losing both games in overtime by scores of 3-2 and 5-4 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The Buckeyes got off to a 2-0 advantage after two periods on Friday courtesy of goals from juniors Josh Healey and Nick Schilkey.
For Healey, it was his first of the season and the fourth of his career assisted by freshmen Dakota Joshua and Freddy Gerard. Schilkey’s lamp-lighter on the power play was the team-leading eighth of the season. It came by way of assists from sophomore Matthew Weis and junior David Gust.
But penalties hurt the Scarlet and Gray dearly in the third period as a duo of Golden Gopher freshmen forwards in Tyler Sheehy and Tommy Novak scored to knot the game at two. The game preceded to overtime, but Minnesota junior forward Hudson Fasching’s goal in the bonus hockey sealed the comeback effort.
Minnesota went 2-of-3 with the man advantage while OSU was 1-of-3.
Junior Christian Frey stopped 37 of the 40 shots sent his way for OSU while Minnesota’s freshman netminder Eric Schierhorn had 26 saves on 28 Buckeye shots.
The back half of the series provided an altered script with the same result.
The Golden Gophers hopped out to a 1-0 with Sheehy’s second goal of the weekend a mere 1:02 into the game.
But OSU battled back, taking a 2-1 lead following junior defenseman Drew Brevig’s first goal of the season and Healey’s second of the weekend at the 4:37 mark of the middle period.
Minnesota then stormed ahead with lamp-lighters from juniors Justin Kloos and Michael Brodzinski, as well as Sheehy again, to make it 4-2 with 17:23 left in the game.
Instead of calling it quits, OSU kept plugging away, cutting the lead down to just one with freshman forward Mason Jobst’s third goal of the campaign.
Golden Gophers sophomore defenseman Ryan Collins’ five-minute major penalty for checking from behind with 5:07 left gave the Buckeyes the extra help they needed to tie the game up.
With OSU coach Steve Rohlik pulling his goaltender Christian Frey to give his team a six-on-four advantage, senior captain Anthony Greco cashed in on a one-timer on a nifty feed from Brevig. Gust also assisted on the tying goal.
Overtime, once again, awaited the squads. But, in similar fashion to Friday night, the Buckeyes came up short.
Leon Bristedt would crashed OSU’s hopes of a complete comeback, as his goal 1:21 into overtime gave Minnesota the 5-4 win and the series sweep.
The Golden Gophers outshot OSU 41-36, with Frey making 36 saves for OSU. Schierhorn notched the sixth win of his young career, stopping 32 pucks on his end.
The Buckeyes head into their winter break 3-11 and 0-8 on the road.
Looking to snap its current four-game losing streak, OSU is set to be back on the ice in Estero, Florida, against No. 2 Boston College on Dec. 28 in the Florida College Classic.