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Best non-Football/Basketball Sporting Event: Ice hockey

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OSU freshman forward Dakota Joshua (8) scores the game-winning goal in a shootout against Michigan on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports Editor

OSU freshman forward Dakota Joshua (8) scores the game-winning goal in a shootout against Michigan on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports Editor

With ice hockey winning the award for Best Non-Football/Basketball Sporting Event to Attend, The Lantern invited its student cheering-section leader, second-year in marketing E.J. Powers, to give his take on why it rules supreme.

If you haven’t been to an Ohio State men’s hockey game before, you’re missing out. Hockey is a game of speed, skill and big hits. The hockey team, including opposing players, loves to leave it all on the ice. The team works hard during the week to represent our school on the ice at the Schottenstein Center on Friday and Saturday nights.

It’s my job to make sure Block “O”’s hockey student section, the Knucklebucks, is packed and rowdy as we try to cheer our team to victory. We start all of the cheers, such as an arenawide “O-H-I-O” after a goal and “shots, shots, shots, shots,” on the power play. We do everything we can to help our team and make the experience fun and memorable for every Buckeye fan in attendance.

Men’s hockey is the third-highest attended sport (behind football and basketball, of course) at OSU. This past season we had more than 2,000 students at some of our games. Anyone who went will never forget our big win over Michigan in January.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the game saw several lead changes resulting in the Buckeyes trailing 5-4 with less than 30 seconds remaining. Senior Anthony Greco capitalized on a successful offensive-zone faceoff to tie the game at five with 0:07 left in regulation right in front of the student section, and we lost our minds. How much more dramatic could it get? Our senior captain tied the game against our biggest rival with less than 10 seconds left right in front of us.

Overtime was exciting, but this game would require a shootout to decide a winner. It took nine rounds, but freshman forward Dakota Joshua found the back of the net to win it. There was a huge roar from the students as Michigan’s goalie hung his head and the Buckeyes poured off the bench.

Beating Michigan is always sweet, but beating the Wolverines in a nine-round shootout and then again in overtime in our last game of the season at Nationwide Arena is about as exciting as it can get. This also marked the first time OSU has won the season series with Michigan in more than a decade, not to mention that this was an excellent Wolverine team that advanced all the way to the national semifinal.

All signs are pointing up for the hockey team after a strong second half of the season, and top scorers Mason Jobst and captain Nick Schilkey are returning. So if you enjoy the big hits, sweet goals, cheering for your school, giveaways and occasional free pizza, check out OSU hockey next fall. Be sure to come be in the Knucklebucks section (111 and 117) to get the most out of this awesome experience!

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