It took extra time and a fortunate bounce off the opposing goalie, but the Ohio State men’s hockey team came out victorious in its first-round matchup against the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten tournament.
Freshman forward Mason Jobst scored in overtime to seal the 4-3 victory and continuation of OSU’s season for at least one more night.
The Thursday night showdown at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, was the third consecutive match between the two schools.
The Buckeyes got off to a dream start when freshman forward John Wiitala put the puck past Michigan State senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand just 38 seconds into the match. The Minnesota native collected the puck from sophomore forward Matthew Weis and fired home with a wraparound effort.
A physical first period would also end with a Buckeye goal. Freshman defenseman Tommy Parran doubled the lead for the Scarlet and Gray with just over a minute remaining in the period. A shot from junior defenseman and first-team All-Big Ten defenseman Josh Healey took a deflection, and the puck fell to his defensive partner.
The Spartans got on the board in the early minutes of the second period. A midrange effort from junior forward Joe Cox found its way past OSU junior goaltender Christian Frey to cut the Buckeyes’ lead in half. Senior forward Matt DeBlouw would then equalize for the Spartans with a power-play goal around halfway through the period.
Another penalty left OSU shorthanded once again in the period, and the Spartans once again took advantage. Senior forward and captain Michael Ferrantino deflected a shot from freshman defenseman Zach Osburn past Frey, giving the Spartans their first lead of the night.
That lead was not long-lived, as Weis tied it up at 3-3 three and a half minutes into the third period. That would be the final goal in regulation, and the two sides would go to overtime for the third straight game, where Jobst gathered a deflection off Hildebrand and put it into the net for the win.
With the victory, the Buckeyes advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament and are scheduled to face off with No. 1 seed Minnesota on Friday at 8:30 p.m.