Thursday, March 19, 2015

Buckeyes Advance to Semifinal With Victory

The Ohio State Men's Hockey Team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals this afternoon with a 3-1 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions.  With the win the Buckeyes will now face the #1 seed, Minnesota Golden Gophers at Joe Lewis Arena.  The game between the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions was very close as the score shows.  A bounce here, or a deflection there, and Penn State might have come away with the victory.

It is interesting to note with how close the game was that not one penalty was called on either team.  Sure there was obstructions by both sides but you have to commend the officials for letting the boys play the game.  Yes, there were a couple of questionable hits by both teams but in the end the game was played very well by both teams.   Even players from both teams whined to the officials about no-calls, but to their credit the officials were consistent and called nothing all game.

To the game itself, Penn State really had the stronger start to the game.  They were creating more shots on goal and more scoring chances but they did not have a goal to show for it in the first period.  They did have a close one that was reviewed, and I will admit that I thought the puck was in.  The refs said no, and waived it off.  I think the problem was that the officials could not see where the puck was under Christian Frey's goalie pads.

I think that the no-goal was sort of a wake up call for the Buckeyes, because soon after that play the Buckeyes started to play better, especially on offense.  Nick Schilkey would get the first of two Buckeye goals in the first period at the 8:01 mark.  He was assisted by David Gust, and made a nice move to go 5 hole on Eamon McAdams, the Penn State goalie.  The Buckeyes' second goal of the first period came on a wicked slap shot by Justin DaSilva.  The assists went to Tanner Fritz and Clark Cristofoli.  Thus ending the first period scoring at 2-0 Buckeyes.

Opening Face-Off
Again, with the second period opening up with Penn State back on the attack down 2-0.  The Nittany Lions would strike first in the period with a goal from Max Gardiner to make it 2-1 (assist to Tommy Olczyk).  The Buckeyes would get stronger as the period drew to a close.  Eamon McAdams was busy in the 2nd stopping 15 shots from the Buckeyes.  The lone goal for the Buckeyes in the second period and would close out the scoring in the game was from David Gust.  Gust was assisted on the goal by Sam Jardine.

After the 3rd Goal!
Both teams played a great third period.  Christian Frey was forced to make 13 of his 31 saves in the 3rd, it was his busiest period as the Nittany Lions tried to mount a comeback.  Given the fact that both teams matched up very well against each other, Frey made the difference on this night, only giving up one goal on 32 shots.  The Buckeyes have to love him in net because he gives them a real chance to win every night.

In the end, the Buckeyes got the 3-1 victory and it was followed up by the honorable post game handshakes.  After the handshakes, the Buckeyes saluted the bands and the fans that showed up in Detroit for the game.  The band played Carmen Ohio after the win, just like they do at the football games.  Everything was good on this night for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes face the Gophers tomorrow at Joe Lewis Arena, Detroit, Michigan at 4:30 PM.  If you can't make it to the Joe, the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.  Hope in one fashion or another you will be out there supporting the Bucks!

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