Heading into their series against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the University of Michigan Wolverines should have had nothing to worry about; the last 2 times these teams met, Michigan won by a considerable amount.
The first goal set the tone
Ohio State wasted no time scoring at just 1:51 into the first period. Gustaf Westlund caught Erik Portillo in a vulnerable position, unable to control the puck, as he went behind the net after Mark Cheremeta threw the puck in the Michigan defensive zone. Westlund was able to take control of the puck, wrap around the net, and put it in the back of the net; the score was now 1-0 Ohio State.
Though Ohio State scored right off the rip, Michigan would not let this goal go unanswered. At 6:31 of the first, Michael Gildon took a 2 minute penalty for boarding; Michigan was now on the power play.
Michigan took full advantage of this power-play opportunity as Kent Johnson grabbed the puck on a pass from Owen Power, scoring a goal at 7:22 of the second. Matty Beniers had the secondary assist on this goal.
The score was now tied at 1-1.
As the rest of the period seemed to be played pretty evenly between both teams, Jaedon Leslie changed that; he takes a shot from the blue line, that it looks like Portillo had a hard time tracking, and puts Ohio State up 2-1 with 7:55 left in the period. Layton Ahac and Grant Gabriele with the assist.
Ohio State starts the period off early again
Heading into the second period the two teams have both played some good competitive hockey. However, Ohio State took the lead at the end of the first.
Both teams come out, exchanging shots without conversion until Layton Ahac passes the puck over to Ryan Dickinson, who takes a shot from the blue line that clips Patrick Guzzo’s stick and is redirected for an Ohio State goal. At 3:37 of the second, Ohio State extends their lead to 3-1.
The rest of the period is back and forth, both teams playing well, neither giving up any shots making it 3-1 to end the second.
Michigan falls just short of a come back
The third period starts off with a face-off win by Austin Pooley against Matty Beniers. This is no surprise as Ohio State has won the opening face-off of each period so far.
However, Michigan was not going to let that stop them from catching up.
Early on in the first half of the third, Michigan was relentless with their shots on goal. By 4:21, Michigan had taken 12 shots, converting 1 into a goal. Beniers, with his 2nd point of the night, scores for Michigan; Nick Granowicz and Johnson assisted him; This was also Johnsons’ 2nd point of the night.
With over 15 minutes left in regulation play, Michigan still had time to even up the score. They took every shot opportunity they could and had control during most of this time. They even pulled Portillo with 1:55 left in the third for the extra-man advantage. Unfortunately, even with that, Michigan could not find the back of the net; the game ended 3-2, Ohio State.
Michigan will take on Ohio State again at 5:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday, February 20, in Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten Network will be broadcasting the final game of the season between these teams.