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Men’s Ice Hockey: No. 3 seed Ohio State’s season comes to an end with 4-1 defeat at hands of No. 1 seed Quinnipiac

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The Ohio State men’s hockey team celebrates a goal during the then-No.10 Ohio State – No.4 Michigan game Feb. 18. Ohio State won 4-2. Credit: Katie Good | Asst. Photo Editor

No. 1 seed Quinnipiac scored twice in 15 seconds in the opening period to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, downing No. 3 seed Ohio State 4-1 and ending the Buckeyes’ season in the NCAA Bridgeport Regional Final on Sunday.

With the win, Quinnipiac advances to face the winner of No. 3 Michigan and Penn State in the Allentown regional final, in Tampa Bay, Florida, in the program’s third-ever Frozen Four appearance.

Buckeyes’ sophomore goaltender Jakub Dobeš saved 13 out of 14 faced, while junior forward Joe Dunlap scored Ohio State’s only goal of the contest at the 1:31 mark of the first period, despite 35 shots on goal.

After an early lead for the Buckeyes (21-16-3), the Bobcats (32-4-3) quickly roared back to gain the lead and add on late, getting a 34-save performance from sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets to shut down the Buckeyes’ offense the rest of the way.

After creating a turnover off graduate defenseman Jacob Nordqvist, Dunlap raced down the ice to score on the 1-on-1 with Perets to give Ohio State its only goal and lead of the game on his 13th goal of the season.

Quinnipiac’s first goal came at 13:20 in the opening period when sophomore forward Christophe Fillion took feeds from forwards freshman Victor Czerneckianair and sophomore Cristophe Tellier to equalize the contest after Dobeš had issues tracking the puck.

Only 15 seconds later, senior forward Skyler Brind’Amour used dishes from graduates forward Desi Burgart and defenseman Jake Johnson to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.

In the third period, Ohio State fifth-year forward Gustaf Westlund was called for a crucial boarding penalty at 13:32 to put the Bobcats on the power play with less than 10 minutes to go.

Quinnipiac took advantage as Tellier scored and survived via video review to make it 3-1 Bobcats at 15:28. Fillion and sophomore forward Jacob Quillan assisted on the play.

The Buckeyes emptied the net at 16:35, but to no avail, as Bobcat senior defenseman Jayden Lee rifled an empty netter down the length of the ice to seal the 4-1 Quinnipiac victory.

The teams were nearly even after the opening 20 minutes, playing at an up-and-down frenetic pace. Shots and faceoffs were both 9-8 in favor of the Buckeyes.

The story of the remainder of the game was missed opportunities by Ohio State. In the second and third periods, the Buckeyes outshot the Bobcats 26-9 but could not find the back of the Quinnipiac net the rest of the way.

Between 2:24 and 4:29 in the second period, the Buckeyes lived in the Bobcat offensive zone, getting seven shots on goal during the frame but Perets saved six.

Ohio State also had three more power-play opportunities, two in the second period and one in the third. However, during the disadvantages, timely clears and a combined six saves by Perets kept the door shut on the Buckeyes.

Shots totaled 35-17 in favor of the Buckeyes, with the Bobcats winning 32 of 55 faceoffs. Each team committed four penalties overall.

Dobeš ended his season strong, recording 13 saves and surrendering only one goal to keep the Buckeyes in the game until the final minutes.

With the loss, Ohio State’s season came to an end, but it looks to build on the foundation laid after winning its first NCAA Tournament game since 2018.

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