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Men’s Ice Hockey: Buckeyes fail to get back on track after loss to Wisconsin

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The Ohio State Men’s Hockey team ready to battle for the puck. Credit: Lantern File

The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team took the trip up to Madison, Wisconsin, to face the Big Ten-leading Badgers, only to find themselves scoring one goal in two games, losing both matchups.

During the first game Friday night in a packed Kohl center, the Buckeyes found themselves down early when freshman defenseman Zach Schulz scored in the first period to put pressure on Ohio State, even with the Buckeyes having the shot advantage, 10-7.

After a scoreless second, Badger sophomore forward Christian Fitzgerald scored to extend the lead to 2-0. Wisconsin then scored an empty net goal late in the game to claim victory 3-0.

Head coach Steve Rohlik, a graduate and four-year letterwinner of Wisconsin, said he knows the importance of getting a lead on his alma mater because of their recent early success.

“I thought we came out and played a pretty good first period on the road,” Rohlik said. “You need to get the lead against a good team like that. Unfortunately, they got the first one, and we weren’t able to get one by him. We need to battle back and try to be a little bit better tomorrow.”

Saturday night provided the chance for the Buckeyes to split the series and have some momentum returning home. However, quite the opposite happened.

After a mostly scoreless first period, the Badgers scored a shorthanded and power-play goal in the final minutes.

Freshman forward Quinn Finley scored on a penalty shot, and sophomore forward Simon Tassy scored on a power play, making it 4-0.

Ohio State finally got on the board in the second on a power play when senior forward Patrick Guzzo tipped in a pass from sophomore forward Davis Burnside.

Wisconsin then blew the game away, scoring two more to make it 6-1, outshooting the Buckeyes 14-5 in the second.

Freshman goalie Kristoffer Eberly took the crease in the third, making his collegiate debut for junior Logan Terness and junior Reilly Herbst, and stopped all 10 shots against him.

“We just didn’t play well tonight; it wasn’t our best effort,” Rohlik said. “We got into penalty trouble, and that put us in a tough position. It’s back to work on Monday to get better.”

The Buckeyes look to have a better result on home ice at Value City Arena when they welcome No. 10 Minnesota Friday at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday at 8 p.m. Big Ten Network will broadcast.

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