When the weather gets cold, buckeyes fall. However, the Buckeyes held on strong in Bowling Green.
The Bowling Green State University hockey team (8-11) lost 5-2 to Ohio State (11-7-1) at the Slater Family Arena on Saturday.
“They had their opportunities. We had a couple ourselves,” BGSU coach Ty Eigner said. “One of their goals in the third was off the rush and we got beat back to our net. Good teams do that to you and you have to be ready.”
The puck dropped in front of a packed Slater crowd, with BG sophomore Christian Stoever and OSU sophomore Jakob Dobes in net. It did not take long for action to stir on the ice, but trading penalties led to no early scores.
The first infraction of the game came early in the period, as Falcon defenseman Anton Malmstrom sat in the box for tripping. The Buckeyes’ power play unit was strong, but Stoever kept the score at nil.
The Falcons were coming at full force off the penalty kill and the packed crowd roared as BGSU got multiple great offensive chances, but the Falcons were unable to score.
Halfway through the period, Ohio State received their first penalty of the game and Bowling Green was able to get their own man advantage.
The Falcons were able to spend some ice time in their offensive zone, but inconsistent blue line management killed the power play time. With six minutes left, BGSU got another penalty for high sticking.
Just a minute into the power play, OSU right wing Cam Thiesing scored on a power play goal to make it 1-0 OSU.
With three minutes left, the Falcons had their chance to retaliate as they were back to 5-on-4 hockey, but again none of their shots converted. The period came to a close with the Buckeyes looking like the stronger team.
Six minutes into the second, BG captain Alex Barber had a key chance with a breakaway toward Dobes, but the puck was saved.
At the halfway mark, a dangerous shot hit the crossbar behind Stoever, but it did not cross the goal line for an extended OSU lead. Immediately after, Barber scored high on Dobes to tie the game 1-1.
With less than half period to go, the tension was turned up high as multiple penalties were assessed to each team, exciting the crowd even more. The Slater Arena crowd grew louder as both teams were exchanging breakaways to obtain the lead.
Despite the chaos on the ice, the second period ended with the score still tied at 1-1.
The third began with 5-on-3 hockey and the Buckeyes immediately threw shots at Stoever. The strong and consistent Falcon penalty kill was able to stand tall against Ohio State’s offense until the early third period power plays expired.
Three minutes into the third, another penalty came their way with a call on Falcon center Jaden Grant for interference.
During the kill, defenseman Scooter Brickley blasted one from the blue line to regain the lead for the Buckeyes.
Among a slew of penalties, Bowling Green miraculously found a way to tie up the game.
Falcon fifth-year Taylor Schneider shot the puck past Dobes to give a breath of fresh air to the team, tying the game at 2-2. However, Stephen Halliday took back the lead to make it 3-2.
On top of the regained lead, the Buckeyes shocked the Falcon fans by adding two more goals within 30 seconds as Ohio State grabbed the first win of the series.
Barber explained how the Falcons fell apart with just ten minutes remaining and it all had to do with mindsets.
“We just lost focus,” said Barber.
Barber’s goal and assist gives him a season stat line of five goals and seven assists for 12 points. This marked his fifth multi-point game of the year, tying Taylor Schneider and Austen Swankler for the team lead.
In his career, the captain has 40 goals and 57 assists for 97 points, leading the team in goals and points while tying with Schneider for the lead in assists. This was the senior’s 23rd career multi-point effort, the most on the team.
Schneider scored his sixth goal of the year, giving him 13 points. It was a power play score, his second of the year. In his career, the senior has 39 goals, with 13 coming on the power play. He has 96 career points in 165 games played.
Ryan O’Hara notched an assist, his sixth of the season. The sophomore has 12 points this year and 20 in his career. In 52 games played, he’s tallied 10 assists.
Ben Wozney registered his seventh assist of the year, giving him 11 in his career. All of the defenseman’s career points have been assists.
Dalton Norris recorded his sixth assist of the year, giving him seven points. He leads the freshmen class in both categories and is tied with Austen Swankler for the team lead in power play assists (5). He ranks second on the team with six power play points this season.
Stoever made 38 saves, his fourth-highest total of the season
The Falcons travel to Value City Arena in Columbus for the second half of the home-and-home series against the Buckeyes tomorrow night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.