By late Thursday night, a great week had become even better for Ohio State’s Drew Brevig.
On Monday the defenseman was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. But his biggest moment came Thursday night when he scored the winning goal in overtime to push the Buckeyes past Michigan State and into the Big Ten semifinals.
The OSU men’s hockey team (17-13-5, 7-9-5-4) came from behind to record a 2-1 victory over MSU (11-18-7, 5-10-6-4) in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal in St. Paul, Minn.
MSU started brighter. OSU freshman goalie Christian Frey had to be alert during the first few minutes as the Spartans got the game’s first three shots.
But he couldn’t stop MSU’s fourth attempt. Spartans senior forward Greg Wolfe found some space in front of the net and quickly shot past Frey.
Even with their top-10 power play unit getting two opportunities, the Buckeyes failed to put any significant pressure on sophomore goalie Jake Hildebrand. The Spartans came into the game with the most blocks in the Big Ten – 78 more than any other team – and their defensive expertise stymied the Buckeyes through the first 20 minutes.
OSU began to produce chances early in the second period. First, junior forwards Max McCormick and Tanner Fritz combined to test Hildebrand. Then the netminder had to stop junior forward Darik Angeli on a shorthanded breakaway.
It wasn’t until late in the period that the Buckeyes finally broke through.
Captain Curtis Gedig had his long shot from the point saved, and after sophomore forward Anthony Greco’s rebound attempt was also stopped, Frtiz reacted quickly to tie the contest.
Greco drew a penalty 5:57 into the third, but the Spartans’ stingy defense kept their composure. On the other end, Frey stuck out his left toe to prevent MSU scoring the go-ahead goal with just over nine minutes to go.
OSU killed off a power play in the final two minutes, and the two teams headed into overtime for the fourth time this season.
With both teams playing to extend their season, it took just over four minutes for the clinching goal to arrive.
After a flurry of activity around the MSU net, the puck made its way out to Tanner Fritz. He dropped it behind him to Brevig, and after composing himself the defenseman directed the puck into the top corner, ending MSU’s resistance.
OSU has a short turnaround before facing No. 1 Minnesota on Friday in the semifinals. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m.