Despite overwhelming Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (0-0-1) for the majority of the game, Ohio State (1-1-1) could not pull off the victory as the teams battled to a 1-1 draw Friday night at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State junior forward Dakota Joshua scored the first goal of the game, but RPI senior defenseman Jaren Wilson tied the game with the game’s final goal later that period.
Ohio State outshot the Engineers 57-24, with 26 of those shots coming in the second period. The Buckeyes set a Schottenstein record for most shots in a game and most shots in the second period.
“[RPI junior goalie Chase Perry] got to see a lot of shots, so that makes a goalie’s job a lot easier, and it was easy for him to build confidence,” Joshua said. “The shots weren’t the problem, obviously.”
The Buckeyes’ struggles on the power play continue as the team is now 0-for-17 with a man advantage this season, a year after finishing with the top power play percentage in the NCAA.
“It’s not for a lack of work ethic, sometimes you get some new guys out there on a unit, you try too hard to make a perfect play instead of trying to get pucks on the net,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We started to do that more towards the end of our power plays, but it’s just a matter of time and we just have to stay with it.”
Both teams were held scoreless in the first period, but there were strong chances on both ends of the ice. Engineers senior defenseman Mike Prapavessis fired a shot towards Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo that was nearly rebounded in by another RPI player, but the Buckeyes found a way to clear the puck out of the zone, avoiding the early deficit. Ohio State led in shots 12-4 after the first period.
The Buckeyes put the foot on the gas in the second period, and Joshua rewarded the team by grinding out a goal early in the second. The Buckeyes had a flurry of shots on Perry, and Joshua eventually found the puck in front of the net, and pushed it past Perry for the 1-0 lead with 9:35 remaining in the period.
“It wasn’t happening much tonight, so a little bit of luck on my side. But I was able to find a loose puck and got an arm free and I just got lucky and it went in,” Joshua said.
RPI answered seven minutes later on a goal from the point by senior defenseman Jared Wilson. The goal came on a man-up, as Wilson ripped a shot off a feed by junior defenseman Meirs Moore, and a sliding Romeo could not get in position in time to stop the shot from reaching the twine.
After two periods, Ohio State led the Engineers in shots 38-8 and in faceoff wins 26-9, but the score remained a 1-1 tie.
In the third period, both goaltenders kept their teams tied with some huge saves. Romeo kept the puck out on some big shots by the Engineers with about five minutes to go, but the highlight of the night came from Perry, who stuffed junior forward Mason Jobst with an athletic save with the left pad in the final minute of the third.
“Sometimes you just run into a hot goalie and obviously he was hot tonight,” Jobst said. “We have to get more traffic in front and hopefully bang in some rebounds.”
Both teams were held scoreless in overtime, but this time Romeo made the big stop, stuffing freshman forward Emil Öhrvall directly in front of the net. Ohio State senior forward Matthew Weis hit a puck off the post with under a minute to go in the overtime frame on a wide-open shot in the slot.
Jobst scored the only goal in the shootout on a nifty move to beat Perry, and Romeo would stop all three shooters to give the Buckeyes the moral victory. The game resulted in a tie as shootouts are not counted in the standings for non-conference opponents in collegiate hockey.
Ohio State and RPI face off again at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.