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Men’s Hockey: No. 4 Ohio State dominated 8-2 by No. 15 Bowling Green

Ohio State junior forward John Wiitala (10) pushed down Wisconsin freshman forward Sean Dhooghe (24) in front of redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo (30) in the first period on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won the game 6-2. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports Editor

In a game where the Ohio State men’s hockey team needed to come out strong after falling to the No. 4 team in the nation, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Buckeyes in their 8-2 loss to No. 15 Bowling Green.

Bowling Green (5-1-0) entered the game as one of the top scoring teams in the nation, and controlled both ends of the ice all night, scoring on eight of its 28 shots and only allowing two goals to Ohio State (3-2-0).

The scoring for the Falcons came early and often, tallying three goals in the first six minutes of the game and then adding another in the first before scoring three more times in the second period.

Falcons sophomore forward Max Johnson scored two goals in the first period before completing his hat trick in the second period, and 13 Falcons earned a point during the game. As expected, the game was a physical affair in which each team earned eight penalties.

“You can fall behind teams, but you can’t take down penalties and put yourself further in the hole,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “That’s certainly what we did tonight against a very good hockey team.”

The power play, which was one of Ohio State’ biggest strengths last season, led to its downfall against Bowling Green as it allowed the Falcons to score on four of their eight attempts while the Buckeyes themselves were only one for eight with the man advantage.

“Again, last year, we were one of the best in the special team category, we were one of the best in discipline and not taking penalties,” Rohlik said. “Tonight was opposite of how you win hockey games.”

Even when the Buckeyes had the puck with a one or two-man advantage, it never felt like they were truly in control of the game. The Falcons were often in Ohio State territory during the Buckeyes’ power plays and scored two short-handed goals, one of which was during a five-on-three Ohio State power play by Falcons senior forward Stephen Baylis.

Ohio State played with more passion in the third period, with senior forwards Mason Jobst and John Wiitala scoring Ohio State’s only goals of the night.

The Buckeyes only allowed one goal in the third period, but the deficit at that point was too much for the team to overcome.

“I don’t think [regrouping] should be a problem,” Jobst said. “I think most guys in that locker room are pretty embarrassed. We didn’t come out the way we wanted to. We knew what they were gonna bring and, like I said, getting embarrassed like that, we’re going to be ready to go tomorrow.”

Redshirt senior goaltender Sean Romeo allowed four goals in the first period and was pulled in favor of sophomore goaltender Tommy Nappier. After giving up two goals, Nappier was then replaced by sophomore goaltender Evan Moyse, who saw his first action of the season. Overall, they allowed eight goals on only 28 shots.

The Buckeyes will travel to Bowling Green for the second game of the series at 7:07 p.m on Saturday.

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