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Men’s Hockey: No. 4 Ohio State falls 2-1 to Michigan in low-scoring battle

Freshman forward Quinn Preston (16) races for a loose puck during the first period of Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan on Jan. 11. Ohio State lost 2-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The Lantern

In the rivalry matchup between Michigan (8-8-6, 4-4-4-2 Big Ten) and Ohio State (12-5-4, 5-2-3-2 Big Ten), a season after the Buckeyes won all five matchups, it was the Wolverines who came out on top, winning the game 2-1.

Michigan junior goalie Hayden Lavigne came up big, making 22 saves, including 20 straight to end the game.

“They’re a really good hockey team, they’ve got a ton of talent,” head coach Steve Rohlik said.  “They played with a lot of speed. There’s nothing that surprised me tonight.”

Following the puck drop, Ohio State roared to life with senior forward Freddy Gerard scoring a goal less than seven minutes into the game with assists from junior forward Carson Meyer and senior forward Dakota Joshua.

The rest of the period saw a vicious Michigan offense facing off against a resilient OSU defense.  Michigan attempted over double the amount of shots in the period, shooting 13 times as opposed to Ohio State’s six, but the Buckeyes held the 1-0 lead.

Within the first two minutes of the second period, both Michigan senior defenseman Nicholas Boka and junior forward Jake Slaker were sent to the penalty box, allowing Ohio State a 5-on-3 opportunity to advance their lead.  Despite their best efforts, the puck ricocheted off the goal post twice, keeping the score at 1-0.

“We had obviously a couple great looks, hit a couple posts, I mean sometimes you get those, sometimes you don’t,” Rohlik said. “We go up two-zip maybe it’s a different game, but it didn’t happen, so then you gotta respond from there.”

Shortly after being released from the penalty box, Slaker tied the game up 1-1.

The teams remained in a gridlock up until the last few minutes of the second period, when Michigan junior forward Will Lockwood shot and scored, putting Michigan in the lead 2-1.

The Buckeyes pulled redshirt senior goalie Sean Romeo and put in an additional player within the last moments of the game in an attempt to at least tie up the game, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

“We kind of played into what they like to do,” Gerard said. “They had a lot of heat coming up the ice on us and for whatever reason, we just didn’t really have the jump tonight, and we weren’t playing really connected.”

Ohio State faces off with Michigan again at the Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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