(Photo Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics)
In a matchup that will be played out once more in the Big Ten Quarterfinals next week, the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Michigan Wolverines 14-12. The Buckeyes victory ensured the Wolverines ending the regular season on a seven-game losing streak, which is the exact opposite of how they opened the season (seven straight wins).
The win also marks the Buckeyes first time capturing the Creators Trophy since 2015. Ohio State, along with Michigan and Penn State fight for the trophy each season.
Jackson Reid (5G/1A), Jack Myers (3G/5A) led the way for a Buckeyes offense that was able to find its bearing early and often, and never slowed down too much. Skylar Wahlund made 14 saves to anchor an Ohio State defense that held the Wolverines off the scoreboard for almost the entire first 15 minutes of play.
After watching Ohio State jump out to a 6-0 lead during a game-opening run that saw either Jackson Reid or Jack Myers involved on each score, Michigan was final able to settle in. Four consecutive goals from the 5:14 mark in the first through the 12:17 mark in the second helped the Wolverines cut the lead to two-goals, 6-4.
That run was the first of two four-goal runs the Wolverines would produce on Sunday night as they also ended the game with four straight scores, which saw Josh Zawada and Michael Boehm involved on each score. However, Michigan was never able to creep any closer on the Ohio State lead than they did early in the second quarter.
Leading 9-6 at the half, a Johnny Wiseman within in the first minute of the third quarter pushed the Ohio State lead further, 11-7. While Ryan Cohen pulled Michigan close with goals following that Wiseman scored and another following a Jason Knox rip to keep the Wolverines within three, the Buckeyes would soon put this one away.
A pair of Reid Jackson goals that straddled the third and fourth quarters, as well as a goal from Colby Smith off a Mitch Pehlke feed essentially put this one away, pulling the Buckeyes ahead 14-8.
Jackson’s first goal of that run came fairly quickly after a successful Ohio State clear. His second came off a possession that resulted from a Blanchard faceoff win to start the fourth quarter. Smith’s goal, which proved to be the final tally for the Buckeyes, came shortly after the subsequent faceoff win by Blanchard.
The Buckeyes’ speed during that game-securing run very much mirrored that of their first quarter in which all six of their goals came within a span of about six minutes.
Ohio State won the ground ball battle 42-26 and held Michigan to 17-of-19 on the clear. They also caused six of the Wolverines’ nine turnovers on the day.
Justin Inacio went 11-for-21 (52%) at the dot as Ohio State’s primary faceoff man.
Michigan was led by a five-point outing from Josh Zawada (2G/3A) Ryan Cohen has three goals and one assists for four points while Michael Boehm also had four points (2G/2A). Shane Carr made 11 saves in cage.
Johnson Leads Yale Past UAlbany
In their second-to-last non-conference game of the season, the Yale Bulldogs took down the UAlbany Great Danes 17-13.
Leo Johnson had a career-high nine points off four goals and five assists to lead the way for the Bulldogs. Matt Brandau had seven points off four goals and three assists. That includes two of the Bulldog’s six fourth-quarter goals to help them go 6-1 in that final frame and escape the Danes.
Yale took a 6-4 lead at the end of the first before UAlbany outscored them 8-5 in the second and third quarters to cut the Yale lead to 10-8 at the half before taking a 12-11 leading heading into the fourth quarter.
UAlbany ended the third on a three-goal run that included two goals from Corey Yunker (5G) to take the lead. However, it was all Yale from there on out as they stepped on the gas and pushed through the final buzzer.