COLUMBUS, Ohio. – The UConn Huskies saw a 4-2 second period lead erased by the No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes who answered with five unanswered goals on the way to a 7-4 win Friday night in a non-conference match-up from Value City Arena. Ohio State senior David Gust had a hat trick in the win. The Huskies fall to 3-3-4 overall with the loss while the Buckeyes are now 6-1-3 on the year.
The Huskies trailed 2-1 after the first period but opened the second scoring three-straight to take a 4-2 lead with 6:37 left in the period. That would be the end of UConn’s scoring on the night as the Buckeyes stormed back with three-straight in the second and tacked on two more in the third to take game one of a two-game weekend set.
UConn sophomore Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) scored a power play goal and had a pair of assists while classmate Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) chipped in a power play goal and an assist in the loss. UConn finished 2-of-6 on the power play, marking the sixth-straight game the Huskies have scored with the extra skater.
Joining Thompson and Letunov in the scoring column was junior Johnny Austin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and grad student Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.). Freshman goaltender Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) made 31 saves in taking the loss.
The Huskies were outshot on the night 38-25. OSU goaltender Christian Frey made 25 saves to earn his second win on the season.
OSU senior Nick Schilkey scored a goal and added a pair of assists, recording his 100th career point at Ohio State in the process. Senior Josh Healey had a goal and an assist and junior Matthew Weis assisted on three Buckeye goals on the night.
Friday night marked the first-ever meeting between Ohio State and UConn on the ice. The Huskies are now 2-5-1 all-time against teams playing in the Big Ten conference.
The Huskies scored a pair of power play goals, marking the sixth-straight game and the seventh time in the first 10 games UConn has scored on the power play. The Huskies allowed their second shorthanded goal of the season.
Austin’s second period goal was his first of the season and ended a 54-game drought without a goal, the longest streak on UConn coming into the night. Austin’s last goal came in a 2-1 win over Vermont at home on November 21, 2014.
Letunov finished with his fourth multi-point game this season and 13th of his career while Thompson recorded his third this year and 11th of his career. Kasperi Ojantakanen (Helsinki, Finland) had his first of the season and the second of his career. His first career multi-point effort came on January 9, 2015 at Army (0-2-2).
Special teams played a key factor in the first period with Ohio State scoring shorthanded and the Huskies getting a power play goal on a 5-on-3 chance late in the period.
Ohio State opened the scoring at 9:37 while killing off an UConn power play. John Wiitala fired on Huska and Healey chopped away at the loose puck in front, knocking in in for his first on the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies got a 5-on-3 at16:31 as Healey and Sasha Larocque both went to the box for cross checking and boarding, respectively. The Huskies looked as if they had the tying goal just 21 seconds into the power play but a Letunov goal was waved off for contact with the goaltender. UConn did tie it at 18:04 on Thompson’s fifth of the season. Ojantakanen shuttled the puck from the slot to Thompson in the left circle who buried a wrist shot top-shelf at 18:04.
The Buckeyes answered right back just 48 seconds later as Gust drove hard up the left wing, stopped on a dime in the circle and rifled a shot to the far post past Huska for his fifth on the year.
Both UConn and Ohio State rattled off three goals in the second period. The Huskies scored the first three of the period to take a 4-2 lead at 13:23. Ohio State answered with a three-goal flurry in the span of 1:34 to take the lead back, 5-4, into the second intermission.
UConn’s Austin tied the game at 2-2 at 3:54, throwing one on net from an off-angle along the goal line. The puck hit off Frey at the near post and snuck in for his first on the year. The Huskies followed with their second power play goal of the night at 5:15 as Letunov buried a wrist shot from the right circle off a feed from Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia). UConn made it 4-2 at 13:13 as Morgan buried his second on the season off a feed from Ojantakanen.
Ohio State needed just 55 seconds to answer as Gust struck for his second, burying a wrist shot by a screened Huska to start a three-goal rally. Mason Jobst followed with his second goal of the season just 21 seconds later, beating Huska off a rush. Schilkey made it 5-4 Ohio State at 15:32, scoring on the power play with a top-shelf wrist shot, stick side from the left circle.
Ohio State’s Gust picked-up his first career hat trick with his third on the night coming at 16:55 in the third. Gust finished off a tic-tac-toe goal at the left post off a cross ice feed from Janik Moser.
The Buckeyes tacked on an empty net goal off the stick of Luke Stork with 11 seconds left in the game to finish off a 7-4 Ohio State win.
The Huskies and Buckeyes are back it again tomorrow afternoon from the Value City Arena. Opening face-off is scheduled for 4:00 pm.
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