Posted-February 14th, 2014 10:46 pm
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Wisconsin men’s hockey team just can’t seem to catch a break on Valentine’s Day. Coming into Friday’s matchup with Ohio State, UW’s all-time record on the holiday stood at an eerie 2-14-1. Despite pulling within a goal in the third period, the Badgers (16-9-2, 7-5-1 B1G) couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to OSU, 2-1.
The first period proved to be UW’s undoing, as Ohio State (15-9-3, 5-5-3 B1G) surged to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Tyler Lundey and Darik Angeli. Though the Badgers controlled the action for the final two periods and pulled within a goal in the third period thanks to Michael Mersch (Park Ridge, Ill.), the hole proved to be too deep to get out of.
OSU goalie Christian Frey was a reason the Badgers’ comeback bid was thwarted, as the freshman goaltender once again limited Wisconsin to a single goal. He made 29 saves on 30 shots after making 36 saves on 37 shots against the Badgers in Madison on Jan. 25.
This time, he got plenty of help from the pipes, as the Badgers hit the posts on four attempts.
Lundey got the scoring started just 2:08 into the game, and Angeli matched him with a goal of his own with 5:35 remaining in the first period. The score came off a Wisconsin turnover in the defensive zone, with Lundey and Angeli getting a handful of shots off from in close against Joe Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) before Angeli finally found the back of the net.
Mersch cut the lead in half 3:42 into the final period, beating Frey from the slot. The senior’s initial offering was blocked by a Buckeye defenseman, but he regained possession and lit the lamp with a sliding attempt.
The Badgers wouldn’t come any closer, despite a few good looks down the stretch.
Both teams struggled on the power play, with the Badgers going 0-3 and Buckeyes failing to score in four chances.
Rumpel finished with 28 saves on 30 Ohio State offerings.
Wisconsin gets a chance to salvage a split when it returns to the ice at 7 p.m. (CT) on Saturday in a game that will be televised live on NBC Sports Network.