Ohio State scored early in the third period and hung on to their 3-2 lead to complete a weekend sweep(or whatever, since technically they won in overtime on Thursday) on Friday evening against Bowling Green. But it wasn’t easy for the Buckeyes, who had to survive a wild final minute of regulation that took over 20 minutes to complete in what might have been the craziest game of the college hockey season to this point.
To set the scene, Bowling Green pulled their goalie down by one heading into the final minute. Ohio State goalie Jakub Dobes had just made a pair of excellent back-to-back saves, stopping a shot from the point, then sliding to his left to make a rebound save to maintain the lead.
Ohio State cleared the puck on the ensuing face-off and Bowling Green dumped the puck back in on Dobes. That’s when things turned wild. Dobes leaned backwards to keep the rebound from potentially bouncing off his back and into the net, and instead stumbled into his own net, knocking the net off its’ moorings.
As the teams milled around the net at the stoppage, Ohio State captain Will Riedell appeared to jab at the back of the legs of Bowling Green’s Seth Fyten with his stick. That set off a scuffle which included Bowling Green’s Chrystopher Collin taking an Ohio State player to the ice and throwing some legit punches. As the officials finally got things settled down, Bowling Green’s Coale Norris then charged into a pile of Ohio State players, grabbing one from behind, which set off another melee.
Ohio State hangs on to beat Bowling Green 3-2. Here's the first fight, which again, was not the craziest part of the final minute. pic.twitter.com/X2c3DVWCuv— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) December 18, 2021
It took a substantial amount of time for the officials to sort out the penalties from the various scrums. Eventually, the officials settled on game misconducts for Ohio State’s Will Riedell and Quinn Preston, a game misconduct for Bowling Green’s Max Coyle, and a fighting major and game disqualification for Collin. The end result after everything was tallied up was for the final 29 seconds to be played at 4x4.
But the weirdness continued. On the ensuing face-off, the puck was dropped, but the clock did not start. As Bowling Green attempted to bring the puck into the Ohio State zone, Ohio State goalie Jakub Dobes tried to alert the officials to the fact that the clock was not running by intentionally knocking the net off its’ moorings.
After deliberation from the officials, it was determined that time would be taken off the game clock, but that Bowling Green would be award a penalty shot for Dobes intentionally knocking the net off.
The play was reminiscent of Minnesota State’s Stephon Williams intentionally knocking his own net off under duress in the 2015 North Star College Cup.
But like Williams in 2015, Dobes atoned for his error by making a terrific glove save on Bowling Green’s Taylor Schneider on the shootout attempt to help secure the victory for Ohio State.
The entire sequence is here:
Immediately after the fight, this happened. pic.twitter.com/xAyQotovbF— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) December 18, 2021
It was one of the wildest finishes to a college hockey game this season, and one of the most memorable in recent years. The non-conference victories were huge for Ohio State as well, with the wins sending them into the holiday break at #16 in the Pairwise Rankings and in position to compete for an NCAA tournament bid in the second half of the season.