COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Gophers tied No. 7 Ohio State 1-1 on Saturday night in Big Ten men's hockey before an announced crowd of 3,816 at Value City Arena.
Both goalies acquitted themselves well. Junior Jack LaFontaine, starting for the second consecutive night, had 29 saves for the Gophers, and Tom Nappier had 33 stops for OSU.
"The good thing is, we played 130 minutes this weekend and we were pretty good all weekend," Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. "The negative is we are only coming out of here with two points."
After neither team scored in the first overtime, Minnesota struck quickly in the second, 3-on-3 overtime to earn an extra point in the conference standings although the game will officially count as a tie. Freshman forward Ben Meyers scored the goal on a breakaway at 1:34 after an Ohio State turnover in the neutral zone. His shot was the only one in the second overtime.
The Buckeyes won the series opener 3-2 in the first overtime.
Both goals in regulation time the second night were scored in the opening period.
Jonny Sorenson, another freshman forward, gave the Gophers (5-9-4, 2-4-4-3 Big Ten) a 1-0 lead at 17:37 on his fourth goal of the season. It came on a rebound.
The Buckeyes (10-4-2, 6-3-1) tied it 1:34 later on Gustaf Westlund's team-high ninth goal of the season.
The Gophers were 0-for-5 on the power play, the Buckeyes 0-for-3. Another reason Minnesota had trouble scoring was that the Buckeyes blocked 19 shots.
With the tie, the Gophers remained winless (0-8-2) against teams ranked in the top 10 this season. In six overtime games already this season, the Gophers are 1-1-4.
For the second consecutive night, though, Motzko was encouraged by his team's effort. "Everyone played. We just got good performances by a lot of players," he said. "We were methodical about our business and just did a real good job."