Ohio State men's hockey misses Frozen Four, falls 4-1 to Quinnipiac in NCAA regional final

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State men’s hockey will not play in the Frozen Four. 

In their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Buckeyes lost their chance at returning to the Frozen Four for the third time, losing to Quinnipiac 4-1 in the regional final Sunday in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

While Ohio State struck first with a fast-break unassisted score by junior forward Joe Dunlap, Quinnipiac flipped momentum with two goals in 15 seconds in the first period before Cristophe Tellier and Jayden Lee scored two third-period goals to secure the win.

Joe Dunlap, shown here against Michigan on Feb. 18, scored Ohio State's only goal in Sunday's loss to Quinnipiac.

Despite the Buckeyes' consistent offensive pressure in the final two periods — holding a 26-9 shot advantage after matching Quinnipiac's nine attempts in the first period —Tellier flipped the puck over the head of Ohio State goalkeeper Jakub Dobes with less than five minutes left in the game before tucking it in for the Bobcats' third goal.

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Lee iced the regional final with an empty-net goal late in the third period.

Dobes finished with 13 saves.

Bobcats goalkeeper Yaniv Perets finished with 34 saves on Ohio State's 35 shots, coming in allowing 1.47 goals per game with a .930 save percentage. 

Jake Wise, Tyler Duke, Stephen Halliday and Patrick Guzzo led Ohio State with four shots-on-goal.

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Midway through the third period trailing by a goal, Ohio State found its best opportunity for a comeback.

Quinnipiac forward Sam Lipkin was called for cross-checking against Ohio State's Travis Treolar, giving the Buckeyes a two-minute power play. Buckeyes coach Steve Rohlik challenged for a potential five-minute major, losing despite the contact toward Treolar's head.

The Bobcats killed Ohio State's only power-play chance of the third period, silencing the Buckeyes special teams on each of their four chances with a man advantage Saturday.

Ohio State killed each of Quinnipiac's four power-play chances, coming in with the best penalty kill in the country.

Ohio State's only score came off a Quinnipiac mistake. 

After a turnover 91 seconds into the game, Dunlap took possession beating two Bobcats defenders and putting the puck right past the goalline in the hands of Perets. 

But Quinnipiac didn’t take its foot off the gas pedal, matching the Buckeyes in shots-on-goal through the first 10 minutes before it found the back of the net. 

Sophomore forward Christophe Fillion connected for Quinnipiac’s first goal of the game, taking the rebound off a save by Dobes. Fifteen seconds later, Skyler Brind’Amour gave the Bobcats a one-goal advantage off another Dobes save. 

Quinnipiac held on defensively in the second period as Ohio State took control of the puck. The Buckeyes kept possession for the majority of the period, putting 15 shots on goal — including five attempts on two power plays — and four scoring chances. 

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Ohio State had 11 shot-on-goal attempts in the third period.

The Bobcats came into the regional final Saturday with the best scoring defense in college hockey, allowing 1.55 goals per game. 

Quinnipiac will play Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinal April 6. 

Ohio State ends its season with a record of 21-16-3 — the team’s sixth 20-win season under Rohlik. The Buckeyes failed to advance to their first Frozen Four since 2018.