No. 4 North Carolina Rallies to Defeat Ohio State in Shootout

Brandon Freeman started the game for OSU and played 47:35 overall. He left the game in the third quarter and came back in at the start of the fourth. He made 15 saves while allowing 16 goals. Ryan Brant played 12:25 for the Bucks and had four saves while allowing three goals.

UNC outshot the Buckeyes 56-32 including 33-10 in the second half when the Tar Heels pulled away with a 9-3 second half scoring run. UNC also had the edge in ground balls 46-33, including 16-6 in the deciding fourth quarter. Michael Burns and Mark Staines both had six ground balls for UNC. That was a career high total for Staines.

Burns and Staines both had career highs for face-off wins in a game as well as Burns won 15 of 26 draws and Staines was successful on seven of nine. OSU used four different face-off men. UNC won 22 of 35 overall at the X. UNC forced the Buckeyes into 18 turnovers and eight failed clears. UNC committed 14 turnovers and has four failed clears. Both teams excelled on the EMO with UNC going 3 of 4 and OSU 2 of 2. UNC headed into the game leading the nation in EMO percentage at 55 percent.

Carolina opened the scoring just eight seconds into the game on an unassisted goal by Billy Bitter. Schuss tied the game at 9:31 with the first of his seven goals. UNC answered with goals by Jeff Muscatello, assisted by Zander Walters, and Gavin Petracca, assisted by Chris Layne, and the Heels were up 3-1 with 5:17 to play in the first quarter. Ohio State then exploded and scored on six straight possessions without UNC touching the ball as a 3-1 deficit turned into a 7-3 lead with 14:05 left in the second quarter. Schuss scored three straight goals in just 54 seconds to fuel the run and then Mario Ventiquattro scored back-to-back 33 seconds apart early in the second quarter to build the four-goal cushion.

The Tar Heels were able to get back into the game by halftime with a furious rally. After Wood and Jarred Bowman exchanged goals, the Tar Heels got back-to-back goals from Marcus Holman and Milton Lyles, the latter a fast break tally off an assist by Greg McBride, to pull North Carolina within 8-6 with 8:30 left in the half. Mike Smail responded for OSU at 7:17 before DeLaney's extra-man goal and Petracca's second goal got the Heels within one at 5:12 of the period. At that point, Rastivo entered the game for UNC and he made three saves on OSU's first possession before Logan Schuss scored his fifth goal at 3:04.

The Tar Heels forged a tie by halftime, however, as Gavin Petracca scored with 2:08 left in the half, the start of UNC's own six-goal run. Thomas Wood then tied the game at 1:25 with an extra-man goal assisted by Petracca.

Carolina come out in the second half and ran off the first four goals to take control of the match. Michael Burns scored on a hard bounce shot from 15 yards out to give the Tar Heels the lead for good at 11-10 with 14:27 to play in the third period. Just over two minutes later, Thomas Wood scored on another hard bounce shot from the left side to make it 12-10. Carolina's second line midfield took over for the next two goals. Matt Davie scored his first career goal on a tough angle shot from the right side at 9:12 off Jeff Muscatello's first career assist. Then at 5:17, Zander Walters got his first career goal from 12 yards up top, assisted by again by Muscatello.

Schuss then scored his final two goals of the game, wrapped around a tally by Wood, and the teams went into the fourth quarter with the Tar Heels up 15-12. The Buckeyes struck first in the fourth period as Mike Pires scored from Paul Beery at 10:20. But from then on it was all Tar Heels. DeLaney scored his second man-up goal of the game at 7:18 off an assist by Petracca to make it 16-13. Chris Layne made a nifty move to dodge past a defender and increase the lead to 17-13 at 5:35. Wood got his fifth and final goal at 4:55, off an assist by Jimmy Dunster, and Marcus Holman closed out the scoring at 2:25 of the final frame.

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