BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Ferris State got another fortunate bounce, this one in overtime as Derrick McIver tallied at 1:05 of the extra session to defeat Ohio State 2-1 Saturday.
As on Friday night, it was a hard-fought contest from the start as both teams came out skating fast and finishing their checks, and the intensity picked up as the game progressed.
The hits kept coming, but the hustle began to diminish as it became a goaltenders’ duel. Bulldog goaltender Mike Brown and Buckeye goaltender Dave Caruso were both solid in net, not allowing a goal in the first period.
Frustration began to set in, and a fight broke out at the end of the period. Ferris State defenseman Matt York and Buckeye forward Paul Caponigri were both tossed and given game disqualifications.
“That Matt York DQ really hurt us,” Bulldog coach Bob Daniels said. “Ohio State did lose a gifted forward in Caponigri, but York was one of our six solid defensemen.”
Then, in the middle of the second period, both teams began to tire. It was apparent that the toll from Friday’s game was starting to show. Both goaltenders kept up their excellent play and kept the game scoreless until 13:50 of the second period. Derek Nesbitt and Jeff Legue came in on a two-on-two opportunity. Nesbitt passed it over to Legue, who wristed a shot that found the top corner to make it 1-0.
The third period started where the second left off. The shots coming in on both goaltenders were unscreened, a majority of them blue-line chances which were stopped easily.
Caruso kept Ohio State in the game by robbing Chris Kunitz at point-blank range, and seconds later at 11:50, Rod Pelley scored his first goal of the season. Chris Olsgard wristed a shot that Brown stopped, but the rebound careened out in front, drawing a pileup. Pelley got his stick free and flipped the puck past Brown to tie the game.
Ferris State tried to capitalize on a late power play with four minutes to go, but Ohio State was there to deny the chance. The Buckeyes got their shot on the power play with under two minutes to go, and the Bulldogs returned the favor.
Heading into overtime both teams were already drained from a hard-fought game.
Forty seconds into OT, Daniels called his timeout. It was only 25 seconds later that McIver struck. Jeremy Scherlinck’s wrist shot was blocked by a Buckeye defenseman and came right out to McIver. Caruso dove over to make the save but just missed.
“I only called the time out because we were really tired,” Daniels said. “I wanted Legue out there to take the faceoff. The way the game was going, it was going to take a really good shot or opportunity to end it.”
The upcoming week off is welcome to Daniels and the Bulldogs before they face Michigan State in a home-and-home series. Ohio State also has a week off before facing Miami at home.