COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ninth-ranked Ohio State completed a two-game sweep of Bowling Green, beating the Falcons, 6-1, Friday in front of 11,287 fans in Value City Arena. The win extends the Buckeyes’ unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1) and their winning streak to five.
Said Buckeye head coach John Markell, “Our guys appreciate the crowd — we would like to see it more often. We know people will come if you are winning and there is no reason why we can’t keep that type of crowd all season. We appreciate them coming.”
OSU improves to 12-1-0 at home this season and has won its last 10 games in Value City Arena. Dating back to last season, the team has not lost a CCHA game at home in 15 games.
Freshman goaltender David Caruso improved his record to 5-1-0, as he stopped 25 of 26 Falcon shots. His goals against average this season is 1.16, while his save percentage is .952. He has allowed one goal in his last three games, but had his shutout streak stopped at 141:38 with BGSU’s goal early in the second period.
The win gives OSU at least a share of the Ohio Cup, the instate competition between the Buckeyes, Falcons and Miami. The remaining Ohio Cup game is Feb. 13, when OSU travels to Oxford to face the RedHawks. OSU is 3-0-0 in Ohio Cup play, Miami 2-1-0 and BGSU ends the year 0-4-0.
OSU was led offensively by Scott May, who had a career-high tying four points on a goal and three assists. R.J. Umberger had a goal and two assists to extend his scoring streak to 10 games. Freshman Ryan Kesler had two goals, while classmate Nate Guenin had his second consecutive two-assist game. Dave Steckel also posted two assists.
Said Markell, “It was a good college hockey game. We were able to generate shots but did a few things that allowed them to keep close. We had consistent shots but (BGSU goalie Tyler) Masters gave them a chance to stay in it. I think it was a fair game.”
In the first period, Daymen Bencharski scored at 7:33 to put OSU on the board. He was set up by Steckel, who passed the puck from the right boards to Bencharski in front of the net, who roofed it over Masters. Reed Whiting also assisted on the goal. Kesler put OSU up by two, as he backhanded the puck past Masters at 9:44 while falling down. Doug Andress and Umberger posted the assists on the goal.
In the second, Alex Rogosheske broke Caruso’s shutout streak, scoring 1:38 into the stanza with the Falcons on a 4-on-3 power play. May regained the Buckeyes’ two-goal lead with a score at 8:02, set up by Paul Caponigri and Guenin. In the stanza, OSU had 19 shots, BGSU seven.
OSU outscored the Falcons in the third, 3-0. JB Bittner scored on a breakaway, with assists from May and Guenin, at 1:53, soon after OSU had killed off a Falcon 5-on-3 power play.
Kesler scored his second of the night at 8:26, as he took a pass from May from behind the net and one-timed it past Masters. Umberger also assisted on the play. Umberger ended the scoring with a power-play goal at the 14-minute mark, set up by Steckel and May. OSU outshot BGSU in the stanza, 16-13.
Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch said, “I think tonight’s game mirrored last night quite a bit. Ohio State established pressure down low and it was very evident they were able to generate plays. We were able to hang around on great saves by Tyler (Masters). Good teams take advantage of the five-on-three, and that set the tone for the third period and carried them through.”
The Buckeyes were 2-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Falcons were 1-of-5. OSU had a Value City Arena-record 53 shots in the game and ended the weekend with 103 shots on net.
With Ferris State losing to Northern Michigan, OSU moves into a tie for first place in the CCHA with a mark of 11-2-1. Overall, the Buckeyes move to 17-4-2 on the year. The Falcons fall to 5-15-2 overall and 3-12-2 in league play.