ESTERO, Fla. — No. 11 Ohio State upset No. 3 Maine, 4-2, in the opening round of the Everblades College Classic at TECO Arena Saturday.
This will mark the first time both the Buckeyes and Big Red will compete in the championship game; both teams are making their fourth appearance in the fourth annual tournament.
The win improves the Buckeyes’ record to 12-7-0. The Black Bears fall to 12-3-1. Ohio State ended its two-game losing streak.
Ohio State controlled the majority of play in the first period and went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Matt Beaudoin put the Buckeyes on the board at 16:05 with his second goal of the season. Defenseman Nate Guenin picked the puck up behind the Ohio State net and skated the length of the ice, passing to Beaudoin in front of the Black Bear net, who pushed it past Maine goalie Frank Doyle.
Ohio State outshot Maine in the period, 12-3.
In the second, the Buckeyes scored two power-play goals to go up 3-0. Dave Steckel tallied just eight seconds into the period, assisted by Scott May and Paul Caponigri. Doug Andress scored at 11:30 on a slapshot from the left point, marking his first goal of the season. The Buckeyes put eight shots on net in the period, while goalie Mike Betz stopped all 11 Maine chances.
The Black Bears got on the board with two power-play goals early in the third. Jon Jankus scored 21 seconds into the period, followed by a Dustin Penner tally at 4:33.
The Buckeyes held their one-goal lead through much of the remainder of the period. Maine pulled goalie Frank Doyle with just over a minute remaining for the extra skater, but May sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 35 seconds left. OSU outshot the Black Bears in the period, 16-7.
Betz ended the game with 19 saves on 21 Maine shots. Doyle stopped 32 of 36 Buckeye chances. The Buckeyes were 2-for-8 on the power play, the Black Bears 2-for-7.
Ohio State advances to the championship game Sunday, where it will face No. 15 Cornell at 4:05 p.m. Maine drops to the consolation and will go up against Notre Dame at 1:05 p.m. The championship game will be broadcast live by College Sports Television.