COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a night of milestones for three Buckeyes in Ohio State’s 5-0 win over Lake Superior State. Senior Scott May reached the 100-point mark, but his 99th won the game as classmate Mike Betz became OSU’s all-time shutout leader.
“I’ve been trying to chase this down for a while,” said May, who has flirted with OSU’s century club for nearly two months. “When I hit the crossbar in the first period, I thought, ‘That’s tough because that’s another opportunity.’”
May and the Buckeyes made the most of their opportunities against the Lakers, who held OSU scoreless through the first 30 minutes in spite of being outshot 19-4 in the first period. May followed his even-strength game-winner at 14:30 in the second with shorthander at 16:53, and Dave Steckel gave OSU a 3-0 lead after two when he capitalized on a feed by May at 18:44.
Freshmen Andrew Schembri and Bryce Anderson rounded out the scoring in the third. Anderson’s was his first tally as a Buckeye.
“It was nice to see,” said OSU head coach John Markell. “Bryce Anderson is getting better and better each game.”
The win broke a four-game league losing streak that culminated in a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last Saturday night. Both May and Betz said that their most recent loss was motivation for tonight’s play.
“It [the 7-1 loss] was embarrassing for everyone, embarrassing for myself, embarrassing for the program,” said Betz. “Now it’s time to go back out and prove what kind of team we are. We could feel it all week; guys were chomping at the bit. We got so outplayed [in Michigan], did so many things wrong, and that’s not what our teams all about.”
May said that Markell told the team that “someone” would have to “pay” for Michigan “kicking our butts that bad.”
“That’s the reality,” said the senior. “You take it on the next team. We did a lot of things right tonight, and it says something about our character, our maturity, and our focus.”
The Buckeyes tried to take it out on the Lakers during the first period, with 44 total shots attempted in the first 20 minutes, but LSSU goaltender Matt Violin was up to the task, and the Laker defense blocked a dozen shots.
“You’ve got to give credit to Lake State,” said Betz. “They were hanging with us until 10 minutes into the second, and we were shooting a lot of pucks.”
It was that consistent effort toward the net that broke open the game midway through the second. On May’s first goal, freshmen Sean Collins stripped the puck from a Laker in the Buckeye zone, setting up a three-on-two break the other way. It was Doug Andress right, May center, and Paul Caponigri left; Andress centered to May, and May’s one-timer — which would have been unintentionally blocked by Caponigri had he not leaped just in time — hit the back of the net before Violin could react, giving OSU the 1-0 lead at 14:30.
At 16:53, May earned his 100th point and second goal of the night on a shorthanded breakaway, burying Steckel’s feed while falling to his knees in the crease.
Steckel scored himself at 18:44, just after a successful Buckeye PK. Rod Pelley left the penalty box and intercepted the puck, passing up to May inside the Laker blue line; May redirected to Steckel, whose shot from the left circle hit Violin hard in the chest. Violin couldn’t hold the puck and the Buckeyes took a 3-0 lead going into the third.
Schembri and Anderson both scored even strength 3:01 apart in the early third, Schembri’s banked off the crossbar to beat Jeff Jakaitis, who replaced Violin at the start of the stanza.
“Those goals were like playoff goals, a good shot off the post — that’s what it takes to beat [Lake State],” said Markell. “You have to compliment them; they have a great game plan and they stick to it. They don’t really beat themselves.”
The Lakers (6-8-5, 4-7-3 CCHA) and Buckeyes (14-10-0, 9-7-0 CCHA) meet again Saturday night at 7:05 in the Schott, but Markell said that his team isn’t taking the second game for granted. “They [LSSU] got acclimated to the building and they got acclimated to the pace of the game [as it progressed] and we know they’re going to come out hard tomorrow night.
“We’ll have to come out here and beat them in all phases of the game.”
LSSU head coach Frank Anzalone declined to talk to the media post-game.