BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — It was another penalty-fest Friday in Big Rapids — except that this time, Ohio State converted.
The Buckeyes took advantage of three of their 12 chances while Ferris State couldn’t score a power-play goal in 11 tries, the difference in the game as OSU edged FSU 4-2.
A clutch goal by Matt Beaudoin was the game winner at 12:42 of the third. Beaudoin picked off a clearing attempt in the defensive zone and skated in on Bulldog goaltender Mike Brown two-on-one. Beaudoin fired a laser that went between the blocker and leg pad of Brown.
“Beaudoin was just coming back from injury and that was a shot in the arm for our club,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “We really settled down and did what we needed to do defensively after Ferris scored [its] second goal.”
“I think if you ask Mike Brown, he will tell you he wasn’t squared up to the shot,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “Don’t get me wrong, the shot was a bomb. However, it hit dead center of the net.”
The Bulldogs were the instruments of their own demise early, committing a majority of the penalties in the opening minutes. Ohio State’s Andrew Schembri cashed in on a five-on-three at 4:20. Tom Fritsche fed Schembri, who tapped the puck past Brown to make it 1-0.
Rod Pelley made it a two-goal lead at 8:05 with another power-play goal. Pelley picked off a clearing attempt by the Bulldogs and skated in on a three-on-one opportunity, and hit the top right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Ferris State got back in the game at 15:51 of the first period with an Adam Miller goal, assisted by Zac Pearson, to make it 2-1.
The second period featured an equal number of penalties to each team and the shots almost even at 14-13. It seemed as if Ohio State didn’t want to make a mistake and Ferris State was tentative after the first.
But Pearson got the Bulldogs firing on all cylinders at 15:51 with a power-play goal, again combining with Miller for the score. Miller dropped a pass to Pearson, who shot the puck just above the glove hand of Caruso to tie the game at 2.
Ohio State chipped in a empty-net goal in the closing seconds of the third period to complete the scoring.
“We have been working on special teams 75 percent of the time. It can be really frustrating,” said Markell. “To take an example, we got a 10 minute misconduct for spraying the goaltender. If the player stops and sprays the goaltender, we get called. If he doesn’t stop and just touches the goaltender, he gets called. What are you going to do?”
Daniels, meanwhile, wasn’t sure how to react. “There is just so much special-teams play. We worked on special teams all week, and maybe we should go to three days of special-teams practice during the week.
“I think if you talk to the players, they are about as frustrated as I am. The momentum swings not only with each goal that is scored, but with each power play. There are times you get two or three power plays in a row, and you think you have them on their heels. Then, it goes right back against you a few minutes later.”
Markell outlined his plan for the next game. “We know that Ferris State is going to have more jump in their game tomorrow. We have to make sure our young guys know that this is a two-game set and we have to be sharp tomorrow.”
Ferris State and Ohio State face off again on Saturday night.