COLUMBUS, Ohio — At 3:01 in overtime, Andrew Winnik did something that no one has been able to do in Value City Arena in nearly a year – score the game-winning goal for the visiting team.
Winnik’s second marker of the season gave Ferris State a 3-2 win over Ohio State, snapping OSU’s 13-game home unbeaten streak and giving the Bulldogs their seventh win out of their last 12 games, their second over a nationally-ranked opponent in two weeks.
“It’s a good road win for us,” said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. “We hung tight, we hung in there. Derek MacIntyre played very well in net, and when you can do that on the road and get into overtime, good things can happen. We were fortunate to score and win.”
The Bulldogs posted a 2-0 lead at the midway point in the first on goals by Tim Vokey and Jeff Legue, but the Buckeyes came back with two in the second half of the opening stanza to knot the score. Both teams had chances – and hit posts – through the second and third periods.
“I thought realistically tonight, Ohio State had the edge in play,” said Daniels. “We scored two early, which was very helpful, but I have to say at the end of the first it was a negative because it was 2-2. I was really disappointed that with a 2-0 lead we gave it up so quickly.”
Daniels wasn’t the only coach disappointed in his team’s first-period play. “I was a little upset with the fact that we got down so quickly,” said OSU head coach John Markell. “I liked our team a lot better tonight than yesterday, then all of a sudden, boom, we end up with a loss. It’s unfortunate.”
Derek MacIntyre was tough in net for the Bulldogs, coming up big several times during the scoreless second period and making a critical poke-check save on Rod Pelley with eight seconds remaining in regulation. The decision to go with MacIntyre over Mike Brown, who was named to the Badger Hockey Showdown all-tournament team last week, was based partly on MacIntyre’s performance in a 2-1 road win over Miami Dec. 11. Brown became ill before the game, and MacIntyre “stepped in 15 minutes before the game to win,” said Daniels.
“The last time he played, he played well, and he looked good in practice. It was a gut feeling, and I said, ‘Hey, I want to give this kid another shot.’”
The freshman made the best of his opportunity, stopping 31 shots and stoning OSU on six power-play chances.
Vokey opened the scoring for the Bulldogs at 3:20 in the first, making quick work of Matt Rutkowski’s rebound to give FSU the 1-0 lead. Legue made it 2-0 on Adam Welch’s home-run pass, which hit the streaking Legue just as he reached the OSU blue line. Legue’s one-timer hit the inside of the right post to beat OSU goaltender Dave Caruso over his left shoulder at 10:30.
Two breakaways led to OSU’s tallies in the first. After Caruso made a save on Legue point-blank on the Bulldog power play, J.B. Bittner tapped out to Bryce Anderson, whose breakaway shot went by MacIntyre stick side. At 17:41, Pelley scored five-hole after breaking in alone, the end result of heads-up defensive play by Knapp along the boards in the OSU zone.
The Bulldogs beat the Buckeyes on the draw most of the night, and that’s how the game-winning goal began. Just after a faceoff in the Buckeye zone, Vokey centered to Winnik, who popped it up and over Caruso’s stick to win the game.
“I think we knew it was going to be a bounce here and a bounce there,” said Markell. “They dominated us on draws, and it absolutely was the difference in the game tonight. We thought that’s where they were creating all of their offense, wins on the draws.”
There were plenty of dingers tonight, and the Buckeyes thought that a third-period power-play shot might have found the inside twine, and OSU’s Sean Collins rang the right pipe hard just before Winnik’s goal. “They had posts, too, in the first period,” said Markell, “so it could have been 3-0.”
Caruso finished the night with 27 saves. FSU was 0-for-4 on the power play, OSU 0-for-6.
The game wraps up the regular-season series for the clustermates, with OSU taking three of the four games.
Next up for Ferris State (9-11-2, 4-8-2 CCHA) is a two-game home series against Nebraska-Omaha Jan. 14-15. Ohio State (13-6-3, 10-3-1 CCHA) visits Notre Dame for two next weekend.