TROY, N.Y. — The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers led by three goals at the end of the second period. They had to score with just 1:08 remaining to tie the game, 5-5, and then go to a shootout to defeat Ohio State in the consolation game of the 56th Rensselaer/Bank of America Holiday Hockey Tournament.
Paul Kerins saved the day for the Engineers, scoring late in the game to force overtime and then a subsequent shootout to determine third place. In the shootout, it went 10 rounds before Oren Eizenman broke the sudden-death deadlock, 5-4.
“It will go down officially as a tie, but it feels like a win,” said Engineer head coach Seth Appert. “Even though it was a shootout, it’s still an opportunity to beat a Big Ten School. There are very few huge power schools in college hockey and Ohio State is one of them.”
The heroics for the Engineers in the first two periods came from Andrei Uryadov, who netted his first collegiate hat trick.
It started with a beautiful pass from behind the net. Kevin Broad found Andrei Uraydov camped in front and without coverage for the quick pass and the on-timer between the legs of Nick Filion.
The Buckeyes tied the game on the power play in the second period when Sean Collins blasted one from the point that lasered past Mathias Lange.
The tie was quickly broken by the Engineers and three goals.
The first came off of a scrum in front where Uryadov potted his second of the game and then Jake Morissette scored his second of the tournament off of another scrum in front.
But what could have been the stake in the coffin came with just five seconds left in the second period. After Ohio State iced the puck, MacDonald cleanly won a faceoff to Uryadov who blasted a one-timer past Filion for the 4-1 lead heading into the final period and a hat trick.
But a flurry by Ohio State to open the third period saw the Buckeyes take the lead.
Johann Kroll took a nice feed and rifled one past Lange in a four-on-four situation. Then Matt McIlvane stole a puck in neutral ice and came down the wing and beat Mathias Lange shorthanded. Collins’ second of the game, a goal that snuck past Lange, brought the Buckeyes back with 11:10 left in the third period. Then Dave Barton blasted one which Lange got a piece of, but not enough to stop the momentum.
“In the third we got a little panicky with the puck,” said Appert. “We got in a tough situation and started throwing the puck around in a little.”
With an extra attacker on the ice, the Engineers looked to tie it and Kerins did as he tipped a shot by Garett Vasell, who was fed by Uryadov.
“You take your time, win the puck battle and get behind the net where there is a lot of open ice,” said Appert. “And then Vasell opened it up, found the passing lane and took a quick shot and then Kerins just tipped it home. And we had traffic in front of the net, and that’s how you usually score with the extra attacker.”
From there it was on to the overtime where the Engineers killed off a penalty and then won the shootout in 10 rounds when Eizenman put it past Filion.
With the assist on the game-tying goal, Uryadov had a four-point evening.
“I’m playing with two great players (MacDonald and Eizenman), and they’ve been helping me out,” said Uryadov. “Today I got set up pretty good on all three goals.”
“He was outstanding, not only his goals, but how hard he is working,” said Appert about Uryadov. “He’s playing very hard, he’s finishing checks, he’s getting very difficult to play against. And those things allow him to get the puck more often and he’s really, really talented.”
Ohio State (4-7-3) will take on Michigan State next weekend in CCHA play.
“I thought it was a good game for us. We got 43 shots on goal, we were down three goals and came back to take the lead, it makes the trip back a little better,” said Buckeye head coach John Markell. “Every time we’re out we want to learn a little bit more about ourselves and this weekend we learned that you have to be able to play two games in a row.
“It’s a lot of what we’ve been doing lately. We’ve been playing a bad game on Friday night and then coming and playing our hockey on Saturday. It’s got to stop.
“As long as the guys understand, we’re getting closer. That’s four out of five games now where we’ve been playing well.”
The Engineers (4-3-4) will head back into league play next weekend, traveling to Cornell and Colgate.
“Just like in the Union game when we tied, we’re going to try to use this as momentum to springboard into the rest of the season,” said Appert.