OXFORD, Ohio — Ohio State defenseman Jason DeSantis scored the game-tying goal on a six-on-five in the final minute of regulation, sending No. 4 Miami (14-5-1, 10-3-1 CCHA) to a 2-2 tie in Saturday’s game against in-state rival Ohio State (5-9-4, 5-6-3 CCHA).
The Buckeyes pulled the goalie with a minute remaining and it worked wonders, as they were able to tie the score at 19:13 and suck the life out of the capacity crowd at the Steve Cady Ice Arena.
The goal came when DeSantis fired a shot from the point that beat Miami netminder Jeff Zatkoff high to the stick side, sending the game into overtime. Mathieu Beaudoin was credited with the assist on the goal.
The RedHawks took a 2-1 lead most of the way into the third period, until DeSantis silenced the home crowd.
“I was just trying to put anything on the net and just shot one and it got past Zatkoff,” DeSantis said.
The goal was the last score of the game, as the two teams came out with a 2-2 tie.
“They played great, and give them all the credit for finishing the way they did,” said Miami’s Marty Guerin.
The rivalry between these two teams never fails to excite the fans and players involved, as was evident throughout the weekend.
“It was a typical Ohio State-Miami hockey game where anything can happen,” said RedHawk head coach Enrico Blasi. “They played tonight and so did we, and it was a good college hockey game.”
Both coaches were happy with the effort that their teams put into this intense conference rivalry.
“I was pleased with that effort,” said Buckeye head coach John Markell. “There wasn’t a guy out there that didn’t work hard enough.”
The first period started out very slow for both teams. With 12 minutes expired in the period, both teams only had one shot on goal between them, that belonging to the RedHawks.
Both teams had their chances on the power play, but neither could get anything done with the man advantage. The period ended with the RedHawks and Buckeyes scoreless.
After the offensive slumber in the first period, the second period would provide the excitement as both teams would tally goals. The RedHawks would strike first shorthanded at 4:32.
After a penalty to RedHawk Justin Mercier just 11 seconds before, Guerin took advantage of a rebound in front of the net for the first score of the game. Jarrod Palmer was credited with the assist on Guerin’s fifth goal of the season.
“Palmer was able to get the turnover and he got a one-handed pass to me and I just finished it for him,” Guerin said.
The RedHawks would go back on the penalty kill at 7:02, providing the Buckeyes with an opportunity to set up for the equalizer. As RedHawk Joe Cooper came out of the box, the Buckeyes tallied their first goal at 9:05 when Mathieu Picard pounced on a rebound off of a Johann Kroll shot and the puck trickled past Zatkoff to make the score 1-1. Matt Waddell was also credited with the assist on Picard’s second goal of the season.
It would only take 50 seconds for the RedHawks to regain their lead. At 9:55, on a two-on-one breakaway Justin Mercier found Gary Steffes at the top of the right circle where he fired a shot on an open net for the RedHawks’ second goal of the night. Brad Robbins was also credited with the assist and the goal was Steffes’ fifth of the season.
The profound hatred that these two teams have for each other was full-blown, with plenty of physical play and a few scuffles in front of the Buckeye net with penalties to be served.
“Anytime you play Ohio State, there’s a little more emotion in the rivalry,” Zatkoff said.
Both teams would have many more chances to score goals in the period, but the play of the penalty kills and both Zatkoff and Buckeye goaltender Joseph Palmer allowed for the score to stay close at 2-1.
“Our goalies did a good job of picking up the puck through traffic,” said Markell.
The third period would be very much like the first period as both teams had opportunities, but could not capitalize on them. Both goaltenders would be caught off guard during a few plays, but their defensemen were able to bail them out and keep the score locked at 2-1 throughout most of the period.
Both teams will be off until the end of the month when they both play in the Ohio Hockey Classic in Columbus, Ohio.