COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s quick start did little to deter Miami as the RedHawks came from behind to beat the Buckeyes 2-1 in the last game of the season at Value City Arena.
John Albert’s goal 40 seconds in gave OSU the very early 1-0 lead, but Alexandre Lacombe evened the score for Miami 15 minutes later and Jared Palmer gave the ‘Hawks their 2-1 lead early in the third. Jeff Zatkoff had 31 saves in his 23rd win of the season.
“It was a playoff-type game,” said Miami head coach Enrico Blasi. “You have to make plays in games like that, and fortunately for us we made one more play than they did.”
It was the third game in five nights for both teams. Miami swept Western Michigan in Oxford by a collective score of 10-1 in two contests, while Ohio State traveled to South Bend to take three points from ranked Notre Dame, outscoring the Irish 5-3 in the two close contests.
“Our young team didn’t recover real well from this weekend,” said OSU head coach John Markell. “I was concerned about it … because we got home at three o’clock in the morning [Sunday] and obviously the guys, their recovery time, getting back to play a team like this you can’t be off five percent.
“It was just the difference; we were just a step off.”
The Buckeyes surprised the RedHawks with a goal 40 seconds into the contest. From the OSU end, moments after Lacombe hit the left post, Peter Boyd sent the home-run pass to John Albert streaking right in the neutral zone. Albert skated past RedHawk Vincent LoVerde to the right of the cage and lifted the puck up, off, and over Zatkoff’s shoulder for the 1-0 lead.
Lacombe’s goal at 15:53 was the result of a centering attempt by Justin Vaive that veered off Buckeye goaltender Joseph Palmer’s stick. Kevin Roeder dug the puck out of the left corner behind the OSU net and wrapped it around behind the cage to Vaive. Vaive shot — at the net, at the crease — and Palmer redirected the puck to Lacombe, who popped it past him to tie the game.
Jarod Palmer’s game-winner at 5:25 in the third came from a turnover behind the OSU net. Jason DeSantis lost the puck to Andy Miele, who passed out to the waiting Palmer in front of the crease; Palmer one-timed it in for his eighth of the season and the final goal of the game.
Joseph Palmer finished the night with 25 saves as the Buckeyes outshot the RedHawks 32-27. Neither team scored on the power play, with Miami going 0-for-2 and OSU 0-for-3.
The teams will face off again Friday night in Steve Cady Arena for the final regular-season contest for both squads. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m.