COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes needed a little luck from the posts in a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win over the Bentley Falcons in front of 1,851 in Value City Arena Saturday night. The Buckeyes’ win came after a 10-1 win over Bentley on Friday night.
Ohio State has now won six in a row and 9-of-10. Bentley has now lost three in a row.
Buckeyes’ forward Zac Dalpe scored his team-leading ninth goal 1:11 into overtime to seal Ohio State’s win. Dalpe’s shot was batted in from waist high to the glove side of Falcons’ goaltender Kyle Rank after Buckeyes’ defenseman Shane Sims shot the puck towards the net. Dalpe had a total of 13 shots for the series.
“It was a greasy goal,” Dalpe said of his game-winner. “It was frustrating; we won 10-1 (last night) and I like to fill the net and not getting a goal (Friday) was a little frustrating. The monkey did get off my back, when you get a bunch of shots on net, it is frustrating, but it was a timely goal.”
In Friday’s game, Ohio State had 11 power play opportunities and they converted on five. Bentley had plenty of opportunities in the game. In Saturday’s rematch, Bentley had nine power play opportunities, but only scored on two of them. The Falcons also had a shot by Dustin Cloutier in the second period ring off the inside post behind Buckeyes’ goaltender Cal Heeter. In the third period with the Falcons up 2-1, Dain Prewitt also found the inside post.
“It could have gone (as a loss) but it didn’t,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “We got the win. Obviously we have a lot of work to do; we ended on a positive note. Other than the penalties, we were starting to play better in the second half but (Bentley) played better.”
“I saw a great deal of improvement just in mentality,” Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist said. “There is no doubt, even last night, we can skate. We skated last night but in terms of our mentality of wanting to play sixty minutes of disciplined hockey, it was a great improvement from last night.
“At times we may have lost a couple battles along the wall maybe due to a little size and strength. For the most part, in the neutral zone we skated with speed, maybe toe-to-toe with them in the neutral zone; maybe lost a couple battles due to size though.”
After being tied at one through the first and second periods, Bentley took their first lead of the game 1:51 into the third. Jamie Nudy scored on Heeter’s stick side after taking the puck to the net himself on a two-on-one rush. Ohio State tied the game at two midway through the third when Hunter Bishop netted a loose puck past Rank.
Ohio State had the first lead of the game six minutes into the contest when Sergio Somma deflected in a shot from Bishop past the stick of Rank. Bentley tied the game with seven seconds left in the period on a power play when Ryan Kayfes scored from the blue line after receiving a pass from the goal line from Prewitt.
For both teams, this is the final game before their respective holiday breaks. Bentley (6-8-1, 5-4-1) will play RIT at home in Atlantic Hockey Conference action on Jan. 2-3. Ohio State (11-6-1, 6-5-1-1) will stay home to host Army on Jan. 2 in the first round of the fifth annual Ohio Hockey Classic which will also feature Clarkson and No. 3 Miami.
“Best thing to do, just like any team in the county is to go home and see your families for a week and cut it loose,” Soderquist said. “Our guys have been going hard since August and they can use it. I think it is time to relax and see their families and come back fresh for the second half.”
“Young team, they want to get home to their families,” Markell said. “There is a certain point, they stop hearing (the coaches). Their ears will perk up and they’ll go home for seven days and want to come back. Let them go, they don’t want to hear from us. I was the same way when I played. Couldn’t wait to get home my first year. When they get back, we have a mature kid.”
“Being a young guy, being away from home and not seeing family, you miss everybody,” Dalpe said. “You need to get home and get away from reality.”
Both teams decided to switch up goaltending from the night before. Ohio State’s Cal Heeter stopped 29 of 31 shots. Rank had 41 saves on 44 shots against. This was Heeter’s first start since Nov. 1 when Ohio State lost 6-1 to Michigan. Ohio State goaltender Dustin Carlson was named November’s conference and national Player-of-the-Month.