COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 12 Ohio State, riding a 12 game unbeaten streak into a match against the Western Michigan Broncos, extended it to 13 games with a 2-2 tie, and a 2-1 shootout win in five rounds against the Broncos in front of 4,513 in Value City Arena Friday night.
Western Michigan now has points in five of their last six games and are 6-13-6 overall and 3-9-5-1 in the CCHA on the season. Ohio State (16-6-3, 9-5-3-3) are 3-0 in shootouts and have not lost a game that has gone to overtime this season.
When asked if he considered Western Michigan’s shootout loss a standard tie or as a loss, Broncos head coach Jim Culhane responded:
“That is an emotion that everyone in the conference is trying to get a handle on. I thought that both teams played extremely well. It goes down in your overall record as a 2-2 tie but the way the conference is setup, OSU gets the second point. We are very proud of our effort but obviously disappointed that we don’t get that other point.”
“It felt like a win,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “I thought we could play better. Watching Western play, they didn’t make it easy on us. We weren’t fighting hard enough and doing little things like getting pucks deep.”
Ohio State got on the board early with the game’s first shot when defenseman Corey Toy’s shot was deflected by forward Patrick Schafer in front of the net to beat Western Michigan goalie Riley Gill. The goal came just 23 seconds into the first.
Six minutes later, Western Michigan forward Greg Squires redirected a pass from Patrick Galivan with his skate to beat the pad of Ohio State goalie Dustin Carlson to tie the game at one. Following Squires’ goal, the game was played mainly in the neutral zone with very few shots. Ohio State finished the period with six shots, Western Michigan had five.
Ohio State appeared to gain momentum out shooting the Broncos 13-8 in the second. Ian Boots gave the Buckeyes the lead again 16:02 into the second when he had a two-on-one opportunity. Boots took the puck himself and beat the stick of Gill to make it 2-1.
Western Michigan tied the game 59 seconds later when Squires sprung a loose puck in the neutral zone to Galivan. Galivan had a breakaway as Ohio State defenseman Chris Reed was caught sleeping in the defensive zone and Galivan faked a shot to then beat Carlson. Galivan now has a team lead 19 points on the season.
“I thought our whole line was keeping our feet moving, and moving the puck forward, and did well on the cycles,” Galivan said.
“I feel created we created enough scoring opportunities and so did (Ohio State),” Jim Culhane said. “I thought it was a very evenly matched game. I think you look at a 2-2 tie. Let’s not forget that they are the hottest team in college hockey right now and in our conference, coming in on the road, taking them to overtime. Tonight, because they were better in the shootout situation, they get the extra point.”
Neither team would notch a goal the rest of the game. Ohio State had the better of the opportunities in the third and overtime periods outshooting the Broncos, 18-9. Both teams had to kill off a power play in the final five minutes of regulation. Ohio State would get a man advantage opportunity in overtime, but was unable to convert.
In the shootout, Ohio State’s first shooter Corey Elkins notched one in the back of the net. After both teams were unable to score on their next two opportunities, Western Michigan’s Max Campbell tied the shootout at one with his goal. In the fifth round, Albert netted the game winner with his glove to stick side shot.
“It was my go to move in practice so I thought I would try it,” Albert said. “(Gill) is a big goalie so I needed to get him to go side-to-side. Elkins did a great job of that so I would go for it.”
The Buckeyes had to play without leading goal scorer Zac Dalpe due to an undisclosed injury. Ohio State replaced Dalpe’s spot with forward C.J. Severyn to play on the top line with Albert and Kyle Reed.
“Obviously they got scored against . . . obviously Johnny Albert and Kyle Reed and are not used to playing without Zac, but Severyn is giving what he can,” Markell said.