COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes needed fantastic late goaltending by Dustin Carlson to hold off the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 3-2 in front of 8,390 in Value City Arena Saturday night.
Ohio State’s victory snaps a three-game winless streak. Michigan was denied a four-game season sweep of the Buckeyes with the defeat. The Wolverines defeated Ohio State 4-1 on Friday night.
Ohio State is in fifth place in the CCHA. The Buckeyes are looking to secure the fourth spot to get the first round bye in the CCHA Playoffs. Alaska has completed their conference schedule and is three points ahead of the Buckeyes for the fourth spot. If Ohio State takes three of four points in a home-and-home with Miami next weekend, they will get the fourth seed, as the tiebreaker of goals versus each other would go to the Buckeyes.
With the loss, Michigan drops to third and can finish no worse than third. Michigan is two points behind second place Miami. They finish with a home-and-home with Ferris State next weekend.
“You knew Ohio State would come out and play a stronger game, and they did,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “They got back into the game after being down two goals and give them credit, and then it was anyone’s game. We’ve got to put our chances in. Their goalie made some great saves, and that could have been a factor in the game.”
The Buckeyes overcame a 2-0 Michigan lead in the second period to have the game tied by the second intermission. Michigan was unable to convert on a two minute five-on-three 6:07 into the second. Michigan got two shots on goal, but Ohio State kept the puck moving and even was able to almost get a breakaway opportunity by forward Peter Boyd after breaking up a pass in his defensive zone. After the penalties were killed, Carlson and the Buckeyes took control.
“It was a big kill, we all knew that,” Carlson said. “We were down 2-0 at that point, and we all thought that would be a turning point if we killed it off or if they got something.”
“Five-on-three could be the difference in the game,” Berenson said. “On that five-on-three, (Ohio State) played better after that.”
The Buckeyes got the game winner from C.J. Severyn with 4:20 remaining with a shot from the right boards from Zac Dalpe that was kicked in by Michigan’s Scooter Vaughan and Severyn behind goaltender Bryan Hogan.
For the second night in a row, Michigan jumped on top early, with Robbie Czarnik’s fourth goal of the season 3:20 into the game, as he skated down the left side of the ice, beating Carlson high stick side.
“There was a different feeling on the bench after first period,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “Even though we were down, we just felt like we were in the game. We were moving our feet a little bit better and giving ourselves a chance to compete in that game.”
Tim Miller scored 2:19 into the second. Michigan defenseman Chad Langlais had a shot ring off the knee of Severyn and bounce around before landing on Miller’s stick. Severyn sat out the rest of the second. He came back in the third to score the game-winner.
Ohio State got on the board 9:50 into the second when Corey Elkins knocked in a rebound off of a Hunter Bishop shot. Ohio State tied the game at two with 6:43 left when John Albert scored off his own rebound as Hogan was diving to the ice to glove the puck.
Michigan had a good third period, outshooting Ohio State 16-5 and controlling the puck more than the Buckeyes.
“I definitely had to step it up in the third,” Carlson said. “hey kept coming and I tried to stay as poised as possible. After we scored, definitely I was counting the seconds (left in the game) one-by-one.”
“I thought we had a good third period,” Berenson said. “It might have been our best period of the game, we just couldn’t capitalize on our chances.”
Ohio State scratched Ian Boots and Taylor Stefishen and added Cory Schneider and Mathieu Picard. Markell also made forward Sergio Somma an alternate captain before the game and he will remain an alternate the rest of the season.
“This morning, we had a meeting as a team, first with no coaches, and we have to men about it and sat in a little circle and looked each other in the eye and got everything we needed to be addressed out,” Somma said. “We challenged each other and obviously that helped out, and it didn’t matter who you were playing with, we were going to come out and play really hard. You could just tell there was a big difference tonight.”