COLUMBUS, Ohio — After narrowly defeating the Bowling Green Falcons in game one of the best-of-three series in the opening round of the CCHA playoffs on Friday, the Ohio State Buckeyes fought their way to a 7-1 blowout win to sweep the Falcons in front of 956 fans in the OSU Ice Arena.
Bowling Green’s season ends with an 11-24-3 record. Ohio State advances to the second round of the playoffs to play at Alaska next weekend. Ohio State’s record is 22-12-4 and they remain on the bubble for a possible NCAA Tournament spot.
The game had several disruptions in the second period. The first interruption was with a pane of glass that broke and delayed the game for 10 minutes. An even larger interruption took place in the second period with 5:39 left in the frame.
Sophomore Ohio State captain Peter Boyd sustained a concussion when he fell to the ice from a hit from a Bowling Green player. After play was halted, Boyd made his way off the ice to seek treatment. During that time, Falcons’ goaltender Jimmy Spratt stood in front of the Ohio State bench. At that point, Buckeyes co-captain Zach Pelletier dropped the gloves. Within seconds, both benches cleared and five ejections were handed out. One of those was to Ohio State forward Ian Boots, who already was disqualified in a game against Notre Dame a month ago. Boots also received a misconduct penalty in Friday’s game. Boots will be unable to play the first two games of the series against the Nanooks. Pelletier will also be suspended for game one of the playoffs.
Bowling Green was given two additional penalties, which gave Ohio State a five-on-three advantage for two minutes, followed by a power play for an additional three minutes.
All of the coaches and players asked had similar perspectives on what transpired in the second period.
“I didn’t see what happened, it started by their bench,” Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch said. “I don’t like the way the result was that came out of that. I didn’t think it was warranted.”
“I thought there was going to be a scrum after the Peter Boyd hit but there wasn’t,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “All of a sudden, I saw their goalie standing by our bench with another guy; I don’t know why he did it. What are you going to do when their goalie is standing at your door with another guy, trying to clock you? You have to defend yourself.”
“It happened so fast, you don’t really think, you just react,” Ohio State alternate captain Sergio Somma said. “Tensions are high. It was do or die (for Bowling Green). It was either make a comeback or we take over the game. The emotions run high.”
A total of 99 penalty minutes were recorded in the game. Bowling Green was 0-6 on the power play. They were 0-10 for the weekend.
Bowling Green started the game with the first six shots within the opening five minutes. Ohio State was able to end the first period on top with a goal on a breakaway by Somma with 57 seconds left to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. With just over five minutes remaining in the first, Ohio State killed off over five minutes of Bowling Green’s power play, over one minute of which was a two-man advantage.
“I love the way we started the game,” Paluch said. “It was important for us to get the lead and we couldn’t do that. The first period was a real good one. After last night’s game, we bounced back. They got the first goal. Unfortunately, we gave up too many good chances and they capitalized.”
“Our goaltender kept us in it and he had a solid game,” Markell said.
Senior Ohio State forward Corey Elkins got a hat trick in his final game on Ohio State’s campus. His first two scores came at huge times in the game. Elkins’ first goal came at 2:20 of the second on a hard wrister that beat Spratt’s glove. His second was at 9:31 of the period on a rebound of Spratt from a Hunter Bishop shot.
“Great way to end it,” Elkins said of his final game on campus.
Bowling Green’s Nick Bailen tried to rally his Falcons with a goal at 9:59 of the second but Ohio State answered. Defenseman Matt Bartowski scored a rare power-play goal for the Buckeyes 2:19 later to give Ohio State a 4-1 lead. This was Ohio State’s first power-play goal since Feb. 8 in a 4-1 win over Notre Dame. The Buckeyes added another late second period power-play goal by defenseman Shane Sims.
Elkins got his 18th goal of the season with 7:06 left. Mathieu Picard added with an exclamation point to give Ohio State their seventh goal of the game with 1:34 remaining.