COLUMBUS, Ohio — It may have been an exhibition game between two schools from different countries, but Western Ontario’s 3-2 victory at Ohio State on Sunday had the feel of a chippy conference regular season game.
There were a couple instances in the game where players had words and exchanged shoves.
The Mustangs won the game 3:28 into overtime when Kevin Baker’s shot beat the stick of Ohio State’s backup goaltender Cal Heeter.
The Mustangs held the lead for most of the game and never trailed. The Buckeyes had a brief spurt of momentum late in the third when junior forward Peter Boyd notched a five-on-three short-handed goal past the stick of Western Ontario goaltender Chris Abbey.
“I didn’t see it go in,” Boyd said of his goal. “I got it on his stick and it was a fluttery shot and it just went in.”
Western Ontario notched power-play goals in the first and second periods by Adam Nemeth and Kyle Lamb. Despite giving up two power-play goals, Ohio State might consider themselves lucky to escape, as they were penalized 12 times in the game.
“I think we did some good things and some bad things,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “You can’t beat teams in the penalty box. We took some penalties that you would expect in the first period, but we could not establish any sort of momentum into the game, even though we had the short-handed goal.”
Western Ontario snapped a five game winless streak to NCAA opponents with the victory. They will get a chance to go 2-0 against teams from the CCHA this season with their match tomorrow against Michigan State.
“I think the CCHA is a quality league and they are just a couple hours away from London (Ontario) for a lot of the teams,” Mustangs’ coach Clarke Singer said. “It is a good opportunity to play some good hockey and a lot of the kids on their teams come from our area and so they know some of the guys.”
Ohio State enters the season coming off their first NCAA tournament berth since the 2005 season, and only lost a handful of players from last year. The core of the team remains, as they look to build off last year’s success.
“I think today was a good test for us,” said Ohio State forward C.J. Severyn, who scored Ohio State’s first goal. “Not too much talking out on the ice was a big key to the game. You have to know where guys are”
Ohio State outshot Western Ontario 38-29. Ohio State’s top goaltender Dustin Carlson had a nice performance, playing the first half of the game and allowing one goal on 16 shots. Ohio State’s Heeter allowed two goals on 13 shots against, and Abbey was credited with the win and had 2 goals against and 18 saves.
Ohio State opens their regular season at home on Thursday and Friday with games against Quinnipiac.