GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Unranked Ohio State cooled off red hot Bemidji State with a 2-1 overtime win at the Subway Holiday Classic at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Kyle Reed’s goal 48 seconds into overtime gave the Buckeyes an upset victory the day after the No. 6 Beavers shocked No. 1 Miami. OSU came off a 4-1 loss the night before to No. 4 North Dakota.
“We end up scoring three goals all weekend and we come away with one win,” said OSU coach John Markell. “You have to learn how to win games like that against very good hockey clubs. I think our guys stayed with it.”
BSU’s Matt Read had a golden chance short-handed 31 seconds into overtime. All alone in front of the net, OSU sophomore goalie Cal Heeter got across the crease and stopped Read’s shot.
Seventeen seconds later, OSU’s Reed, a junior from Calgary, Alberta, succeeded after several attempts in knocking the puck up and over the outstretched pad of BSU freshman goalie Mathieu Dugas to end the Buckeyes’ three-game losing streak.
“I haven’t scored in a long time since I’ve been back from injury,” Reed said. “It’s a big win for the team. I think it’s actually a turnaround for our season. The boys played hard and today’s a big one for us.”
“We got the last bounce last night and they got the last bounce tonight,” said BSU coach Tom Serratore.
Markell noted that the Buckeyes had the shortest rest of any team in the tournament after playing Friday night and then Saturday afternoon. He was proud of how his team responded.
“It was a good game; tight,” he said. “I thought maybe we were a little tired at first, and they were a little tired at the end, but it was a hard-fought game.”
In a sparsely attended late afternoon game, BSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period at 17:29. Just as they did in their upset against the RedHawks on Friday, the Beavers’ fourth line struck for the game’s opening goal.
From deep in the left corner, sophomore forward Darcy Findlay whipped a pass to freshman center Aaron McLeod coming down the slot unattended. McLeod fired the puck past Heeter for a 1-0 lead.
The Buckeyes best chance of the opening stanza came when Zac Dalpe, their leading scorer, had a clean breakaway, but was stoned by Dugas, who made his fourth start of the season and suffered his first loss.
The Beavers had their chances, too. Read just missed connecting with linemate Ian Lowe for what would have been an easy tip-in. BSU forward Ryan Cramer hit the pipe on a scoring chance in front of the crease.
In the second period, both goalies turned back quality scoring opportunities. However, it was the Buckeyes who took advantage of Heeter’s play to even the score at the 17:39 mark.
Leading an OSU rush down the right side, defenseman Devon Krogh put a shot on goal from the right circle. Junior forward Ian Boots crashed the net in put in the rebound off Dugas’ pad save to knot the score 1-1.
A cross-checking penalty on BSU’s Chris McKelvie with 1:15 left in regulation opened the door for the Buckeyes, but they went 0-7 on the power play for the tournament and couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage.
Seventeen seconds after Heeter stopped Read short-handed and time expired on the BSU penalty, OSU center John Albert threw the puck on goal from the right corner. The shot seemed to surprise Dugas, who did the splits to keep the puck from going in the near post, but he couldn’t corral it as it lay near his skate against the post.
Reed took several whacks at it before he finally succeeded in chipping the puck and over Dugas’ pad for the game winner.
“I thought I was going to get hit hard there,” Reed said. “The puck just stayed there on the pad. I just kept banging and banging until it went in.”
“It’s nice to get a little payback for your hard work,” Markell smiled.
Serratore said it was difficult for the Beavers to get fired up after the big win over Miami the day before.
“It was a game that had no emotion, no intensity,” he said. “Quite honestly, I was hoping to get out of there with a tie. Those are tough games to coach and a difficult game to watch.”
In the end, Serratore admitted that his team didn’t play well.
“We had a boatload of turnovers; we didn’t manage the puck very well,” he said. “I hope that’s out of our system because you’re not going to win games playing that way.”
BSU, 11-2-1 overall and 6-0-0 in College Hockey America play, returns to conference play at Niagara Dec. 4-5. OSU improves to 7-9-1 overall and is 4-5-1-1 in the CCHA. The Buckeyes next host Michigan Dec. 4-5.