COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coming into Friday’s match with Ohio State, Michigan appeared to be a team on the rebound.
After defeating Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend in non-conference action, it appeared that they were ready to begin gaining ground in the CCHA.
This route was rejected by the Ohio State Buckeyes as they delivered Michigan’s six loss in their last seven conference matches in their 5-3 over the Wolverines. The loss drops the Wolverines into a tie for last place in the CCHA with Western Michigan won on Friday night over Alaska.
Michigan head coach Red Berenson’s Wolverines are in a position they have not been in for many years.
Michigan had their opportunities outshooting Ohio State 45-20 for the game.
You have got to capitalize on your chances and I don’t think we did that tonight, Berenson said. We did have enough chances to win the game. When you are playing from behind, it is harder to score. In the mean time, I thought we had a good game but we’re going to have to play better.
The difference was Buckeyes’ goalie Cal Heeter who stopped 42-of-45 Michigan shots and went to 6-2-1 on the season. This is the first time Heeter was in net for the first night of a series. Dustin Carlson has been the night one starter. With Carlson’s 1-7 record, it appears the goaltending job may now be Heeter’s to lose
It was great to see our team come together and put it together on a Friday night, Heeter said. We have had trouble winning on Friday nights but we put three good periods together.
Ohio State coach John Markell said that he decided after seeing Heeter’s overtime performance in their victory over Bemidji State last Saturday that it solidified Heeter’s status.
I just thought it was time to make the change, Markell said.
Ohio State got off to a 2-0 start through one period. Ohio State’s Peter Boyd scored after receiving a well placed centering pass from teammate Sergio Somma for the Buckeyes’ first goal 5:52 into the game. Somma scored the Buckeyes’ second goal 18:16 into the first after backhanding a cross-crease pass from Zac Dalpe.
Michigan responded in the second with two goals of their own in a very dominating period for the Wolverines. Luke Glendening scored on a backhander that beat Heeter’s stick 11:32 into the second. Freshman Chris Brown tied the game at two less than four minutes later on a scrum in the crease. Michigan outshot Ohio State 17-4 in the second.
We kind of just got away from what was working in the first period, Somma said about the second period. In the first period, we were chipping pucks and we were getting in deep. We couldn’t get any momentum in the second period. . . . We had a bunch of turnovers on the offensive blue line and that just feeds Michigan’s transition.
Ohio State freshman defenseman Devon Krogh scored his first career goal on a slap shot from the blue line to give the Buckeyes the 3-2 lead 12:41 into the third. Krogh finished the game with a club season high plus-5.
C.J. Serveryn gave the Buckeyes their second two-goal lead 2:18 after Krogh’s goal when Severyn punched the puck in off a rebound on a Hunter Bishop shot.
Michigan would try to rally going on a 1:24 five-on-three power-play late in the third. Ohio State successfully killed the 5-on-3, but Michigan converted on the leftover 5-on-4 when Carl Hagelin scored his eighth of the season after redirecting a pass from teammate Matt Rust with 3:04 remaining.
I thought we stuck together at 2-2 even though we have a poor second period, Markell said. We came out and got back a little bit on our game.
Less than a minute later, Michigan’s A.J. Treais nearly beat Heeter, however the goalie was able to make the save of the night with his stick side pad.
Bishop added an insurance goal with 35 seconds remaining when he shot the puck into Michigan’s empty net.
I thought Ohio State had the edge in the first period, Berenson said. We came back and had a strong second period and got back into the game and maybe had the momentum. Disappointing in the third period. (Krogh’s goal) was a huge goal.