KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Despite having the ninth best power play in the CCHA, two goals with the man advantage helped Ohio State tie Western Michigan 3-3 Saturday night.
Ohio State won the shootout 1-0 with a goal by Peter Boyd, who was the sixth Buckeyes’ shooter.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes (12-15-5, 10-11-4-3 CCHA), coach John Markell would have rather had the regulation or overtime win to get three points to stay in the CCHA race. Ohio State receives two points for the shootout victory, and the Buckeyes sit in eighth place, four points behind Michigan for seventh.
“I would have liked the third (power-play goal),” Markell said. “We came here to get three points. We needed three points to stay in the race. Compliments to Western. I thought they played a better game tonight. Blocked a lot of shots and, of course, [WMU goalie Riley] Gill is a really good goalie.
“It’s very important to get special teams goals.”
It looked like Western Michigan (8-18-6, 4-17-5-1 CCHA) was going to pick up the 3-2 win in regulation, but OSU sophomore forward Zac Dalpe added to his great weekend by shooting a backhand shot, which he received from Ian Boots in front of the net, past Gill to tie the game at 18:24 in the third period.
“I thought we played extremely hard; we did have a 3-2 lead and they’re able to counter on transition,” Western Michigan coach Jim Culhane said. “Good team speed. Made a play down the near the end. Bottom line, the game’s a tie.
“We have the lead with a buck thirty-two to go and you’d like to think we could finish that out.”
Dalpe, a Carolina Hurricanes’ draft pick, finished with three goals for the weekend and had an assist Saturday night and now has 19 goals for the season.
With the game tied at two, Western Michigan senior forward Jared Katz collected a pass from Greg Squires, which crossed in front of Ohio State goalie Dustin Carlson, and Katz was trying to pass the puck back to Squires, but it went off a Buckeyes’ stick and into the net.
“He [Squires] made a great play,” Katz said, “I think he split like four guys and dished it out to me and I just tried to get it right back to him, cause I saw him open and it went off of one of the Ohio State’s player’s stick and luckily, it went in.”
The goal was Katz’s eighth of the season and was also Squires’ 19th assist of the 2009-10 campaign.
The Broncos came out quick, unlike Friday night when they gave up two first period goals, and got on the board quickly with a goal from Cam Watson at 3:39. The Buckeyes retaliated with a power-play goal from Sergio Somma, who received a pass in front of the net from Boyd, Somma’s 11th of the season and Boyd’s 22nd assist.
The Broncos scored a power-play goal from Max Campell at 15:55, his sixth of the season, to take a 2-1 lead.
“I thought we had some pretty puck pursuit,” Culhane said. “I thought we did a nice job of tracking pucks in the offensive zone and creating some turnovers and then we did that, we created some scoring opportunities too.”
Hunter Bishop scored Ohio State’s second goal at 8:03 in the second on a power play off a rebound from Dalpe.
The shot total was even at 37, and Carlson got high praise from Markell for his 34-save night and didn’t allow a goal from all six Broncos’ shooters in the shootout.
“It was great effort; they were causing him problems,” Markell said. “Nine minutes of the first period we were short-handed and that’s a lot of stress on a goalie. But we fought through it and obviously he came prepared to play and he did well in the shootout.”
“I can’t fault the effort at all,” Culhane said. “I thought the effort was there. Sixty-five minutes, played hard. We appreciate that, pleased by that, but again, it hurts not to get the victory.”