COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State Buckeyes junior goalie Cal Heeter was still in high school the last the Miami RedHawks lost to the Buckeyes at Value City Arena in Columbus. The Buckeyes snapped a nine game home winless streak against the No. 7 RedHawks with a 1-0 victory Friday evening.
The last time Ohio State defeated Miami in Value City Arena was Jan. 10, 2006.
Heeter’s performance was sterling stopping all 40 shots against and his defense did its share cleaning up rebounds left around crease. Heeter’s counterpart, Miami’s Cody Reichard had to make some key saves himself stopping all but one of Ohio State’s 24 shots on goal.
“He gave up one goal, that is pretty standard for Cody over the years,” Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. “We’re pleased with his game.”
The nation’s leading point scorer Carter Camper was held off the score sheet for the first time in seven games despite having eight shots on goal.
“The game started off pretty good (for me), I saw a few shots early and for me, that really helps me focused early,” Heeter said.
Ohio State had been shutout in its previous two matches at home against Miami. The Buckeyes went 166 minutes without a home goal against the RedHawks, dating back to Feb. 28, 2009.
“Some games you win, some games you lose, Ohio State is a pretty good team and their goaltender played pretty well,” Blasi said. “Am I disappointed in the loss? Yeah. But I don’t think you can question either team in effort tonight.”
A key difference in the game was converting on power plays.
The RedHawks had six opportunities and had 10 shots during the man-advantage but were unable to convert. Miami’s best chance on the power-play came midway through the third as it had a 5-on-3 advantage for 57 seconds.
“Anytime a team kills a 5-on-3 or scores on a 5-on-3, it is a momentum shifter,” Blasi said. “They did a great job. Heeter played well; they blocked shots when they had to. I don’t know if we got any second or third chances in front of the net.”
“Obviously your penalty kill starts with your goaltender,” Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki said.
“Cal (Heeter) played extremely well for us. He was the player of the game for our team. Our guys played pretty well in front of him but obviously the key was the penalty kill.”
Ohio State went one-for-four on the power play converting in the closing seconds of the second. John Albert’s shot went off the pad of Reichard and caused the goalie to go well out of position. With Reichard’s glove side open, Sergio Somma scored the game’s only goal at 19:51 of the second.
Miami had the better of the chances in the third attempting 27 shots and getting 16 of them on net. Ohio State got seven shots on goal during the third.
“Our forwards and our defense played absolutely excellent tonight,” Heeter said. “The (defense) in front were blocking guys out. (Their) guys stand in front, when shots are coming in, they block a shot or clear out in front.”
“You knew they were going to come out and play Miami hockey,” Osiecki said about the third period. “It is up-tempo, in your face, puck at the net, and they did that right away in the third and our guys hung on.”
The first half of the game featured a more psychical brand of hockey between the two teams. The Buckeyes and RedHawks picked the pace of the game up midway through the second.
The Buckeyes have their first five-game winning streak since January of 2009. Following their 4-3 loss last week against St. Cloud State, the RedHawks have not had a conference losing streak since the 2009 CCHA playoffs when they lost back-to-back games to Northern Michigan.