COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ferris State faced a 1-0 deficit going into the second period, but goals from Eric Alexander and Aaron Schmit gave the Bulldogs a 2-2 tie against Ohio State Thursday evening.
Bulldogs defenseman Chad Billins scored the game’s lone shootout goal to give Ferris State the extra point. At this point in the season, the extra conference point is huge. The two total points allowed the Bulldogs to jump past Northern Michigan and into fifth place in the CCHA.
“It helps in a lot of fronts,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “We’ve got to get points tomorrow. We can’t hold status quo tomorrow and hope everyone else does our job for us the rest of the week.”
Ohio State’s hopes of a first-round bye are over and now it shifts its hopes on simply getting home-ice advantage in the first round. The only way to do that is get a regulation win Friday against Ferris State.
“We have to get better,” Ohio State Mark Osiecki said. “We’ve got to find a way to get better. I’ve said it all year. I thought our guys took a step back after Saturday night last week.”
Buckeyes defenseman Shane Sims gave Ohio State a 1-0 lead 10:39 into the first as Chris Crane led a rush that was started by Crane blocking a shot on Ferris State’s Scott Czarnowczan. Crane waited for the play to develop and Sims, who was trailing the play, fired a one-timer past the glove of Ferris State goalie Pat Nagle.
“I was pretty disappointed in the first,” Daniels said. “I thought we were pretty fortunate to come out of the period down a goal. I thought Ohio State, like a good home team is going to do, they were ready to go. I thought we were in survival mode in the first period.”
“We came out slow in the first period,” Billins said. “They really took it to us. We can’t do that against Ohio State. They’re a quick bunch and a dangerous team. It was nice to get going in the second period.”
Ferris State outshot Ohio State 21-3 in the second and the Bulldogs tied the game at 1-1 10:59 into the period from Alexander. He scored after taking control of a loose puck between the circles and slipping the puck past the stick of Ohio State goalie Cal Heeter.
Osiecki blamed the dismal period on a bad shift that led to a penalty.
“They turned it up a notch, they played well,” Osiecki said. “Our guys responded well in the third and played better in the third. They had some good looks at the net.”
“For some reason, we were more in tune” in the second period, Daniels said. “We were playing with more energy and skating better.”
The Buckeyes responded better in the third as goals were even at one and shots were tied at seven each.
Players “definitely got an earful from me,” Osiecki said. “I didn’t think we practiced well this week. … For me, I think I should have put my foot down. I didn’t because we’re a fragile team.”
Ferris State took a 2-1 lead 2:38 into the third on the power play 20 seconds after Ohio State’s C.J. Severyn was whistled for boarding.
Ohio State responded to tie the game at 2-2 76 seconds later as Sergio Somma intercepted a clearing pass from Nagle and fired the puck past the goalie from the left circle.
Ferris State had a chance to win the game late in the third as Somma was called for interference with 1:49 left in regulation. Ohio State managed to kill off the penalty.
“It never feels good when you lose in a shootout,” Somma said. “It definitely feels better when you win in a shootout; it is a big point. Obviously we have got a quick turnaround tomorrow. We have to win tomorrow, bottom line.”