EAST LANSING, Mich. — After being shut out by Michigan State, 3-0, to open this series Thursday night, the Buckeyes rebounded with a 5-2 win to earn their second weekend road CCHA split of the young season.
“We’re looking for the consistency,” said Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki. “And that may be hard with having so many young kids playing. It was a good team effort, especially after last night (when) things didn’t bounce our way. I thought State played a heck of a game last night and our response was pretty good.”
Chris Crane led the Buckeyes with two goals, including a pivotal power-play tally midway through the second, and Cal Heeter made 26 saves in his third win of the season. Darik Angeli had the game-winning goal early in the third, his first career marker.
“They had seven power plays, we had nine penalties for the night – that’s a lot,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. “What it does is it takes you out of rhythm. There were guys that I thought were playing pretty well at the beginning of the game and they weren’t getting much ice time and now they’re sitting on the bench. I’ve done that before; I know what it’s like to sit on the bench for a long period of time. It’s hard to go back and have that same jump.
“We took way too many penalties today.”
With a 1-0 MSU lead early in the second, Heeter made a save on MSU’s Lee Reimer, who threaded two Buckeye defenders and skated in all alone for a single shot. That fueled OSU’s game enough to result in two quick goals to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the night. At 5:01, Alex Szczechura tied the game for OSU when he pushed in Crane’s initial shot off Ryan Dzingel’s rebound.
At 10:50, Crane scored his first goal of the night with Spartans Justin Hoomaian (hooking) and Matt Crandell (tripping) in the penalty box.
“I don’t mind taking penalties if they’re penalties of aggression – you know, it’s an aggressive game – but when you take what you consider maybe lazy penalties, when you’re getting outworked or you’re trailing the play and you reach, or you’re taking undisciplined penalties for a reason, those kind of hurt you,” added Anastos.
Kevin Walrod – who netted both MSU goals – tied it up, 2-2, with his rocket from the right circle at 14:03 in the second, capitalizing on a sweet feed from captain Torey Krug.
The Buckeyes came out with more intensity in the third period, scoring two goals two minutes apart before the midway mark. Angeli’s game winner at 4:04 was the end of a short Buckeye blitz and Crane’s second of the night at 5:17 was a shot from the left circle that beat MSU netminder Drew Palmisano clean.
Matt Johnson added the empty-net goal at 19:24 when the Spartans were on the power play.
“I thought Ohio State came out real hard as we expected that they would,” said Anastos. “I thought in the third period in particular they took part of that game over and we didn’t respond in the way we needed to respond and the result was what it was. They were very tough to play against. I give them credit.”
Next up for the Buckeyes (3-3-0, 2-2-0 CCHA) is a home series against Alaska Oct. 27-28, while Michigan State (2-4-0, 1-3-0 CCHA) hosts Robert Morris Oct. 28-29.