COLUMBUS, Ohio — The first two periods of Thursday’s game between the Alaska Nanooks and Ohio State Buckeyes featured as much heavy metal as a Judas Priest concert.
Through two scoreless periods, each team had a pair of shots ring off the iron, but both teams scored twice to notch a 2-2 tie at Value City Arena.
Ohio State won the postgame shootout, 2-1, with goals from Tanner Fritz and Chris Crane to receive the extra conference point.
“For us, the game got better as the game went on,” Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson said. “Sometimes we can get too consumed with these shootouts, but at end of the day, we got a point on the road the first night.”
Alex Lippincott and Darik Angeli had shots cling the post past the blocker of Nanooks goalie Scott Greenham just minutes apart midway through the first period.
Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said that with a great start with the Buckeyes outshooting the Nanooks 9-2 in the opening period, the start may have hurt the mindset of his club considering they were not able to capitalize.
“I think that from a young team standpoint, I think that was kind of their psyche a little bit,” he said. “That had something to do with them feeling pretty good about themselves, but kind of got away from doing how we have success.”
Late in the first period, Cody Kunyk beat OSU goalie Cal Heeter’s glove, but could not find the back of the net. Colton Beck also rang a shot off the post to start the second period.
“You get a little bit nervous when you hear the ping,” Heeter said. “You wonder, did it go up or did it go in? First reaction is ‘oh-no,’ but then you turn around and see the puck in the corner. It is a pretty good relief.”
The close calls that both teams had in the first two periods led to a scoring frenzy in the third period.
“When it rains, it pours, eh?” said Ferguson about the third period. “You get all of a sudden bang-bang; pucks are going into the net. I thought both teams competed hard.”
Alex Carlson led off scoring 38 seconds into the third as his shot from the left circle beat the blocker of Greenham.
Alaska tied the game 8:02 into the third as Granberg’s backhander went top shelf over the glove of Heeter. Alaska temporarily took the lead 1:07 later when Justin Filzen’s shot slipped through Heeter’s five hole.
Ohio State tied the game at 11:13 of the third as freshman defenseman Ben Gallacher scored his first collegiate goal. Gallacher immediately celebrated by throwing his arms into the air.
“I threw it on net and it happened to hit an Alaska stick coming in there,” Gallacher said. “It was tough for (Greenham) to see. I was definitely pumped to tie the game.”
Alaska outshot Ohio State, 18-4, in the third period and 36-22 for the game.
The Buckeyes are a much younger club than the Nanooks. Ohio State dressed just three upper-class skaters versus 12 for Alaska.
“With a young group, Thursday night, midterms and everything going on, I thought they prepared themselves great,” Osiecki said. “It was probably our best start all season. From there, I guess you have to deal with adversity and things going against you.”
Thursday marked back-to-back games Alaska (3-2-2, 0-1-2-0) lost in a shootout as the Nanooks lost to the Western Michigan Broncos in a shootout last Saturday. Thursday’s match marked Ohio State’s (3-3-1, 2-2-1-1) first shootout of the 2011-12 campaign.