BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — After the second hard-fought game in as many nights, it was Ferris State taking a 3-1 victory over Ohio State to salvage a weekend split.
“After seeing Ohio State play, we’re proud of a split [because] they’re a good team,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels. “I have a feeling a seven-game series with Ohio State would go all seven games and into overtime. The teams are so even.”
With two closely matched teams, it can often come down to who scores first.
“They had a better start than us,” Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said. “That really set the tone of the game.”
After giving up two first-period goals in Friday night’s game, Saturday’s game was a mirror image that saw Ferris State quickly take a two-goal lead.
After killing an early penalty, the Bulldogs got on the board with a rebound goal from Travis Ouellette.
Then just 32 seconds later, Dakota Klecha put Ferris State up by two goals. Justin Buzzeo pulled a faceoff right to Klecha, who fanned on his first attempt before slipping his second try past OSU goalie Brady Hjelle.
“We didn’t play a whole lot different than we did last night, but we made more of an effort in the first period,” said Daniels
The second period saw Ohio State gain some momentum, but great plays from goaltender C.J. Motte and the Bulldogs’ defense held the Buckeyes scoreless heading into the final frame.
The Buckeyes continued to press in the third period and were finally rewarded with a goal from Max McCormick, who picked up a rebound and slipped it past Motte.
“I was disappointed with our play in the first nine to 11 minutes of the third period,” said Daniels. “We were out there trying a milk a two-goal lead.”
Despite the weekend split, Ferris State was held scoreless on the power play by Ohio State.
“I’d panic if it wasn’t for the fact that we were moving the puck around and their goalie is pretty dang good,” said Daniels.
Offsetting the power-play performance for the Bulldogs was their play on the penalty kill, which was perfect on the weekend.
“Our penalty killers were real strong,” Motte said. “They blocked a lot of shots and didn’t really allow them to set up.”
Osiecki agreed saying, “We’ve got to be better on the power play – they had a great penalty kill.”