COLUMBUS, Ohio — In what was billed as an evenly-matched series, No. 5-seed Ferris State pulled out a huge road victory downing No. 4-seed Ohio State 4-2 Friday evening to take a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-three quarterfinal round of the CCHA playoffs.
Ferris State captain Kyle Bonis had a pair of goals, as did junior forward Justin DeMartino.
The game was played in the OSU Ice Rink, the former home to the Buckeyes and current home to the university’s women’s program.
Friday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair. Ferris State had a 1-0 lead through the first period after Bonis scored his 18th of the season firing a one-timer past OSU goalie Brady Hjelle 15:44 into the stanza.
“It was nice for Kyle to score on that four-on-three,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “What was really good was for DeMartino to score a couple of goals for us tonight. I keep waiting for him to turn the corner as he is a really skilled hockey player.”
The Buckeyes took a 2-1 advantage after linemates Max McCormick and Tanner Fritz each scored early in the second period. The feeling was good on the Buckeyes’ bench and the small crowd of 731 came to life.
Things went downhill from there.
“I thought we were going [after the goals] and then they got a goal and it was back to being an even game,” Fritz said.
After McCormick took a slashing penalty 7:23 into the second to negate an OSU power play, DeMartino scored his first of the contest on a breakaway while taking a slash from behind from Sam Jardine.
“That was a game-changer,” Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said. “Us being on the power play, 2-1, and we had the momentum going and we take a penalty off the faceoff. Just a lack of discipline.”
With the game tied at two, DeMartino scored yet again on a delayed penalty 1:24 into the third for the eventual game-winner.
With Ferris State scoring twice on delayed penalties, it prevented the Buckeyes from being able to come up with a response.
“Those are the first two goals we have scored all year on a delayed penalty and they just happened,” Daniels said. “We didn’t get the extra guy into the attack and there were no breakdowns, so it just kind of happened, but after a goal, you want to get some momentum and what better way than to be on the power play.”
Despite outshooting the Bulldogs 10-5 in the third period, the Buckeyes failed to generate quality chances. With the clocking ticking away, Bonis fired a shot from 150 feet into the empty net to seal the win.
“It is the playoffs, stuff like that is going to happen,” Fritz said. “It is going to go up and it is going to go down, it is how you respond to it and we didn’t respond and lucky thing we have a game tomorrow.”
Osiecki expects his squad’s best performance tomorrow evening in the win-or-go-home contest.
“I think this team has always responded and done a good job with that,” Osiecki said. “I thought the discipline side of it we have to correct. That is a choice by individuals, you have to correct that. On the other side of it, [Ferris State] played like they have been through these situations, these games, playoff experience. They showed that.”
Ferris State goalie C.J. Motte continued his excellent play by turning away 28 of 30 shots. Hjelle made 18 saves.
Ohio State has now lost six CCHA playoff games in a row dating back to 2010.