COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chad Niddery’s partial breakaway goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as Ohio State won its third contest in a row defeating Bowling Green 5-3 Tuesday evening.
Bryce Williamson had a goal and an assist for BGSU, but his effort was not enough for the Falcons.
“Ohio State got exactly what it deserved tonight,” Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron said.
Junior forward Ryan Dzingel, who had two assists and his first goal of the campaign, led Ohio State.
“I have been a bit frustrated, so it is nice to get the monkey off my back,” Dzingel said. “Like I said, I am happy we got close to a 60-minute game.”
Despite the win, Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said the team has yet to play its best in a contest this season.
“I think all of us at times want to be perfectionists and show up every night and be the best,” Rohlik said. “For 60 minutes, how many times does that happen? Probably not too many times.”
For the first 37 minutes of the game, it was a goaltending duel between two freshmen as both teams had chances, but only one goal apiece. Ultimately, it was BGSU goalie Tomas Sholl who crumbled as he faced a number of odd-man rushes left by his defense.
“I thought [Sholl] played very well,” Bergeron said. “I will take Tomas Sholl’s effort all day long. Our defensive effort was poor.”
For the second time in three games, OSU trailed early.
BGSU took a 1-0 lead 2:39 into the first as Rusty Hafner fired a shot from the blue line and Dan DeSalvo redirected the shot past OSU goalie Matt Tomkins.
“I thought the first 10 minutes of the game was good,” Bergeron said. “I thought they were game-sharp since they played this last weekend, but it looked the opposite. We came out strong.”
For Rohlik, he would like to see the Buckeyes not give up that first goal in the first place.
“We know we can play with teams, but I don’t think it is a good habit,” Rohlik said. “It is a lot better to play with the lead, but I know our guys know now that if a team scores a goal, let’s go out and play and get that goal back.”
Ohio State knotted the game at one 17:37 into the opening stanza as David Gust scored his first collegiate goal after he went around the glove of Sholl.
Falcons’ freshman defender Sean Walker was handed a game disqualification for his open-ice hit on Anthony Greco that caught the Buckeyes’ forward in the head. Walker will be ineligible for Friday’s contest versus Alaska-Anchorage.
OSU took a 2-1 advantage 17:07 into the middle frame when Dzingel fired a wrister from the left circle that Greco helped screen.
Bowling Green squared the game at two 1:37 into the third period when Ben Murphy took a cross-crease pass and went from his forehand to backhand before firing a shot past Tomkins.
The game remained tied for only 42 seconds, however.
Nick Oddo redirected a shot from the point and put the puck past Sholl to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 advantage.
Then 6:36 into the third, Williamson scored off his own rebound to knot the game at three.
Three minutes later, Matt Johnson found Niddery on the partial breakaway and he scored by flipping a backhander over Sholl to give Ohio State a 4-3 lead.
The Buckeyes sealed the game with an empty-netter from Darik Angeli with 27 seconds remaining.
“We showed some resiliency and some fight in the third, but way, way too loose with the puck,” Bergeron said.
Bowling Green hosts Anchorage this weekend, while Ohio State continues its stretch of 12 out of 13 at home in hosting Minnesota-Duluth.