Ohio State exacted some revenge from the 10th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team as the Buckeyes recorded four of the game's final six goals to hand the Bulldogs a 5-3 loss in Friday (Jan. 29) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) tilt at OSU's Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Earlier this season Nov. 20-21), Ferris State swept a league home series from Ohio State as the Bulldogs prevailed 8-1 and 6-5 in overtime.
The setback drops Ferris State to 17-8-2 overall and 11-6-2-2 in the league while Ohio State improved to 11-13-1 overall and 9-9-1-1 in conference competition. The Bulldogs, who were victorious in nine of their past 10 outings in one stretch, have won once in their last five appearances to date.
Ohio State jumped on the board just under four minutes into the first period as Zac Dalpe back-handed the puck from above the shaded crease past goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) into the Bulldogs' net. Ferris State would erase the 1-0 deficit only 1:28 later when sophomore defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) ripped a laser shot from near the blueline into the OSU net to netminder Cal Heeter's stick side. Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) set up FSU scoring play by skating into the left side of the Buckeye zone and leaving the puck for a trailing Chad Billins, who recorded his second goal of the season. Ohio State's Sergio Somma cut the 1-1 tie with 6:59 to go in the opening frame on a tap in from the left edge of the crease as both teams posted 11 shots on goal apiece.
In the second period, Ohio State increased its lead to 3-1 by capitializing on a Ferris State penalty to freshman center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) as Chris Reed tallied a power-play goal for the hosts with a slap shot from beyond the right circle. The Bulldogs managed to slice OSU's lead to 3-2 at the 8:23 mark when junior center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) connected for his sixth lamplighter of the season on a shot outside the inner portion of the left circle as the puck sailed above Cal Heeter's stick inside the left post. Senior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) carried the puck from behind the Ferris goal into the neutral zone where he dished off to Travis Ouellette. The freshman forward's shot was intercepted by a Buckeye defender, who shot the puck toward the Bulldog zone. However, the puck took a fortunate Ferris State bounce by hitting off Matt Case's back leg, who was in the process of getting back on the defensive end, and went over to Justin Menke for Ferris' second score of the contest. The Bulldogs outshot the hosts by a 17-8 count for the second period.
The teams combined for three goals in the final 20 minutes with Ohio State accounting for two of them, including the period's initial one. Matt Bartkowski scored OSU's second power-play goal of the night at 2:06 into the period to make it a 4-2 contest. Ferris rallied again to trim the Buckeyes' lead to 4-3 as sophomore defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.) lite the lamp with a blast from above the left circle into the top far corner of the OSU goal past Heeter's glove. As the momentum started to gravitate toward Ferris State, Ohio State responded exactly two minutes later as Peter Boyd scored in the slot to get the Buckeyes' lead back to two goals (5-3). FSU pulled its netminder toward the final minute but was thwarted in any possible comeback.
Ferris State, which did outshoot Ohio State by a 49-30 margin, received 25 saves from Pat Nagle (8-6-1). Cal Heeter (9-5-1) claimed the victory for Ohio State with a 46-saves performance.
The Bulldogs will look to gain a series split this Saturday (Jan. 30) evening when the teams hook up for the final time this regular season at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with a 7:05 p.m. (EST) puck drop.
Notes: Ferris State's 49 shots on goal was the second-highest total this season, second only to the 52 shots against Robert Morris (10/24) . . . Chad Billins' goal was his first since Oct. 17 against Connecticut and also snapped a 13-game scoreless streak . . . FSU has received two goals from a defensemen in its last two outings -- against Michigan (1/23) and at Ohio State (1/29) . . . Brett Wysopal scored a lamplighter to end a 10-game non-goal scoring string. His previous tally came at the expense of Nebraska-Omaha (12/5) . . . Ohio State's win marked only its second in the last 11 series meetings with the Bulldogs . . . Blair Riley's assist rpresented his eighth point (2-6=8) this month in nine outings.