COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team tied Lake Superior State, 1-1, Friday night in Value City Arena. The Lakers won the shootout, 1-0 in three rounds, to claim the extra point in the CCHA standings. The Buckeyes (14-5-3, 9-13-3-2 CCHA) and Lakers (10-12-9-, 8-9-9-5 CCHA) will close out the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in VCA. The nine-member Buckeye senior class will be honored pregame. John Albert had the goal for the Buckeyes, while Cal Heeter made 27 saves in the Ohio State net.
Albert gave the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead at 16:31 of the first period, scoring five-hole on the rush. Albert won a faceoff in the neutral zone to start the play, with defensemen Devon Krogh and Corey Toy combining to send Albert into the zone. Each team had seven shots in the first period. The Buckeyes had one power-play chance and held the Lakers scoreless on two opportunities. Albert now leads Ohio State with 33 points on the year.
The Buckeyes held the one-goal edge until Ben Power’s shot through traffic in front of the net went over the line at 18:31 of the second period. The Lakers were 0-for-2 with the man advantage (with one a five-second chance), with Ohio State scoreless on one power play that lasted five seconds.
Ohio State outshot the Lakers, 19-6, in the third period but Kevin Kapalka stopped all 16 Buckeye attempts and Heeter made nine saves in the Buckeye net to send the teams to overtime.
In overtime, Heeter made three saves and Kapalka had two stops as the game ended in a deadlock. Ohio State is 3-1-3 in overtime this season.
The goalies stopped the first five shots in the shootout. Ohio State shot first and Kapalka made saves on Buckeye senior Sergio Somma, junior Danny Dries and Albert. Heeter had saves on Domenic Monardo and Ben Power but Kyle Jean scored in the third round for the victory. Ohio State is 2-1 in shootouts this year.
In the game, just six penalties were called, with none in the third period or overtime. Ohio State held the Lakers scoreless on four power-play chances and was unable to convert two opportunities. The Buckeyes have not allowed a power-play goal in the last five games and are scoreless on the man advantage in the last three outings.
Heeter and Kapalka each played 65 minutes and allowed one goal. Heeter had 27 saves and Kapalka had 35 shots as Ohio State outshot the Lakers, 36-28.
The parents of the 2010-11 Ohio State squad were honored following the second period.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On the play of the Lake Superior State defense
“I thought they did a good job of defending the goal and limiting our chances. They played extremely well.”
On the offensive woes of Ohio State
“We need to find a way to get some scoring going. We have to find that spark, but overall I’m pleased with our effort.”
On the team’s confidence going into the third period
“I thought we came out with good intensity in the third and I hoped we’d generate some enthusiasm off our bench to get the win.”
John Albert, Ohio State senior forward
On the multiple offensive chances
“We had a lot of shots — 36, I’m pretty sure. But of those, we didn’t have many great opportunities, and many came from the perimeter. One goal is not going to cut it.”
On the team’s emotion after the shootout loss
“Every loss stings a little bit. We have to regroup and come back and play better tomorrow.”
Cal Heeter, Ohio State junior goalie
Emotions after a tough shootout defeat
“It doesn’t go down like a loss but it certainly feels like one. We are going to come out tomorrow and play better.”
On his assessment of Ohio State’s defense
“I thought they played fine. We had one breakdown. The puck squirted out to the side and went in. I saw the guy release the shot and I searched around and couldn’t find it. I saw it when the guy was putting it in the back of the net.”
Jim Roque, Lake Superior State head coach
On the play of the LSSU defense
“I’m really proud of our defense. We have one kid home sick and three freshmen playing, but they battled hard, kept us in the game, and gave us a chance to win.”
On his team’s offensive struggle
“I would have liked to have seen more from our forwards tonight. We didn’t create enough opportunities – that’s something we’ll have to work on for tomorrow night.”
On the play of freshman goalie Kevin Kapalka this season
“So far so good. He’s got good composure and he likes to work. He’s a quality kid. Nothing seems to faze him.”