Oct. 22, 1999
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Ohio State hockey team lost a hard-fought 1-0 CCHA hockey game to Michigan State Friday evening in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes fall to 2-4 overall and 1-4 in the CCHA. Michigan State improves to 3-1-0 and 3-0-0.
“I was encouraged with what I saw tonight,” Ohio State head coach John Markell said. “That’s one of the best efforts we’ve given this year. We just couldn’t get the puck in the net. The bounces didn’t go our way. But defensively, we played our best game of the year. To limit Michigan State to 20 shots on goal is extremely encouraging.”
Michigan State struck first at the 7:47 mark of the first period on the power play. Shawn Horcoff found Adam Hall alone in front of the net with a centering pass and Hall one-timed the puck past OSU goalie Ray Aho. Brian Maloney also was credited with an assist on the goal, which came on MSU’s second power-play opportunity.
Ohio State missed tying the score by inches on several occasions in the first period. A long Andre Signoretti slapshot was deflected by MSU goalie Joe Blackburn and trickled towards the goal line slowly before being smothered. Late in the period, OSU enjoyed a five-on-three advantage for nearly 90 seconds, forcing Blackburn to come up with several big saves. OSU outshot MSU in the first period, 10-7.
Neither team could crack the scoring column in a physical second period. Ohio State again failed to capitalize on a two-minute five-on-three situation, but the stingy Buckeye defense kept MSU’s grade A scoring chances to a bare minimum. OSU outshot Michigan State 7-4 in the second period. The period included 12 penalties.
Defense also dominated the third period. The Buckeyes caught a break late in the game when MSU’s Kris Koski was whistled for a five minute major penalty, giving OSU a power-play for the game’s final 2:30. OSU goalie Ray Aho left the net at the one minute mark, giving the Buckeyes a six-on-four advantage. OSU put a flurry of shots on goal in the final sixty seconds, but none slipped past Spartan netminder Joe Blackburn.
It marked the first time OSU had been shut out since March 6, 1999 (a 3-0 loss to Bowling Green). It was also the first game of the 1999-00 season that Ohio State failed to score a power-play goal. Jean-Francois Dufour’s five-game point scoring streak was also snapped. The Buckeyes set a new season high with nine power-play attempts, but failed to connect on any. Michigan State converted 1-7 power-play opportunities.
Ray Aho stopped 19-of-20 shots. Blackburn made 20 saves, recording his fourth career shutout.
The shots on goal in the game were dead even at 20 apiece. The game was also one of several CCHA games this year that will use four officials. Tomorrow’s game will also feature four officials. OSU was whistled for 10 penalties, while the Spartans were tagged for 13.
The Buckeyes and Spartans will meet again Saturday night at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WOSU Radio (820 AM) and at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.