COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team fell to Lake Superior State, 3-2, Saturday night in Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The win gives the Lakers a two-game sweep of the CCHA tournament first-round series and a spot in the conference quarterfinals, ending the season for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes (15-18-4) trailed 3-0 after the second period but scored two early third-period goals to draw within one. They were unable to get the equalizer and suffered their 10th one-goal loss of the season.
“Hats off to Lake Superior State,” Mark Osiecki, Ohio State’s first-year head coach, said. “They played a great series and defended well throughout the weekend. We played well both nights and gave up just 19 scoring chances in the two games combined. We wish our senior class the best of luck. In a tough situation, they did everything we’ve asked of them since we got here.”
Saturday night, the Lakers took a 1-0 lead at 11:15 of the first period on Ben Power’s power-play tally, assisted by Chad Nehring and Fred Cassiani. Each team put nine shots on net in the stanza and had one power-play chance.
Lake Superior State added two goals in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Will Acton scored five-hole at 6:14, with an assist to Rick Schofield. Schofield added a goal of his own with just 28 seconds left in the period, tallying on the power play with Power and Acton assisting. Ohio State was outshot, 14-13, in the period. Ohio State had two power-play chances in the stanza, with the Lakers converting their one chance.
Ohio State drew within one less than six minutes into the third period. At 2:59 Sergio Somma crashed the net and scored his team-high 20th goal of the year, assisted by Corey Toy and Alex Szczechura, to put Ohio State on the board. Less than three minutes later Danny Dries cut the lead to one. Shane Sims and Chris Reed led Dries into the LSSU zone. Dries’ screened shot went off the Laker goalie’s glove and in at 5:47, marking his 15th goal of the year. The team pulled goalie Cal Heeter for the extra attacker but a Buckeye penalty took away the advantage. Heeter stopped all 11 shots he faced in the stanza, with Ohio State putting eight shots on net. The Lakers had the only power play of the stanza.
The Buckeyes were 0-for-3 on the power play in the game, with the Lakers converting 2-of-4 chances.
Ohio State was outshot in the contest, 34-30. Heeter played 59:16 and had 31 saves. Kevin Kapalka had 28 stops in all 60 minutes. Postgame Notes The game was the final contest for nine Buckeye seniors – John Albert, Peter Boyd, Dustin Carlson, Chris Reed, Kyle Reed, C.J. Severyn, Shane Sims, Sergio Somma and Corey Toy.
Albert, Boyd and Somma all end their careers with 159 games played, tying for sixth in program history. They each played in every game over their four-year careers.
Albert and Somma ended the year sharing the team lead with 34 points each. Somma had a team-best 20 goals, including 10 on the power play (the most for a Buckeye since 2005 and just the fifth Buckeye with double-digit power-play goals since 1993). Albert was first on the squad with 22 assists.
Albert ends his career with 124 points (33g, 91a) to rank 36th all-time for the Scarlet and Gray. Boyd is 43rd with 113 points (39g, 74a), with Somma tied for 48th with 104, including 54 goals. Somma had a goal in four of his last five games and he had just the fifth 20-goal season for a Buckeye since 2001.
Heeter, who led the nation in minutes played through this weekend, ends the season with 2191:54 between the pipes, ranking fifth in the Buckeye record book. He started every game for the squad. He had 1,009 saves on the year, the sixth-highest total for a Buckeye goalie and in the Top 4 in the NCAA this year. His season goals-against average of 2.30 is the sixth-lowest for a Buckeye in a single season, with his .923 save percentage the second-best in Buckeye history. He is fourth for the Buckeyes in career goals-against average (2.64) and tied for third in career save percentage (.913).
The Buckeyes are 14th in the NCAA, allowing 2.49 goals a game.
The squad scored more than two goals in a game just four times in the second half of the year and just once in the last eight outings. The team ends the year averaging 2.57 goals a contest.