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Feb. 8, 2003

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior forward Miguel Lafleche scored a goal just 14 seconds after Western Michigan had tied the game in the third period to lift the No. 10 Ohio State men’s hockey team to a 3-2 victory over the Broncos Saturday in Value City Arena. The win gives the Buckeyes a two-game sweep of the Broncos.

The team’s home league winning streak extends to 17 (14-0-3), 10-0-0 in CCHA play this season. The team improves to 13-1-0 at home this season and has won its last 12 contests in VCA.

The win, which keeps the Buckeyes in second place in the CCHA, improves the squad to 20-6-3 on the year and 14-4-2 in the CCHA. The Broncos fall to 13-14-1 overall and 11-9-0 in conference play. OSU is three points behind league-leader Ferris State with two games in hand.

OSU scored a power-play goal at the 3:08 mark of the first period to take a 1-0 lead, as Ryan Kesler put in the rebound of a Doug Andress shot. R.J. Umberger also assisted on the goal. The Broncos tied the game at 11:54, when Dana Lattery stuffed in the rebound of a Jeremy Cheyne attempt. OSU outshot WMU in the period, 17-9.

There was no scoring in the second period. OSU controlled the play in the stanza, outshooting WMU 17-4.

Ohio State went up by one (2-1) when JB Bittner scored, assisted by Scott Titus and Umberger, at the 4:09 mark. The lead stood until 17:25, when Vince Bellissimo tallied to tie the game at two. The Buckeyes’ quickly rebounded, as Lafleche broke in on WMU goalie Mike Mantua and scored to regain OSU’s lead. Kesler and Nate Guenin set Lafleche up on the play. The Broncos pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but were unable to score. OSU had 13 shots in the period, WMU nine.

OSU held the Broncos scoreless on four power-play chances in the game and in 12 opportunities in the series. The Buckeyes were 2-for-7 with the man advantage in the game.

The Buckeyes outshot the Broncos, 47-22. Mantua had 44 saves, OSU goalie Mike Betz 20. Betz now has 51 career wins, three short of the OSU record of 54 held by Bill McKenzie.

Umberger, a Hobey Baker candidate, had two assists in the game and now has a career-best 41 points this season. He has 1-7-8 totals in his last five games. OSU freshman Kesler also posted two points, on a goal and an assist, and has 28 points on the season.

Ohio State returns to action at 7:35 p.m. Thursday when it travels to face Miami in Oxford. The Buckeyes and RedHawks will end their two-game series at 4:05 p.m. Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens in Cincinnati.

Postgame Quotes
Ohio State head coach John Markell
I thought we played three solid periods tonight. We showed a lot of character in terms of reacting to their late goal. There were less penalties and more flow to the game compared to last night. We had more opportunities to score. (Mike Mantua) gave them a chance to win the game. (Mike) Betz gave us a chance to win too and Miguel (Lafleche)’s goal was huge.

“We brought it down to three lines after they scored. Our guys were into the game. The worse thing you can do is raise the anxiety level and create panic. They just got on the ice and did their jobs.

“We just have to keep creating more shots. That gives us confidence more than anything. At some point they have to start going in and work to our advantage. You have to credit (Mike Mantua) and they are a good team. They gave us everything we could handle and that is what the CCHA is all about.”

Western Michigan head coach Jim Culhane
“We played well. Both goalies had exceptional nights. We were disappointed with the outcome. I thought we played hard but unfortunately we leave here with no points. We played with a lot of determination and a will to win. I believe in our team and in time we will get able to get these types of wins. You have to give Ohio State credit. They are well-coached.”

Ohio State senior forward Miguel Lafleche
“We kept shooting but nothing was really going in. We would like to have a cushion and more goals than just two or three. Those types of games are tough on the heart. Our guys did a good job of shooting and not getting discouraged. When you have that kind of attitude, good things happen. We played a lot better tonight.”

Hockey Game Box Score (Final) Ohio State Hockey 2002-03 Western Michigan vs Ohio State (Feb 08, 2003 at Columbus, Ohio)

Western Michigan (13-14-1, 11-9-0 CCHA) vs. Ohio State (20-6-3, 14-4-2 CCHA) Date: Feb 08, 2003 Location: Columbus, Ohio Arena: Value City Arena Attendance:9867 Start time:7:05 pm End time:9:23 pm Total time:2:18

Goals by Period 1 2 3 Total Western Michigan 1 0 1 2 Ohio State 1 0 2 3

1st period – 1, OSU, Ryan Kesler/8 (Doug Andress/14, R.J. Umberger/21) 3:08 (pp). 2, WMU, Dana Lattery/16 (Jeremy Cheyne/15) 11:54. Penalties – Dana Lattery, WMU (tripping) 2:19; Mat Ponto, WMU (high sticking) 4:51; Lucas Drake, WMU (hooking) 6:06; Luke Pavlas, OSU (roughing after the whistle) 17:11; Brian Pasko, WMU (slashing after the whistle) 17:11; Daymen Bencharski, OSU (hooking) 19:03.

2nd period – Penalties – Lucas Drake, WMU (checking from behind) :21; Dave Cousineau, WMU (obstruction-hooking) 8:32; JB Bittner, OSU (obstruction-hooking) 9:04; Paul Caponigri, OSU (slashing) 12:56; Doug Andress, OSU (roughing after the whistle) 19:39; Lucas Drake, WMU (roughing after the whistle) 19:39.

3rd period – 3, OSU, JB Bittner/6 (Scott Titus/4, R.J. Umberger/22) 4:09 (pp). 4, WMU, Vince Bellissimo/15 (Jeremy Cheyne/16) 17:25. 5, OSU, Miguel Lafleche/8 (Ryan Kesler/19, Nate Guenin/8) 17:39. Penalties – Andy Townsend, WMU (holding the stick) 2:54; Chris Olsgard, OSU (slashing) 4:22; Mike Mantua, WMU (slashing) 7:22.

Shots on goal – WMU 9-4-9 22; OSU 17-17-13 47.

Power plays – WMU 0 of 4; OSU 2 of 7.

Penalties – WMU 9 (18 min); OSU 6 (12 min).

Goalies – WMU, Mike Mantua 8-9-0 (58:32 minutes, 47 shots-44 saves) , EMPTY NET (01:28, 0-0); OSU, Mike Betz 15-4-3 (60:00, 22-20).

A-9867 T-2:18 Three stars: 1. Miguel Lafleche 2. Ryan Kesler 3. Mike Mantua Referee:Brian Aaron Assistant Referee:Dave Kronenberg; Brian Wisner Win-Mike Betz (15-4-3). Loss-Mike Mantua (8-9-0).