COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to Lake Superior State, 4-0, in game one of the best-of-three CCHA tournament first-round series Friday night in Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The No. 9 seed Buckeyes (15-17-4) and No. 8 seed Lakers (11-15-9) will face off in game two at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Game three, if necessary, will be at 7:05 p.m. Sunday. The series winner will advance to the CCHA quarterfinals next weekend.
The Buckeyes put 48 shots on net but could not get one by Laker freshman Kevin Kapalka. The Lakers led 1-0 after the first period on a goal from Dan Radke. After a scoreless second period when the teams combined for 39 shots, LSSU extended the lead to two on Kellan Lain’s tally in the third. The Lakers’ final two goals were empty-net tallies in the last two minutes of regulation. Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter had 36 saves in the loss.
In the first period, Radke opened the scoring with a tally at 7:05, getting behind the Buckeye defensemen and scoring from in close. The Buckeyes outshot the Lakers, 13-10, in the period. Each team was 0-for-1 on the power play, with the Lakers’ chance carrying over to the second period.
The goalies combined for 39 saves on 39 shots in the second period, with Heeter stopping 18 and Kapalka making 21 saves. The Buckeyes had one power-play chance, which carried into the third stanza, while LSSU was 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
In the third, Lain scored, assisted by Colin Campbell, on a screened wrist shot at 9:44 to give the Lakers a 2-0 advantage. With time winding down, the Buckeyes lifted Heeter for the extra attacker and the Lakers converted twice, with Rick Schofield scoring after a turnover in the neutral zone at 18:21 and Nick McParland tallying at 19:20, assisted Campbell, who won the puck along the boards. Shots were 14-12 in favor of the Buckeyes, who had two power-play chances, in the stanza. The Buckeyes stopped the Lakers on one late extra-man opportunity.
Neither team was able to convert on the power play in the game. Ohio State, which has one power-play goal in the last seven games, was 0-for-4. The Buckeyes held the Lakers scoreless on three opportunities.
The Buckeyes outshot the Lakers, 48-40, in the game. Heeter played 57:59 and had 36 saves, allowing two goals. Kapalka had 48 saves in all 60 minutes. John Albert, Kyle Reed, Alex Lippincott and Shane Sims led the Buckeyes with five shots on goal each.
Heeter now has a 2.28 goals-against average and .924 save percentage on the year. He has played 2132:38 in goal this season, ranking first in the nation. He moved into ninth place in Buckeye history for minutes played in a single season. He has 978 saves to rank third in the NCAA this year and seventh all-time for an Ohio State player. He has given up more than two goals just once in the last nine games. The shutout was the third for the Buckeyes this season and the first time since Jan. 28 at Alaska. The squad also was whitewashed by Michigan State Nov. 12. The squad has scored more than two goals in a game just four times in the second half of the year and just once in the last seven outings.