COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team was defeated by Ferris State, 3-1, Friday night in Value City Arena in its final regular-season game. The Buckeyes tied the game at 1-all on a goal by senior Sergio Somma at 10:33 of the third but Kyle Bonis put Ferris State back on top with 1:58 remaining in regulation and Mike Fillinger sealed the win with an empty-net tally with 52 seconds left.
Ohio State (15-16-4, 10-14-4-2 CCHA) will travel to Lake Superior State or Alaska for a best-of-three series to open the CCHA tournament next weekend. The final standings will be set following league action Saturday night.
There were no goals in the opening 20 minutes. Cal Heeter made 15 saves in the Buckeye net, with Ohio State putting six shots on Ferris State goalie Pat Nagle. The Bulldogs had the one power play in the period.
The second period saw the Bulldogs go ahead 1-0 with a power-play tally. A Buckeye was assessed a major for hitting from behind at 8:23 and Travis Ouellette converted at 9:36, scoring from in close off assists from Brett Wysopal and Derek Graham. Ohio State outshot Ferris State, 10-5, in the period.
In the third, Chris Reed carried the puck into the zone and it found Somma at the top of the crease. He was able to tally his team-best 19th goal of the year to deadlock the score at one. With time winding down, and after some big saves from Heeter kept the game tied, Bonis was able to come down the left side and score short-side to put the Bulldogs back in the lead at 18:02. Ohio State pulled Heeter for the extra attacker soon after and Ferris State was able to seal the win with a goal from Fillinger at 19:08.
Heeter made 31 saves in the game, allowing two goals, while playing 58:14. Nagle had 22 stops in all 60 minutes. Ohio State was outshot, 34-23, in the contest.
The Bulldogs converted 2-of-4 power-play chances. The Buckeyes were 0-for-2, with the second chance coming with 44 seconds left in regulation.
Postgame Notes Somma had two of the Buckeyes’ three goals on the weekend. He is second on the team with 33 points and has a goal in each of the last three games.
The Buckeyes end the year ninth in the CCHA standings. A regulation or overtime win or overtime tie/shootout win by Lake Superior State over Miami Saturday night would send Ohio State to Alaska for the first round. If the Lakers tie through overtime but lose a shootout, Ohio State will travel to Sault Ste. Marie for the opening round.
Heeter continues to lead the nation in minutes played (2074:39) and rank in the Top 3 in saves (942). He is five saves shy of tying for 10th in Buckeye history for saves in a single season. He now has a 2.28 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
Heeter was the winner of the Perani Cup for Ohio State, given to the player on each team who accumulates the most three star of the game honors in conference play. He was a star of the game in 10 contests.
Ohio State has lost nine games by one goal this year, with three others coming by two goals, with the final goal an empty-netter.
The game was the first time in five games the Buckeyes allowed more than two goals. The squad has held opponents to two goals or less six of the last eight games. The squad is 13th in the NCAA allowing 2.43 goals a game.
The Buckeyes were held to two or fewer goals for the fifth time in the last six games.
Postgame Quotes Mark Osiecki, Ohio State coach On the team’s improvement from past series “Some areas were good, some areas were bad. We only got offense from about three players this weekend. We need to generate more offense from other players.”
On the penalty kill “We killed 11 penalty minutes in the first two periods. Penalty kills had a lot of influence on both games this weekend. We spent a lot of energy trying to kill penalties.”
On not having home-ice advantage “You go on the road as a team and get focused. The big picture for us is that we now have to win on the road. That’s always what it comes down to.”
Chris Reed, Ohio State senior defenseman On the game “We (the defensemen) were trying to keep shifts short to stay fresh. It was frustrating. We had a chance [to secure home ice], but we didn’t make the most of it.”
On his thoughts going into the tournament “Like coach said, we’re going to be the underdog [in the tournament], and no one wants to play the underdog.”
Sean Duddy, Ohio State junior defenseman On Ferris State’s defensive effort “They did a good job [on defense], but we just didn’t do a good job of putting it [the puck] in.”
On moving on from this loss “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves — we just have to move on. We have a reason to be optimistic. There is always a team that makes noise in the tournament. We’ll have some downtime this weekend to turn the page.”
Bob Daniels, Ferris State head coach On limiting Ohio State’s scoring chances “I thought we played really good team defense tonight. We slipped a little there in the second period, but we rebounded and really played well as a defensive unit in the third.”
On responding to Sergio Somma’s game-tying goal in the third period “I thought the TV timeout following the goal was really important, in addition to the review. They [Ohio State] had grabbed all the momentum, but the quick timeout after the goal really helped slow things down and gave us a chance to regroup.”
On the importance of a possible first round bye “It would be huge, absolutely huge. The margin of difference between the teams in the league this year is very slim, so having to fight your way through a first round series and a possible second round match-up with a Miami or a Notre Dame would make it very difficult to get to Joe Louis [Arena].”
Kyle Bonis, Ferris State sophomore forward On if he was surprised his game-winning goal went in “I’d like to tell you I’m not but I’d be lying. I saw the defender got turned and I thought I had a chance to get by him. [Cal] Heeter also cheated over a bit, so I thought if I got a decent shot off it might go in. Luckily enough, it did.”