COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State cut a four-goal deficit to one with three-consecutive goals in the third period but could not get the equalizer, as a RedHawk empty net goal with one minute remaining put the game away for Miami Saturday in Value City Arena. The No. 7/9 RedHawks skated to a 7-5 victory over the No. 15 Buckeyes, ending the Buckeyes’ hopes for a Top 4 finish and first-round bye in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

Ohio State, which honored seniors Nick Biondo, Corey Elkins and Zach Pelletier in a pregame ceremony, ends conference play in fifth place with a 13-10-4-3 ledger and will host No. 12 Bowling Green in a best-of-three series in the OSU Ice Rink. Games one and two will be at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with game three, if necessary, scheduled for Sunday at a time to be determined.

Season ticket holders can order three-game packages Monday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling the Ohio State athletic ticket office or by visiting the ticket office in the Schottenstein Center. If tickets remain, a public sale for games one and two will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and youth.

Miami opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 5:54, as Tommy Wingels passed out from in front of the net to Brian Kaufman and he slammed the puck under Buckeye goalie Dustin Carlson. Justin Mercier put the RedHawks up 2-0 when his wrist shot from a sharp angle found the top corner at 12:58. Each team had seven shots on net in the period. Ohio State was assessed the only two penalties, with Miami 1-for-2 on the power play.

Miami outscored Ohio State in the second, 2-1, to take a 4-1 lead. Brian Kaufman scored the RedHawks’ third goal of the game at 2:41. Peter Boyd then put the Buckeyes on the board with at 9:41 a shorthanded goal on a breakaway, taking a leadout pass from Kyle Reed, with Matt Bartkowski picking up the second assist. Miami responded just 1:06 later when Alden Hirschfeld tallied at 10:40. Miami outshot Ohio State in the period, 11-9. Each team was 0-for-2 on the power play in the period.

The teams combined for seven goals in the third period. Boyd stole the puck from a Miami player at the Buckeye blueline and skated in alone on MU goalie Connor Knapp, burying his second breakaway goal of the game to make the score 4-2 at 1:49. Miami then scored back-to-back goals at 4:42 from Hirschfeld and 9:07 by Andy Miele on the power play, giving the RedHawks a 6-2 lead with 10:53 left.

Ohio State then started its rally when Hunter Bishop scored at 11:41, scoring from in front assisted by John Albert and Zach Pelletier. At the 14:34 mark a RedHawk was assessed a penalty and Ohio State pulled Carlson for a 6-on-4 advantage. The Buckeyes could not convert with the two-man advantage but scored twice in 24 seconds 6-on-5. Corey Elkins scored both, assisted by Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma at 18:21 and Zac Dalpe and Shane Sims at 18:45. The Buckeyes had the puck in the Miami zone but the RedHawks were able to clear. Jarod Palmer’s first shot toward the empty net hit the crossbar, but Mercier was there to knock it home to put Miami up by two with 1:00 left. Ohio State could get no closer, suffering the 7-5 loss. Miami had 16 shots in the period, with Ohio State putting 15 on net.

Miami outshot Ohio State in the game, 34-31. Carlson made 27 saves in 54:51, allowing six goals. Knapp played all 60 minutes for Miami and had 26 saves, giving up five goals.

Ohio State was 0-for-3 on the power play in the game and Miami was 2-for-5.

Postgame Quotes
John Markell, Ohio State head coach
On the first two periods
“They scored a quick two goals on us. It was one to nothing and we missed a shot and it set us back with a missed opportunity. We just didn’t play a good first two periods.”

On Miami’s response to Ohio State goals
“The kids are disappointed and we’re disappointed. Miami played a better game. We made it 4-2 and they responded right away and took the wind out of our sails.”

On the difference between Friday and Saturday
“We lost a lot of loose puck battles. We played softer than we did last night. We had more energy last night. After last night, I thought we could do it again.”

On the upcoming playoffs
“We have an exciting time coming up. We need to focus on what will make us better this weekend. We’ve played six games against top teams in the nation and you have to back up good games in the playoffs. We have to have a lot heart going into these games no matter where we play.”

Peter Boyd, Ohio State sophomore forward
On the game
“We didn’t play 60 minutes and the scoreboard showed that. We learned a lesson tonight. We learned you can’t take a night off in college hockey. We have to put this behind us. The playoffs are a new season and it’s an exciting time for us.”

On the team
“The team never gave up. We could have given up, but the last five or six minutes we put the pressure on them. We didn’t do that for 60 minutes though and if we did, it’d be interesting to see how we could be.”

Corey Elkins, Ohio State senior forward
On the game
“We had a mental lapse. We had a good amount of shots and opportunities in the first period. Any one of those could have changed the game. We don’t give up seven goals often. We usually have a solid defense and we get our offense from that.”

On not having a bye week
“It would have nice to have a bye week, but you don’t know what the weekend off would have done to our team. We’re in this thing for the long haul. We’re ready to play a lot of hockey. It’s time to mentally accept it and be ready for the next game.”

On scoring two goals in a row
“I felt like it gave us a second wind, like it gave us a kick of adrenaline. Then they scored and it burst our bubble.”

Enrico Blasi, Miami head coach
On Miami
“We did a better job of protecting the puck tonight. At the end, Ohio State started throwing everything at us and I give them credit for that but we were able to hold on for the win.”

On Ohio State’s play Friday night
“Last night, Ohio State played extremely well. They played with desperation, urgency and they executed. They did all the things they needed to do to get the win.”

On Ohio State’s tournament slate
“Ohio State is a really good hockey team. If I know Johnny (John Markell), he is in the locker room telling his team to take it one game at a time. He’s not even thinking ahead to Alaska yet.”

Justin Mercier, Miami senior forward
On Miami’s finish in the CCHA standings
“At this point, I’m just happy to have home ice.”

On Ohio State
“Ohio State was fighting for its life they had the opportunity to get home ice and they came out strong both nights. I noticed a difference in our play tonight.”


Hockey Game Box Score (Final)
Ohio State Men’s Hockey 2008-09
#7 Miami vs #15 Ohio State (Feb 28, 2009 at Columbus, Ohio)

 Miami (19-10-5, 17-7-4-2) vs. Ohio State (20-12-4, 13-10-4-3)
 Date: Feb 28, 2009  Location: Columbus, Ohio        Arena: Value City Arena   
 Attendance:9012   Start time:7:05 pm   End time:9:20 pm   Total time:2:15   

 Goals by Period 1 2 3 Total
 Miami 2 2 3 7
 Ohio State 0 1 4 5
   1st period – 1, MIA, Brian Kaufman/9 (Tommy Wingels/11, Cameron
Schilling/4) 5:54 (pp). 2, MIA, Justin Mercier/9 (Andy Miele/12,
Michael Findorff/1) 12:58. Penalties – Peter Boyd, OSU (boarding)
4:13; Zach Pelletier, OSU (checking from behind) 10:00.

   2nd period – 3, MIA, Brian Kaufman/10 (Chris Wideman/23, Tommy
Wingels/12) 2:41. 4, OSU, Peter Boyd/10 (Kyle Reed/10, Matt
Bartkowski/13) 9:34 (sh). 5, MIA, Alden Hirschfeld/2 (Alexandre
Lacombe/5, Brandon Smith/4) 10:40. Penalties – Cameron Schilling, MIA
(hooking) 4:42; Chris Reed, OSU (boarding) 7:46; C.J. Severyn, OSU
(roughing atw) 12:14; Will Weber, MIA (roughing atw) 12:14; C.J.
Severyn, OSU (grasping the facemask) 12:14; Matt Tomassoni, MIA
(checking from behind) 14:07.

   3rd period – 6, OSU, Peter Boyd/11 1:49. 7, MIA, Alden Hirschfeld/3
(Brandon Smith/5, Alexandre Lacombe/6) 4:43. 8, MIA, Andy Miele/12
(Tommy Wingels/13, Gary Steffes/10) 9:07 (pp). 9, OSU, Hunter
Bishop/13 (John Albert/26, Zach Pelletier/3) 11:41. 10, OSU, Corey
Elkins/13 (Peter Boyd/17, Sergio Somma/12) 18:21. 11, OSU, Corey
Elkins/14 (Zac Dalpe/10, Shane Sims/15) 18:45. 12, MIA, Justin
Mercier/10 (Jarod Palmer/15, Cameron Schilling/5) 19:00 (empty net).
Penalties – Peter Boyd, OSU (tripping) 7:32; Justin Mercier, MIA
(hooking) 14:34.

   Shots on goal – MIA 7-11-16 34; OSU 7-9-15 31.

   Power plays – MIA 2 of 5; OSU 0 of 3.

   Penalties – MIA 4 (8 min); OSU 6 (12 min).

   Goalies – MIA, Connor Knapp 13-4-3 (60:00 minutes, 31 shots-26
saves); OSU, Dustin Carlson 18-9-3 (54:51, 33-27) , EMPTY NET (05:09,

   Penalty shots – None.

 A-9012  T-2:15   
 Three stars: 1. Justin Mercier    2. Brian Kaufman    3. Peter Boyd   
 Ref: Brian Aaron; Brian Hill   Line: TJ Likens; Mike Elder
 Win-Connor Knapp (13-4-3).  Loss-Dustin Carlson (18-9-3). 
 OSU timeout at 13:34/3rd