It was a tale of two games.
After the men’s hockey team dominated No. 10 Ferris State Friday night, it fell just short on Saturday.
Special teams proved to be the difference for the Buckeyes on the weekend. On Friday, the Buckeyes came up with two power play goals, which proved to be necessary for the 5-3 victory.
The Buckeyes never trailed in Friday’s contest, due in part to great goaltending from Cal Heeter, who made a career-high 46 saves.
“I thought Cal played well,” coach John Markell said. “He faced 49 shots. He made some big saves when he needed to and got on some rebounds.”
The script was flipped Saturday night, as it was the Bulldogs who took charge and struck first. Ferris State was able to kill four Buckeye power plays in the first period, and then wasted no time in scoring seven seconds into their own power play opportunity.
After falling behind 2-0 at the beginning of the second period, the Buckeyes stormed back, scoring twice in 40 seconds to tie the game.
“At that moment, we’re on the road and we’ve got a two-goal lead and it evaporates,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “Now it’s two to two. Momentum is completely in their favor and the building is rocking.”
However, the momentum shift was short-lived as Ferris State added a third goal in the second period and headed into the second intermission leading 3-2.
In the third period Kyle Reed ended the Buckeyes’ power play drought — the Buckeyes were previously 0-5 on the power play — with his second goal of the season.
The game remained tied throughout regulation and overtime, leading to a shootout.
The Buckeyes would eventually succumb to Ferris State on the fourth shooter.
John Albert scored for the Buckeyes in their first attempt, but was the only player to mark for his squad. Ferris secured the shootout victory when the Bulldog’s Chad Billins slid the puck past goaltender Dustin Carlson.
The Buckeyes finished just 1 for 9 on the power play after converting twice on four opportunities Friday.
“[Zac] Dalpe had one on the power play that hit the cross bar, which would have been great to have,” center C.J. Severyn said. “But we were 1 for 9. We had our chances [but couldn’t convert].”
The Buckeyes also allowed two power play goals Saturday after killing all of the Bulldogs’ power plays the night before. After the game, coach Markell was more upset with the number of penalties called than the goals surrendered.
“There seemed to be some crazy calls that interrupted the flow of the game, I thought,” Markell said. “[The referees] didn’t let us play.”
Markell was, however, pleased with the team’s play on the weekend.
“I like the way our team is playing,” Markell said. “I like the effort. Our job is to take that on the road.”