Buckeyes Show Grit in 5-3 Win Over Bowling Green
By John Porentas
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State (3-3-0) got its third win in two games and in the process avenged a loss earlier this season to in-state Rival Bowling Green (2-2-2) with a gritty third period performance to hold off the Falcons.
OSU held a 2-1 lead through two periods but the fun had just begun. The two teams played a wild and wooly third period that decided the outcome of the game.
The Falcons opened the third with a goal just 1:37 into play to tie the game a 2-2. Earlier this season the Buckeyes had taken a 3-0 lead into the third period against the Falcons at Bowling Green, only to end up losing that game. BGSU's quick third period goal made the possibility of a second come-back win for the Falcons a real possibility, but this time around the Buckeyes would have none of it.
OSU's Nick Oddo scored an even handed goal just a minute and 12 seconds later to allow OSU to regain the lead at 3-2 and send the message that the Buckeyes weren't quite through.
Neither were the Falcons.
Ben Murphy answered Oddo's goal with a power play goal for the Falcons to tie the game again at 3 all and it was game on again.
OSU refused to fold their tents again and were rewarded for their spunk. Chad Niddery scored for the Buckeyes with 9:47 remaining to allow the Buckeyes to retake the lead.
OSU held on for the remainder of the period and added an empty netter by Darik Angeli with 25 seconds left in the game to cement the victory.
"Our guys found a way to win in a tough hockey game. We played a very good team that played hard from bell to bell for 60 minutes," said OSU Head Coach Steve Rohlik.
Rohlik said that his team remained confident even when the Falcons struck quickly to open the third period of play.
"I looked down the bench and the next group wanted to get back out there and prove that we're going to be OK," said Rohlik.
"There's a lot of guys on that bench that have been around and been through some ups and downs. It's a hockey game and we just gave up a goal, but it was nice to see some guys that wanted to bounce back out there and get back after it, and I think that was the attitude. "
The game was marred by the ejection of Bowling Green defense man Sean Walker who received a game disqualification for contact to the head. Much like the controversial new targeting rule in football, the rule is for player protection and requires the guilty party to miss not only the remainder the this game but the entire next game as well.
Bowling Green Head Coach Chris Bergeron did not dispute the call, but stopped short to supporting it. He also took the opportunity to express his displeasure with the rule in general, at least the way it is now administered.
"That's a big-time penalty in college hockey when you only play 38 games," said Bergeron.
"I still think it's something you should be able to go back and change or you should get a game misconduct until you have a chance to go to the video and make sure. Sean plays a lot of minutes for us.
"I don't want kids getting hurt and if it was a bad play, I haven't watched it so I'm not being critical of anything. We want him to play the game a certain way and if he got his hands up and hit somebody in the head, he's 5-10, so if he hits somebody in the head his hands must have gone up. I'm not sure that's what I saw."