Ohio State Oust Ferris State In OSU Ice Rink Finale

Ohio State right wing CHRIS CRANE (33), the homegrown junior out of West Chester who was the seventh round selection (# 200 overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, shields the puck from Ferris State’s Canadian legionnaire TRAVIS OUELLETTE (9) during the CCHA quarterfinal round at the tiny OSU Ice Rink in Columbus.

Making a dramatic last stand at a historically loyal ice facility that is slated for retirement, suitably-inspired OHIO STATE rallied after falling in the opener to oust visiting FERRIS STATE, the surprising runners-up at the annual NCAA tournament last season, two games to one at the quarterfinal stage of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

The Buckeyes have been hosting all their home games at the Value City Arena / Schottenheimer Center ever since the modern facility with a capacity for 17,500 ice hockey fans was completed in 1998. But the little OSU ICE RINK, which was built in 1961 and can hold a maximum audience of one thousand hardcore spectators, has been called out of retirement by the men’s ice hockey team four times now in the past half dozen years. Ohio State’s comeback against Ferris State closes out the recent CCHA playoff record of the Buckeyes at the half-century old OSU Ice Rink in proper style :

2007 … lost ….. Lake Superior State
2009 … won …. Bowling Green
2010 … won …. Notre Dame
2013 … won …. Ferris State

It almost did not come to be after Ferris State, who entered the CCHA quarterfinal series in Columbus sporting a positive record of fifteen wins against fourteen losses with five ties, dumped Ohio State 4-2 in the first contest on Friday night. Canadian legionnaire KYLE BONIS, the senior left wing from Lindsay, Ontario, who leads Ferris State with both 19 goals and 27 points this season, and right wing JUSTIN DEMARTINO, the homegrown junior from Macomb, each bagged a pair of goals for the Bulldogs while netminder C.J. MOTTE, the homegrown sophomore from St. Clair, turned aside 28 shots for the visitors, as well. Ohio State senior goaltender BRADY HJELLE, in sharp contrast, did not have a particularly sharp match and made only 18 saves before being lifted for an extra attacker in the closing stages.


Ferris State goaltender C.J. MOTTE (30) sprawls to make the save as Ohio State forwards ANTHONY GRECO (19), NICK ODDO (15) and RYAN DZINGEL (18) swarm the net during the CCHA quarterfinals at the OSU Ice Rink.

With their backs pressed firmly to the wall, Ohio State appeared at the tiny OSU Ice Rink for, perhaps, a final time on Saturday night and promptly surrendered a goal to Ferris State’s Canadian legionnaire TRAVIS OUELLETTE, the undrafted senior by way of Windsor, Ontario, only three and a half minutes into a critical elimination game.

Hjelle, the 22-year-old transfer from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, would not be beaten for the rest of the evening, however. And Ohio State captain RYAN DZINGEL, the sophomore from Wheaton, Illinois, who was the seventh round pick (# 204 overall) of the Ottawa Senators at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, pulled a goal back on the breakaway to level matters roughly ten minutes later. A second period strike from left wing MAX MCCORMICK, the sophomore from De Pere, Wisconsin, and sixth round selection (# 171 overall) of the Ottawa Senators at the 2011 NHL Draft, along with a late empty net tally from sophomore checker NICK ODDO brought the Buckeyes back to level terms with the Bulldogs.

And so this CCHA quarterfinal playoff would require one final official NCAA contest at the old OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State started well enough when McCormick scored his third goal in as many games only a minute and a half into the rubber match with Ferris State. But, once again, the Bulldogs seemed intent on spoiling the Buckeyes’ going away party and seized the lead with a pair of goals inside of a minute.

Ohio State were not prepared to let the occasion be ruined, though, and Canadian legionnaire CURTIS GEDRIG, the junior defenseman from British Columbia who was the seventh round choice (# 204 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 2009 NHL Draft, equalized before the end of the first period. Ferris State laid absolute siege in the second and third periods but were repeatedly frustrated by Hjelle, who finished with a career high 47 saves and did more than enough to hold the Ohio State fort. An early third period strike from ANTHONY GRECO, the diminutive 18-year-old freshman from Fairbault, Minnesota, broke the deadlock and booked the Buckeyes (16-16-7) a place in the CCHA semifinals at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.


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