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Buckeyes hold off late Spartan attack to win, 4-2

Jeff Barnett / Lantern Photographer

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Senior forward Sergio Somma’s two goals and senior forward John Albert’s four assists led the Ohio State men’s hockey team (14-13-2, 9-11-2-2 CCHA) to a 4-2 win against Michigan State (12-14-4, 8-12-2-0 CCHA) on Saturday night at the Schottenstein Center.

“Yeah,” Somma said, “(this win) was definitely important.”

The Buckeyes did not get off to a good start, as Michigan State took a 1-0 lead 5:55 into the game.

OSU senior defenseman Shane Simms and Michigan State senior forward Joey Shean were penalized in the first period for roughing after the whistle.

Less than two minutes into the second period Somma scored his first goal on a power play, tying the game, 1-1. Albert, who assisted on the goal, said he knew the goal would get the team going.

“One lucky bounce and you don’t know what can happen,” Albert said. “It gave us momentum.”

The Buckeyes added another goal 4:30 into the second period to take a 2-1 lead. The goal, by senior forward C.J. Severyn, came while the Buckeyes were shorthanded. Michigan State was on the power play because of a holding penalty by OSU junior forward Cory Schneider.

The Buckeyes were then able to hold off a late Michigan State attack as the Spartans were on a power play with less than two minutes to go in the second period.

OSU coach Mark Osiecki said the team had to be aggressive to prevent Michigan State from getting scoring chances.

“We were extremely aggressive,” he said. “We didn’t give them room to set up.”

Just more than four minutes into the third period, Somma added his second goal of the game, increasing OSU’s lead to 3-1.

Michigan State closed the gap to 3-2 after a goal by Spartans senior forward Dustin Gazley.

The Buckeyes held off a late charge by the Spartans, who were on a power play with 3:35 to go.

The Buckeye defense prevailed and scored an empty-net goal with just under three seconds left, securing a 4-2 win.

“I thought tonight was a redemption game for our guys,” Osiecki said.

Despite having 32 shots on goal, OSU fell to the Spartans, 2-0, the night before.

The Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on Michigan (17-9-4, 14-7-1-0 CCHA) at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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