Cody Cousino / Photo editor
The streak is over.
The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team defeated Western Michigan Saturday night, 4-3, and with the win the No. 15-ranked Buckeyes ended their 11-game winless streak. OSU (15-11-5, 11-10-5-1 CCHA) was 0-7-4 in 2012 coming into Saturday night’s contest, after losing to the No. 18-ranked Broncos (15-12-5, 12-9-3-3 CCHA) Friday night, 3-2, in the first game of the two-game set.
On Saturday, with the Buckeyes trailing 2-2, OSU junior forward Alex Carlson scored twice in the final 5:24 of the third period to give OSU the win. Buckeye freshman forwards Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel also tallied in the victory.
After falling behind, 1-0, in the second period on Friday, the Buckeyes got out to a fast start Saturday.
Midway through the first period, McCormick scored a power-play goal at 9:14 with assists from Dzingel and freshman defenseman Ben Gallacher. Following the tally, the Broncos committed another penalty 25 seconds later, and the Buckeyes converted with a goal from Dzingel at 10:23 in the opening period.
OSU’s power play had been struggling coming into this weekend. The Buckeyes were 0-14 with a man advantage in two losses to Michigan State in Columbus last weekend. OSU got back on track this weekend, scoring four power-play goals.
WMU responded to OSU’s two power-play goals in the first period Saturday with three straight scores.
At 17:58 in the first period, the Broncos cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 2-1 with a score from WMU sophomore forward Chase Balisy. Following a scoreless second period, WMU took the lead with two quick goals. At 7:23, freshman forward Will Kessel backhanded a shot past OSU senior goalie Cal Heeter during a 4-on-4. Just 52 seconds later, WMU junior defenseman Matt Tennyson tallied to give the Broncos a 3-2 lead with a little more than 10 minutes remaining.
Carlson regained the lead for the Buckeyes for good with two late goals. The first came on the power play at 14:36 after OSU freshman forward Darik Angeli’s shot was blocked, but Carlson was there for the rebound score to tie the game 3-3. The second came at 16:36 when Carlson buried home a puck that was just outside the crease.
Heeter made 21 saves in net for the Buckeyes in the victory.
With the win, OSU is now alone in fourth place in the CCHA with 39 points, two points back of third-place Michigan and one point ahead of Michigan State and Lake Superior State, which are tied for fifth place.
WMU is in second place with 42 points, five points back of first-place Ferris State.
The Buckeyes have this weekend off before playing their final series of the regular season on Feb. 24 and 25 against Miami (Ohio). The two teams will play in Oxford, Ohio, at 6:05 p.m. Friday and in Columbus at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.