KALAMAZOO, Mich — Saturday night’s game between Western Michigan and Ohio State had a high tempo start and down to the wire thrilling finish at Lawson Ice Arena. The Broncos have been lacking goal scoring all season, but their offense showed signs of life in the first period against the Buckeyes.
Cam Watson netted his fifth goal of the year after finishing a great pass from Chris Clackson just 3:39 into the game. However, It took just under eight minutes for Ohio State to respond. Sergio Somma ripped a one-timer past Riley Gill’s blocker to knot the game up at one. Peter Boyd and Shane Sims recorded the assists on the play.
But it didn’t take long for the Broncos to respond to the Ohio State goal.
With 4:05 to play in the first frame – and with the Broncos with the man advantage – Max Campbell walked out of the right corner and snapped a shot through Dustin Carlson’s legs.
The rest of the first period went scoreless and the game seemed to settle down until Ohio State’s Hunter Bishop found an empty net on the backdoor after a great set up by Zac Dalpe at 8:03 in the second period. John Albert also had an assist on the play.
The Third period was back and fourth with both teams getting quality scoring chances and good goaltending.
Greg Squires rushed up the left side and into the Ohio State zone and found Jared Katz in front of the net for the goal. The puck deflected off of an Ohio State defender before rolling past Carlson. The Broncos were playing conservative down the stretch, trying to preserve a one-goal lead with just over five minutes to play.
Ohio State broke through and tied the game up with a goal from Zac Dalpe with 1:36 to play in the game. Dalpe got a pass across the slot from Ian Boots and slipped a backhander past Gill.
“With a 3-2 lead and a buck-and-a-half to play, you’d like to think we could finish that out,” said Broncos’ head coach Jim Culhane.
The game ended in a tie, forcing an overtime period. Neither team scored in the five minute sudden death period, resulting in a shootout.
The shootout saw 10 shooters come up empty handed before Ohio State’s Peter Boyd snapped a quick shot past Gill’s blocker to give the Buckeyes the lead.
Western Michigan’s Trevor Elias was the last hope for the Broncos, but was stopped by Carlson’s right pad after an attempted deke.
“We’re having trouble scoring goals all year and we showed it tonight in the shootout,” Gill said. ”We just couldn’t get it done.”
The Buckeyes came away with the 4-3 shootout victory, earning two out of a possible three points.
“I thought we showed a lot of character,” said Western Michigan head coach Jim Culhane. “I thought we played extremely hard.”
Both teams close out the CCHA regular season next weekend as the Broncos play a home-and-home set with Ferris State, while Ohio State takes on Miami (also home-and-home).