It wasn’t the three points the Ohio State men’s hockey team wanted, but at least the No. 5 Buckeyes got something.
Max McCormick scored with 3:22 to go, tying No. 13 Ferris State at three and earning the Buckeyes a tie in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association contest Saturday night in Value City Arena.
Ferris State won the shootout to earn the extra CCHA point, but the draw in front of 4.026 fans ended Ohio State’s three-game losing streak.
“I thought they responded well,” Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki said of his team. "A couple of goofy bounces, maybe some adverse situations that we were put in, and I thought our guys responded all the way through. We never could get the lead, but they always found a way to battle back and that’s more of our team right there.”
Ohio State stayed winless in six CCHA games since the holiday break, falling to 0-3-3, but its league lead included to two points over Western Michigan and Miami.
Senior Danny Dries and freshman Tanner Fritz each had a goal and an assist for the Buckeyes, who battled back from a trio of one-goal deficits.
Derek Graham had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs (15-8-3, 9-6-2-1) and also the shootout-clinching goal while Simon Denis and Chad Billins each had a pair of helpers.
Graham started the scoring 7:02 in, getting behind the OSU defense and driving a centering pass from Denis behind Cal Heeter. The tally meant Ohio State gave up the first goal for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Buckeyes (14-7-4, 10-6-4-1) quickly responded, though, with Fritz scoring from the right side of the slot at 9:28 after a faceoff leaked out to him.
After a taut second period that included 12 shots but no goals for each side, the teams continued trading goals in the third. Kyle Bonis got the first goal just 1:10 in, scoring a near carbon-copy of Graham’s goal from the left post on a feed from Graham.
Exactly nine minutes later, Dries tied it with his 12th goal of the year, skating up the left side on a shorthanded rush and unleashing a bullet off the underside of the bar and into the net behind C.J. Motte.
Ferris State again took the lead at 13:09 on the power play as Heeter couldn’t find a rebound, allowing Matthew Kirzinger to fish it out of a scramble and roof it over his right pad.
But just when all looked lost, Fritz skated in on the right wing, spied McCormick alone and front and fed him a perfect feed, allowing his classmate to cut across the net and finish past Motte’s stick at 16:38.
Neither team scored in overtime before Bonis and Graham both tallied in the shootout. Ohio State lost its third straight shootout as Alex Szczechura and Fritz both had tame efforts turned aside.
Heeter returned to his starting post and made 23 saves while earning the second assist on Dries' goal, while Motte had 31 while making his first start since Dec. 30.
Ohio State is on the road next weekend with two games at Lake Superior State before returning for the last two-game home series of the year Feb. 3-4 vs. Michigan State.
It was Military Appreciation Night in Value City Arena, with the Buckeyes wearing camouflaged jerseys they auctioned off during the game.