Junior R.J. Umberger recorded four points and goalie Mike Betz made 19 saves to lead No. 14 Ohio State to a shutout of No. 11 Miami, 4-0, Friday in Value City Arena. The shutout was Betz’s first of the season and the first ever for OSU over the RedHawks.
The win improves the Buckeyes record to 9-4-1 overall and 6-2-1 in CCHA play. The RedHawks drop to 12-4-1 overall and 7-3-1 in the league.
OSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period when Umberger tipped in a Pete Broccoli shot at 9:33 of the stanza for his first score of the game. Ryan Kesler added to OSU’s lead, picking up the puck after an Umberger faceoff win at the left faceoff circle in Miami’s zone, and sliding it under Miami goalie David Burleigh at 15:47. OSU outshot the RedHawks, 9-5, in the period.
In the third period, Umberger put OSU up, 3-0, putting in a loose puck from just outside the Miami crease. Dan Knapp and Kesler assisted on the play, as they each got shots on Burleigh that were saved before Umberger’s goal. Dave Steckel ended the scoring for the Buckeyes at the 8:39 mark. Umberger took a shot off a Steckel faceoff win that was saved and Steckel was there to put in the rebound. OSU outshot the RedHawks, 12-10, in the period.
OSU held Miami scoreless on all five of its power play chances, including a five-minute stop after Luke Pavlas was assessed a five-minute major and game disqualification for elbowing at the 17:03 mark of the second period. The Buckeyes were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
“We got a break at the right time tonight,” said Buckeye coach John Markell. “Our penalty kill was the key to the game. In the first period we got the fundamentals together. At the beginning of the second period we found our legs.”
Betz stopped all 19 shots he faced for his seventh career shutout. Burleigh played 48:39 for Miami, stopping 23 shots. David Bowen played the last 11:21 and made three saves.
The teams will end the two-game series Saturday in Value City Arena.
“I think Miami is a very good hockey club and they are going to play even better tomorrow,” said Markell.