Behind three points from junior Scott May, Ohio State shut out Findlay, 4-0, Tuesday in Value City Arena. The win, OSU’s third shutout of the year, extended the Buckeyes’ unbeaten streak to eight (7-0-1).
May posted a goal and two assists for the Buckeyes, while freshman goalie Dave Caruso made 19 saves for his second consecutive shutout. Ryan Kesler, in his first game back after competing in the World Junior Championships, had two assists, while R.J. Umberger and Paul Caponigri each posted a goal and an assist. Umberger extended his goal- (11) and point-scoring streaks (11-6-17) to eight games.
Ohio State head coach John Markell said, “I was pleased by our 4-0 effort. In games like this, you hope to get some guys in the goal-scoring column. I would have liked to see us score more than four goals on 47 shots but you have to give credit to their goalie. We were able to generate offense and had a chance to look at some different line combinations. Dave Caruso did a good job tonight and has two shutouts for us.”
Said Findlay head coach Craig Barnett, “We still can’t score against Ohio State. Our guys worked very hard. We gave up three power-play goals, including a three-on-five. There is no question we played a superior team. We are going to take the positives out of this game and take them into our conference games.”
The Buckeyes improve to 15-4-2 overall (9-2-1 CCHA). The Oilers drop to 8-9-1 (1-2-1 CHA).
There was no scoring in the first period. The Buckeyes had a number of chances right in front of the Oiler net, but were unable to convert. Each team was scoreless on its one power-play opportunity. In the stanza, OSU outshot Findlay, 16-4.
Said May, “We started off a little slow and we have a tendency to do that against teams that aren’t ranked.
“If we would have scored in the first period, then we would have gained some momentum and kept on going. But, we scored in the second period and were able to get fired up.”
In fact, the second period ended with OSU leading, 2-0, on the strength of two power-play tallies. May got the Buckeyes on the board at 8:08, as he took an Umberger pass at the side of the net and scored. Caponigri also had an assist on the play, as he started the play. Umberger ended the scoring with just 21 seconds left in the stanza with OSU on a 5-on-3 power play, as he blasted the puck from the right point past UF goalie Kevin Fines, set up by May and Kesler. OSU had 16 shots in the period and held Findlay to an OSU season-low two.
OSU closed out the game with two goals in the third period. JB Bittner scored at the 10:01 mark, as his shot went in off the glove of Fines. Luke Pavlas and Doug Andress posted the helpers on the play. Pavlas’ assist was his first point on the season; every Buckeye skater now has at least one point this season. Caponigri ended the scoring with a power-play goal at 18:34, set up by Kesler and May. OSU had 15 shots in the stanza, Findlay nine.
OSU was 3-for-6 with the man advantage in the game and held Findlay scoreless on four chances.
The Buckeyes posted a season-high 47 shots in the game, with Fines making 43 saves for the Oilers. Findlay never has scored a goal on OSU, as it was shut out, 10-0, in the only other meeting (Nov. 28, 2000).
Said Barnett, “We have played five CCHA teams this season and the thing we have learned is that when we make mistakes they capitalize. We made fewer mistakes than last Saturday against Western Michigan. It only takes one shot to go in and many teams can win even though they are outshot. We were just looking to score the first goal, and unfortunately that didn’t happen.”