The Ohio State Buckeyes (8-6-1, 6-5-1-1) have reversed fortunes against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (9-4-1, 5-4-1-1) with a 3-2 win in front of 2,166 in Value City Arena on Saturday night to complete the weekend sweep. A year ago, Nebraska-Omaha swept Ohio State on their home ice by a combined score of 10-4.
Down 2-0 after the second intermission, Ohio State goaltender Dustin Carlson fended off 20 third period Nebraska-Omaha shots and Ohio State was able to net three of their 10 shots in the come-from-behind win.
“It is upsetting that we were basically beaten for about three-and-a-half periods and we ended up with four points,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “Sometimes you get bounces.”
“They just wanted it more than we did,” Nebraska-Omaha coach Mike Kemp said. “Even though we put a lot of shots on goal, we didn’t necessarily have a lot of quality shots. And quite honestly, they ended up beating us to those pucks, they out-muscled us low, and took advantage of the opportunities they got.”
A night after the Buckeyes won on a C.J. Severyn goal with 1.1 seconds left, Ohio State forward John Albert scored his second goal of the game and the eventual game winner with 1:27 remaining. Albert fought off Mavericks defenseman Kyle Ensign in the Mavericks’ defensive zone as Albert’s shot beat the glove of goaltender Jerad Kaufmann.
“I got the puck down the middle of the ice and the coaches have been harping on us to take it wide,” Albert said. “I decided to take it wide and the defenseman gave me a lot of room actually to go in front of the net and the goaltender was down already so I decided to go high with it.”
In the first period, both teams preferred a dump-and-chase game. The Mavericks only had six shots on goal, and Ohio State countered with seven.
After being scoreless through the first period, Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Eric Olimb scored two minutes into the second after he tipped a loose puck into the net. The puck bounced around the sweater of Carlson after a shot by Nebraska-Omaha forward Matt Ambroz. Carlson said after the game he thought he had control of the puck, but the referees saw differently, as the puck was sitting between the skates of the goaltender and Olimb was credited with his first goal of the season.
Nebraska-Omaha took a two-goal lead midway in the period when Tomas Klempa scored on the power play when his slap shot went off the glove side pad of Carlson.
“I thought the first was an even period of hockey,” Kemp said. “Both teams were both rope-a-dope and playing possum with each other. I thought in the second period, we came out and played with some jam.”
“We are a little immature,” Markell said about the second period. “They think we are ready for the game, and we have a pretty even first period and then we get pretty immature about what is going on.”
Ohio State countered in the third when forward Hunter Bishop netted the puck on a shot in the high slot as he received a pass from the left mid-wall by Ian Boots. Albert tied the game on his first goal of the game when he deflected a Shane Sims shot from the point into the net past Kaufmann.
Nebraska-Omaha outshot 46-23 in the game and Carlson had his career high in saves with 44.
Saturday was Kaufmann’s first loss of the season and he now drops to 6-1. Kaufmann has been splitting time with goaltender Jeremie Dupont. Nebraska-Omaha has not been swept by the Buckeyes since February, 2004. Ohio State now leads the all-time series 13-12-4.