Shootout win helps Bucks salvage split with Miami

Led by its defense, the Ohio State men’s hockey team bounced back to take two points from No. 2 Miami (Ohio) and secure home ice in the playoffs.After being mauled in Oxford, Ohio, Friday night, the Buckeyes bounced back from the 6-2 loss to get a shootout victory Saturday in Columbus.When a game goes to a shootout it is officially scored as a tie, but Buckeye goaltender Dustin Carlson said after the game that “I feel like it’s a win, not a tie.”Carlson was the star for the Buckeyes as he shut out Miami through regulation, overtime and the shootout.“He responded well from [Friday] night,” coach John Markell said of his goaltender. In one of the best games of his career, Carlson finished the game with 38 saves.“At the drop of the puck I just knew I was into it right away,” Carlson said. He also attributed a lot of the Buckeyes’ success to the play of the defense, which he attributed to better communication.Junior Peter Boyd, who scored the Buckeyes second shootout goal, also acknowledged the improved play of the defense.“We had guys blocking shots and making sacrifices,” Boyd said. “I think [Shane] Sims had eight blocks tonight.”While the game was low on scoring, it certainly didn’t lack intensity.“Playing back-to-back nights against your rival, that’s pretty intense,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said.Four players were penalized for roughing after the whistle, including OSU’s John Albert and Miami’s Curtis McKenzie at the end of overtime.The penalty against Albert looked to be costly as he is one of the usual shooters for the Buckeyes in a shootout situation, but was unable to participate due to penalty. The Buckeyes were, however, unaffected as both Sergio Somma and Peter Boyd lit the lamp for the Buckeyes, which was more than enough for Carlson.Carlson saved both attempts he faced, securing a 2-0 shootout win for the Buckeyes. Carlson has now saved the past 11 attempts he has faced in shootouts as his confidence continues to grow.“Right now is probably the best I’ve felt all season, playing in five games in a row now,” Carlson said.The shootout victory earned the Buckeyes two key points in their final game of the season and ensured home ice for the first round of the conference tournament. The Buckeyes finish the regular season in eighth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and will host ninth place Notre Dame next weekend.Next weekend’s series will come with a change of scenery for the Buckeyes. The games will be played at the OSU Ice Rink, instead of the Schottenstein Center where the team played its regular season games. But for the Buckeyes it is a welcomed change.“I’m excited about it,” Carlson said. “We practice over there every day, so we know the ice very well. I also like the small barn, it’s not going to take too many of our fans to pack it. Last year when we played Bowling Green the atmosphere was great and hopefully we feed off of that.”

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