RedHawks Best Buckeyes Yet Again

The fatigue of playing three games in five nights against top-10 teams overwhelmed the emotion of playing the final game this year in Value City Arena for the OSU hockey team Tuesday night. Fifth-ranked Miami (Ohio) came in to Value City Arena and, thanks to a third-period goal, dispatched the Buckeyes to move to 4-0 on the year against OSU.

Even the new look Ohio State hockey team was unable to beat Miami (Ohio).

The RedHawks, ranked fifth in the nation, improved to 4-0 this season against OSU with a 2-1 win Tuesday night in front of 3,871 fans in Value City Arena.

Jarod Palmer scored the game-winning goal with 14:35 to play, and the Buckeyes could not build on the momentum they earned with a three-point weekend Feb. 22-23 against then-No. 9 Notre Dame. In fact, the short turnaround from the trip to South Bend and the game Tuesday night may have had a factor in OSU's loss.

"Our young team didn't recover well from this weekend," OSU head coach John Markell said. "Getting back to play a team like this, you can't be off just five percent. That's what it takes to beat a team like that."

The Buckeyes, playing their final game of the year in VCA, fell to 11-22-4 and 7-17-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Miami set a new school season wins mark by improving to 28-6-1, and at 20-6-1 in the league, they sit one point behind Michigan for first place, though the Wolverines have a game in hand.

Palmer broke the 1-1 tie with his eighth goal of the year. OSU senior Jason DeSantis was stripped of the puck behind the net by MU freshman Andy Miele. Miele quickly fed Palmer in the slot, and he roofed the puck over the frantic, diving OSU netminder, Joseph Palmer.

OSU's Palmer was bested first 15:53 into the game. He originally stopped Justin Vaive's wraparound shot, but Alexandre Lacombe found the rebound sitting in the slot and pushed it into the open net for his fifth tally of the year.

The Buckeyes had taken the lead just 59 seconds into the game. Miami's Brian Kaufman had just hit the post, and Peter Boyd took the puck and sent a headman pass to John Albert, who swooped around Vincent LoVerde and flipped the puck over Miami goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.

However, for the final 59 minutes, despite 32 total shots on goal including 12 in the third period, OSU could not best Zatkoff again. Miami has now allowed just five goals in four games against Ohio State this season.

"You have to take pride in your defense, and I think our team does that not only on weekends but during the week in practice," Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said.

Joseph Palmer made 25 saves for OSU and was again spectacular at times coming off of a CCHA goaltender of the week honor. He dove to deny Miami captain Ryan Jones power-play chance late in the first and made a fabulous side-to-side save on Jarod Palmer with 10:45 left, swatting the puck out of the air with his arm.

OSU's last best chance came with 1:45 left, but Zatkoff scrambled to his left to deny Todd Rudasill's rebound opportunity.

Neither team scored on the power play, with OSU going 0-2 and Miami 0-3.

Despite the loss, senior Tommy Goebel said the Buckeyes still will take something positive out of staying with a team that has been ranked No. 1 most of the year.

"I think we were right there to win that game," he said. "We just have to find a way to score some goals."

The teams finish the regular-season and continue their rivalry Friday night in Miami's Steve Cady Arena in Goggin Ice Center with a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.

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