Zac Dalpe scored 1:11 into overtime to rescue the Buckeyes, who entered the holiday break on a high note with a 3-2 win in Value City Arena. Ohio State cemented its status as one of the hottest teams in college hockey going into the break by winning its sixth in a row and ninth in 10 games.
The Ohio State freshman – one of just three skaters to not score a point the night before – netted his team-high ninth goal of the year and his third game-winner. Shane Sims' shot from the center point took a hop in front of Dalpe at the right doorstep, and he got just enough of his stick, which he kept under the crossbar, on the floating puck to tip it over the glove of Bentley goaltender Kyle Rank.
That tally saved Ohio State, which outshot Bentley 43-33 but never really looked sharp the entire night.
The Buckeyes did start the scoring, however, getting a power play goal from Sergio Somma 6:04 into the game. Somma and Hunter Bishop worked a nifty give and go for the goal; Somma passed it to Bishop on the right wing entering the zone, and Bishop's dangerous centering feed was perfect for Somma to deflect past Rank for his fourth goal in five games.
Bentley answered with just 6.6 seconds left in the first period with a goal past Cal Heeter, a freshman making just his third start of his career in the stead of Dustin Carlson. Ryan Kayfes' low shot from the left point got through traffic and past Heeter for the goal.
The second period saw 30 shots but neither team looked particularly dangerous in front of an increasingly somnambulant arena of 1,851 spectators.
Things finally opened up during the third period, which featured enough penalties and giveaways to finally lead to some open ice and some excitement. There were also two goals, the first of which went to Bentley (6-7-1) just 1:51 into the period.
Ohio State senior defenseman Nick Biondo's diving attempt to keep the puck in the attacking zone ended in failure, springing the Falcons on a 2-on-1 that Jamie Nudy converted with a slap shot that beat Heeter short side from the left circle.
The Buckeyes equalized with 8:05 to play. Corey Elkins' shot hit Zach Pelletier in front, and the deflection off of the Buckeye senior sat in front for Bishop. The goal gave Bishop a tally in five straight games.
Ohio State enters the break at 11-6-1 overall. They return to the ice with the Ohio Hockey Classic at Value City Arena in early January.