There, Lake Superior State lost in overtime to Northern Michigan, keeping the Buckeyes three points ahead of LSSU for eighth place and the final home-ice spot in the first-round of the CCHA playoffs.
Other than that, there wasn't much to like for the Buckeyes. Rival Miami (Ohio), the No. 2 team in the country and CCHA champs, scored six goals in a span of 13:14 of the second period to romp to a 6-2 win against the Buckeyes in front of 3,508 in Steve Cady Arena in Oxford.
"It's frustrating," OSU head coach John Markell said. "It's frustrating when we know we need points. I expected us to come out and compete. I just wanted us to compete for 60 minutes and see where we end up. We obviously didn't in the second period."
The shots were 35 apiece, but that's a flattering stat for the Buckeyes. Celebrating its Senior Night, Miami won battles for loose pucks and slowly suffocated the life out of the Scarlet and Gray.
"You have that bitter taste in your mouth because it was embarrassing," said junior co-captain Peter Boyd. "A 6-2 loss, that's not fun to take. We have to find something inside and play with fire tomorrow (in the rematch)."
Why the fire wasn't there so late in the season, against a rival, with playoff positioning on the line was mystifying even to the Buckeye players.
"I thought we were coming in Friday night to play our best hockey against a good team, but we didn't do that tonight," Boyd said. "If you don't bring your best effort against the No. (2) team, that's what happens. Even if you bring two OK periods, that's what happens."
The Buckeyes were in the game through one period, even outshooting Miami 14-11 in the opening frame, but the wheels came off in the second.
Andy Miele started the scoring for MU just 1:21 into the second, stealing the puck from OSU defenseman Mike Folkes right in front of the Buckeye cage and flipping the puck over goalie Dustin Carlson's shoulder from close range.
Ohio State answered, though, 2:07 later when Zac Dalpe – the CCHA's leading point scorer in league games – created a close in shot on Cody Reichard, then followed the rebound behind the net and centered for Sergio Somma to score before Reichard could get reset.
"We fought back after the first goal," Markell said. "I thought ‘OK,' and then bang, bang, bang, bang, bang."
The first bang was only 25 seconds after OSU's goal as Pat Cannone centered from the left-wing boards for Trent Vogelhuber – a Dublin, Ohio, native and Columbus Blue Jackets' draft pick – to tap in from in front.
The Buckeyes seemed to get their footing for a few minutes until Justin Vaive scored at 9:01 by deflecting Joe Hartman's point shot past Carlson. At 11:14, Tommy Wingels found a pass after OSU defenseman Devon Krogh was rounded far too easily by Miele and scored over Carlson's shoulder from the low slot to make it 4-1.
Carlson was pulled there for Cal Heeter, but it didn't much matter when Jarod Palmer and Vincent LoVerde scored 17 seconds apart a few minutes later. Palmer's goal allowed him to pull within one of Dalpe for the league scoring title.
By then, Markell had seen enough, calling his timeout.
"I couldn't take enough timeouts," he said. "We lost a lot of loose puck battles. When you enter a battle you have to be prepared. Some of our guys are getting bumped off the puck because a guy played his body before he got the puck. I don't know who they thought they were playing here tonight, but the team we saw playing wasn't what I expected."
At that point, the sellout crowd knew seniors Palmer, Gary Steffes, Dane Hetland and Brandon Smith would be going out with a win, and the final going was just an extended party. Even John Albert's goal at 18:04 of the second did little to stem the tide.
Now, the Buckeyes will have to get revenge at 8:05 p.m. Saturday night in Value City Arena. Lake Superior State will need a win and an OSU loss to take away eighth, but the Upper Peninsula was the farthest thing from Markell's mind after the game.
"It's just very, very frustrating that it happened, and now it's to forget it and see what they're made of here tomorrow going home."
The team's lone senior, Mathieu Picard, did not play against the RedHawks on Friday night but he will be honored before the OSU home contest.
Ohio State finished 0 for 5 on the power play, while Miami was 1 for 3. Reichard had 33 saves, while Carlson had 19 on 23 shots and Heeter turned aside 10 of 12 chances.