The first two periods were taut defensively with Ohio State and visiting Alaska not giving an inch, just as the goalposts did not yield on a pair of clangers off the metal by both teams.
That wasn’t the case in an up-and-down third period that saw each team score twice.
“When it rains it pours, eh?” Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson said.
It was appropriate then that five minutes of overtime led to a shootout that the Buckeyes won 2-1 to claim a second point in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play.
Officially, the score goes in the books as a 2-2 tie in Value City Arena but the result felt like a win for OSU (3-3-1, 2-2-1-1).
“The extra point is big in the CCHA standings,” Ohio State senior goaltender Cal Heeter said. “Every point matters.”
Junior forward Alex Carlson had his second career goal and freshman defenseman Ben Gallacher his first. His power-play goal from the left point at 11:13 of the third leveled the score at 2.
“I threw it on net and it happened to hit an Alaska stick coming in there so it was tough for the goalie to see,” he said. “I was definitely pumped to tie it up there.”
The Nanooks (3-2-2, 0-1-2-0) got goals from Jarret Granberg and Justin Granberg.
OSU came out flying and outshot Alaska 9-2 in the first to please coach Mark Osiecki.
“With a young group, Thursday night, everything going on, I thought they prepared themselves great and had a great start; probably our best start all year,” he said. “From there, you got to deal with some adversity and some things going against you, maybe not playing the same way, feeling pretty good about yourself. I thought they did a good job hanging in there and battling a tough situation.”
Alaska had 34 of the final 47 shots, including an 18-4 advantage in the third when it had four power plays.
“It’s hard to try and muster any shots when you’re killing off half the period,” Osiecki said. “I flip it to the other side. We did an outstanding job killing penalties at key times.”
Alaska’s Colton Beck opened the shootout with a goal but freshman Tanner Fritz countered. Heeter denied Granberg and sophomore Chris Cane gave the Buckeyes the lead with a well-placed shot before Heeter stopped Andy Taranto.
“I wish we didn’t have to play so many close games,” Osiecki said. “The adversity part is what’s nice. They’re response to what happens in a game or even in a loss or a situation like that, they’re response has been really good.”
The teams play again Friday at 7:05 p.m.