Monday, March 5, 2012
Ohio State - Over and Out
How fast the mighty fall. On Nov. 20, the Ohio State Buckeyes were 10-3-1 overall, coming off a road sweep of Michigan, and ranked first in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Fast forward to March 4, and OSU is 15-15-5 and done for the season.
The 2011-12 campaign came to a close with two losses (2-0, 4-2) in the first round of the CCHA Tournament this weekend at Notre Dame. A 1-11-4 mark down the stretch was largely responsible for the Buckeyes tumble down both the league standings (9th) and the Pairwise Rankings (21st).
Next year's comeback won't include senior goaltender Cal Heeter, who ended his career third in Buckeye history in both goals-against average (2.58) and save percentage (.915), according to ohiostatebuckeyes.com. In four years in Columbus, the St. Louis native went 39-36-11 with 2,428 saves and five shutouts, and was also the goalie of record for all but six OSU decisions these past two seasons. As a freshman, Heeter helped the Buckeyes to their most recent NCAA Tournament berth, where they lost to eventual national champion Boston University in 2009 in regional play.
The Buckeyes were 14-4-1 this season following a 4-2 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 30 in the annual Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase, but it all went sour following a pair of ties/shootout defeats at Bowling Green in early January. The lone victory in OSU's season-ending 16-game fall came at Western Michigan on Feb. 11, a 4-3 overtime decision.
It's the second year in a row that the Buckeyes have finished with 15 total wins under head coach Mark Osiecki, who went 15-18-4 in his first season at the helm in 2010-11.