Sunday, January 9, 2011

Escaping to a Game

The latest car ordeal has ended. The bearing has been replaced. The car started right up in single degree temperatures this morning. Let’s keep our fingers crossed this will be the last major repair for a long time.

After getting the car back we decided to get out of the house, since I really had not been out for two days. Went to our first Ohio State Hockey game this season.

Got great seats on center ice, we were also given complimentary souvenier cowbells. Ohio State Cowbells. Block "O" Cowbells. Anyone else here thinking “Columbus Clippers Ring Your Bell” here? The crowd did use their cowbells to great effect during power plays, penalty kills, whenever an OSU player did something good.

OSU was playing Miami University, who were ranked seventh in the country coming into the weekend. This is a good hockey team. What I saw out of OSU was surprising. They came right out and started hitting, and maintained this pace the whole game. Miami gave it right back, and this was a great hockey game to watch. The average size of a Miami defenseman is over six feet, their back line is huge, what are they feeding them in Oxford?

This was the first game I’ve seen since OSU coach Osiecki took over and the new attitude of the team impressed me. I have not seen a determined OSU hockey team in years. Win or lose, it’s very refreshing to see the program begin to be lifted from some a very stagnant team philosophy.

Miami outshot OSU by plenty but it was Sergio Somma who scored on a power play goal with 8.9 seconds left in the second period to make it 1-0 for the home team. Now it was up to the Buckeyes to hold the lead for the final period.

There was a lot of shaky play and giveaways by the OSU defense all night, but somehow a teammate always managed to clear out the puck. The most important player on the ice was goalie Cal Heeter, who not only cleaned up the mistakes of the tea, but stopped every shot put to him by a ferocious Miami attack. Heeter was the man of the night as OSU hung on to win 1-0. A well earned shut out, but the game really could have gone either way.

There was a very good crowd on hand, at least 5,000 in good voice. I was quite impressed that there was a large and vocal student section behind one of the goals. It’s very important to have some student tradition and great to finally see the kids come out to support the team. I’d like to think Coach Osiecki finally got the athletic department to reach out to the dorms to get the students to the games.

I missed last night’s OSU win, which was just as exciting. They were down 2-0 going into the third period but scored five straight goals to get the sweep. Great weekend for the team.

Looks like I’ll be back at a few more games this season.

The less said about the Blue Jackets, the better.

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