In a week of death, cancer and breakups there had to be a time to get away from things, and even in the middle of that I found a sense of sad finality.
We went to our first Ohio State Hockey game of the season last night. The Buckeyes were playing the #6 ranked team in the country, the Western Michigan Broncos. The first period was a back and forth match that had the visiting side up 2-1 at the end of the first period.
In the second the Broncos went up 3-2 but Ohio State fought back and went ahead with the final score being 6-3. I was very impressed with both sides and the play of senior OSU goaltender Brady Hjelle, who did some rather remarkable gymnastics making a few saves. He even picked up an assist.
The star of the game was Junior winger Alex Szczechura, who scored a hat trick. The third coming off a play that had some dandy passing. It was a game I enjoyed watching, and in between periods the band came out and did Script Ohio on the ice.
Toward the end of the game I realized this is most likely going to be the last CCHA game I ever see. The conference is being made redundant after this year since the Big Ten conference is being started up. I really enjoyed seeing the smaller schools, Western Michigan, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green and others play the so called larger school and often play them well or even better the home side.
I've been following the league for about 15 seasons now and it's odd to know that it is all going away, all the history of the league will simply halt. The Big Ten will start with at least six teams, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the newly started Penn State. It will be different and I'm sure we'll see a few of those familiar teams, such as Miami, come through town to fill out the schedule. The rivalries will be changed though.
Maybe The Buckeyes will have a home playoff game in March I can attend.