COLUMBUS — The Michigan hockey team gave a compelling argument
for why hockey games are played for 60 minutes and not just 59
minutes, 59 seconds.

Michigan freshman Andrew Ebbett capped off a third period,
two-goal comeback against Ohio State when he scored from in between
the faceoff circles with just one second remaining. The Wolverines
and Buckeyes skated to a 4-4 tie in overtime.

“We kind of scrambled right off the faceoff (17 seconds
remaining) from the corner,” Ebbett said. “And I shoveled it out
front, just to get a rush, and it came out front from a block shot.
Then (freshman Jeff) Tambellini had a shot and it got blocked. (The
puck) was just kind of sitting there and I swapped at it, and it
went in.”

The equalizer came 12 minutes after Ohio State took a 4-2 lead
off a Ryan Kesler goal at the 7:43 mark. Kesler’s tally was shot
from behind the net, off Michigan goaltender Al Montoya’s back and
into the net. At 9:30 of the third frame, Michigan forward Eric
Nystrom put one between the legs of Ohio State goaltender Mike Betz
to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one.

After that, the Wolverines kept a barrage of shots on Betz,
three times having the puck inches away from rolling in, just to
have it knocked away by a defender or a lunging Betz.

“It does feel like a win, particularly when you’re down two
goals in the third period on the road against a team in a
meaningful game,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “We needed to
come up with something. Nystrom’s goal ignited us, and then at the
end of the game you never know. We had a few good chances and one
leaped in.”

With the tie, the Wolverines clinched second-place in the CCHA
and will face Bowling Green in next weekend’s best-of-three first
round matchup of the conference tournament. But thanks to a Ferris
State 4-2 win over Bowling Green last night, the Bulldogs will be
this season’s undisputed regular season champions.

“Congratulations to (Ferris State),” Berenson said. “They did
what they had to do: They won first place on the road. It doesn’t
matter who you’re playing, a win on the road is big. They’ve had a
good season from start to finish. It’s not like they’ve backed
in.”

Michigan’s recent road success from Nebraska-Omaha two weeks ago
was continued last night when the Wolverines put on two early goals
in the first period. Ohio State defenseman Scott Titus was called
for checking from behind at the 4:27 mark of the opening frame,
setting up Michigan’s first goal. Just over a minute into the Titus
penalty Tambellini ripped a shot off of Betz. The puck bounced away
from Betz and to a wide open Nystrom for the opening goal of the
game.

Sophomore Jason Ryznar added Michigan’s second goal three
minutes later when he skated from the bottom of the left faceoff
circle to in front of Betz where Ryznar sent the puck underneath
Betz’s arm for the 2-0 lead. Ohio State answered back at the 16:04
mark of the period when freshman Rod Pelley scored a five-hole goal
on Montoya.

The second period was Michigan’s undoing, as it could not get a
shot on Betz until 11 minutes into the frame. While the Wolverines
struggled, the Buckeyes tied the game at two when Pelley was left
alone in the right faceoff circle and beat an out of place Montoya
for a powerplay goal at the 8:33 mark of the period. Ohio State
forward Lee Spector beat Montoya when he took a rebound from a T.J.
Latorre shot and put it between Montoya’s right skate and the
goalpost.

Michigan tried to answer back in the next 30 seconds when
sophomore David Moss sent a puck off of Betz’s glove. Senior John
Shouneyia then found captain Jed Ortmeyer alone in front of Betz.
Ortmeyer shot off of Betz’s leg pads and then, off-balanced,
proceeded to shoot the rebound high.

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