COLUMBUS, Ohio – Buckeye junior John Kelly scored the gamewinning goal with four seconds left in regulation to lift No. 11-ranked Ohio State to an 8-7 victory over Furman in the season opener for both teams in Greenville, S.C.
The game was close throughout. Ohio State trailed 2-0 early before scoring four unanswered to head into halftime up 4-2. Furman scored the first two goals of the third quarter to tie the game at four and then answered after a Buckeye goal late in the quarter for a 5-5 game heading into the fourth. Ohio State scored two early goals in the fourth quarter before back-to-back Furman goals in the final 2:11.
The Paladins tied the game at seven, scoring with 33 seconds left in regulation. Furman won the ensuing faceoff, but Buckeye sophomore Colin Chell forced a turnover and picked up the groundball to give the Buckeyes possession. After a timeout, junior transfer Austin Shanks, playing his first game for the Scarlet and Gray, passed to Kelly and his bounce shot found its way into the cage.
“Hats off to Furman and their coaching staff,” Nick Myers, Ohio State head coach, said. “They played hard for 60 minutes. We are fortunate to get our first road win of year. We will need to grow a great deal from this and I am confident we will. It’s nice to be on our way home with a win and chance to get win number two next Saturday.”
Shanks had a Buckeye-best three points on a goal and two assists and extended his goal and point streaks to 25. Junior Johnny Pearson had two goals for Ohio State and Kelly and senior Carter Brown each had two points on a goal and an assist. Junior Jake Withers won 14-of-19 faceoffs and had eight groundballs.
Up next, the Buckeyes will host their home opener, taking on Detroit at noon Saturday inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Space is limited inside WHAC and fans are encouraged to prepurchase tickets to reserve a spot. Tickets can be purchased online HERE. A Power Pair deal is also available and includes a ticket to the Buckeyes’ games vs. both Detroit Feb. 13 and UMBC Feb. 27 and an Ohio State scarf. The deal must be purchased online before gameday and is available HERE.
The start of the game between the Buckeyes and Paladins was delayed nearly 30 minutes because of a facility issue. Furman scored twice in the first 3:06 of the game, but the Buckeyes outscored the Paladins 4-0 the rest of the half to carry a 4-2 lead into halftime. Hil Blaze won the opening faceoff, took the ball and scored just 11 seconds into the game and Scott Primeau followed at 11:54 to put Furman up 2-0.
Buckeye junior JT Blubaugh scored at 7:45 of the first quarter, assisted by Brown, to put Ohio State on the board. The assist extended Brown’s point streak to 10 games. Shots were 9-5 in favor of the Buckeyes in the opening 15 minutes.
Ohio State scored the only three goals of the second quarter and outshot the Paladins, 13-3. Shanks converted off a pass from Kelly at 13:00 to tie the game at two. Pearson scored the next two goals, at 6:10 and 3:47, to put the Buckeyes ahead. It was the first multiple-goal game for Pearson as a Buckeye.
The teams were deadlocked at five after 45 minutes. The Paladins scores the first two goals of the third quarter to tie the game at four, tallying at 8:28 and 4:59. Brown put Ohio State ahead 5-4 at 2:54, coming around the cage to score, but the Paladins answered on a goal from Scott Primeau to again tie the game. Shots were 8-5 in favor of the Buckeyes in the quarter.
Ohio State scored two early goals in the fourth quarter to go ahead, 7-5. At 13:04 Chell tallied man-up, assisted by Shanks. Freshman Jack Jasinski then scored his first career goal at 11:23. The Paladins scored twice in less than two minutes late in the stanza to again tie the game. Matthew VanGalen scored an EMO goal at 2:11 and Jonah Moore deadlocked the game with 33 seconds remaining on an unassisted goal. The Paladins won the next faceoff, but Chell forced a turnover to give Ohio State possession. Coming out of a timeout, the ball went to Shanks. He passed to Kelly and his bounce shot went far side for the go-ahead goal. Ohio State outshot Furman, 8-6, in the quarter.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Furman, 38-19. Buckeye redshirt junior goalie Tom Carey had five saves. Reilly McDermott made 13 stops for the Palladins.
Ohio State had the advantage in groundballs, 28-23. Withers took all 19 faceoffs for the Buckeyes and won 14, picking up a game-high eight groundballs. Sophomore Brendan Barger had three caused turnovers to lead the Buckeyes, with senior Kacy Kapinos causing two.