Sometimes, when the lackluster play of the Jackets has got me down, it’s hard to remember why it is I care about this frozen game. Then I go see a real corker of a game, and I remember. Tonight was one of those nights. Not the CBJ-Rangers tilt (the result of which is still unknown to me; the game is waiting in my DVR), but rather Senior Night at the Schott — Buckeyes against Michigan.
This was one of those games that just had a little of everything. In the first, the Bucks looked downright Jacket-esque, unable to generate any offensive pressure of note, or skate with Michigan at all. It took 17 minutes for them to register a shot on net…although once they did, they scored on it! The first ended 1-1.
It looked in the second after Michigan scored a couple goals that the Buckeyes would be out of it, but OSU managed to come back and tie it up 4-4 on a couple of quick late period goals. The Buckeyes took the lead early in the third and appeared to be on their way to the win, but then Michigan scored again to tie it with five minutes left. Then came the ending that every hockey fan loves, the home team pulling it out with a late GWG against their most bitter rival, this goal appropriately enough by senior Mathieu Beaudoin.
It was a chippy game throughout, as befits the OSU-Michigan rivalry. When the game ended there was briefly some pushing and shoving involving the entire rosters of both teams, but that was quelled before it became a repeat of Piest’any 1987. With the Wolverines cleared off the ice and back to Ann Arbor, it was time to honor this year’s senior class, as this was the final home game of the regular season. As always, the seniors were joined on the ice by their families, and the band, the team, and the fans joined in one last rendition of “Carmen Ohio” for the class of 2007.
These seniors were freshmen when I moved to Columbus, so I’ve watched their entire Buckeye careers (although not nearly as many games as I should…this was my first game this year, not really intentionally, just timing issues). And it’s a little sad to see the end of the OSU career of one of my favorite players, Andrew Schembri, who’s ever so reminiscent of Theo Fleury before everything went pear-shaped. Little guy who can skate, shoot, and plays with no fear whatsoever. He may never make it to the NHL, but I can pretty much guarantee that if he does go pro, he will be a fan favorite in whatever city he winds up in.
In short, it was a fun game. Good crowd at the Schott, good atmosphere (which is never a given there), good night to honor the graduating players, and a welcome change from what it’s been like at Nationwide of late.
I wasn’t right on the glass, but I did get some pictures at the game. Enjoy…