Fairfield beats Ohio State, finishes in three-way tie atop ECAC standings
FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Seventeenth-ranked Fairfield knocked off Ohio State 7-5 on Saturday to clinch a share of the 2014 ECAC regular-season championship. The Stags (11-3, 3-1 ECAC) share their first league regular-season title with Ohio State and Air Force.
Sophomore TJ Neubauer tallied two goals while junior Colin McLinden had a goal and two assists. Rookie Dave Fleming added a goal and an assist. Michael Roe was crucial at the face-off X for the Stags, winning nine of the 14 he took with six ground balls.
Ohio State (6-7, 3-1 ECAC) struck first as Jesse King put one home at the 12:37 mark. Senior Alex Cramer tied it up at 9:56, tucking in a pass from rookie Jake Knostman. Just 31 seconds later, Neubauer would put the Stags ahead with his 30th goal of the year for a lead which would not be relinquished.
Neubauer scored his second goal of the day at the 12:06 mark of the second quarter off a pass from McLinden. Two minutes later, Fleming connected with McLinden to put the Stags on top 4-1. The Buckeyes ended their scoring drought at 6:46 on a goal by Chris Mahoney to make the score 4-2. The score would remain that way at the break.
Ohio State’s Ryan Hunter made it a one-goal game at 13:12 in the third quarter, but that Stags countered at 9:46 as McLinden found junior Nick Guida to make it 5-3. John Kelly pulled the Buckeyes within 5-4 with 3:17 left in the period.
Momentum swung less than a minute into the fourth quarter as senior Eric Warden ripped a shot past Scott Spencer to make it 6-4. Fleming scored a minute later to make it a three-goal game. The Buckeyes’ Carter Brown made it 7-5 with 4:45 left in the game, but the Stags' defense clamped down for the win.
Senior Jack Murphy had another strong outing in goal for the Stags. He stopped eight shots, caused two turnovers and scooped up seven ground balls. Spencer made nine saves for the Buckeyes.
Senior Greg Perraut appeared in his program record-setting 61st career game, finishing with three ground balls and a caused turnover. Sophomore Conor Barr caused two turnovers and had three ground balls. Senior Shawn Honovich had two ground balls.
Fairfield will head to the 2014 ECAC tournament Thursday and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The field is comprised of Fairfield, host Ohio State, Air Force and Michigan.