Issue date: 1/9/09 Section: Sports
KELLY WRIGHT/THE LANTERN
Ohio State sophomore forward Hunter Bishop skates past a defender during Friday's 6-1 win over Army in the Ohio Hockey Classic. Bishop scored the game-winning goal against Clarkson in the finals on Sunday as OSU won 2-0. The Buckeyes travel to Bowling Green for a weekend series with the Falcons tonight and tomorrow.
Neither the competition nor jet lag could slow Hunter Bishop and the Ohio State men's hockey team during the weekend's Ohio Hockey Classic.
Bishop and the Buckeyes, in their first action since Dec. 13, defeated Clarkson University, 2-0, on Saturday to secure the tournament title.
Bishop, an Alaska native, whose trip back to Columbus crossed five time zones and four airports, showed no ill effects from the flight and the three-week layoff.
Backed by goaltender Dustin Carlson's fourth shutout of the season, Bishop's first period goal proved to be decisive.
Attacking the Clarkson zone 2-on-2, Bishop deflected Shane Sims' shot past the Clarkson goaltender, leaving his feet in the process.
Bishop's aerial acrobatics illustrate what has become a recurring theme: his knack for finding the net.
His ninth of the season, Bishop's goal extended his scoring streak to seven games. Not coincidentally, the Buckeyes haven't lost in the process.
"Streaks like this are what I shoot for every season," Bishop said. "I hoped that I would fit into a goal-scoring role on this team; I pride my game on it."
The "greasy" goal in front exemplifies the "physicality" coach John Markell says Bishop brings to his team. Facing Clarkson, a team brimming with confidence following its upset of No. 2 Miami, Bishop knew such grit would be necessary.
"Our scouting report was to get a lot of pucks on net, and rebound. We knew we would have to score a greasy goal and knew that the first shot wasn't going to go in," Bishop said.
Despite battling nerves that threatened to halt his early season success, Carlson upheld Bishop's goal until Zac Dalpe provided the final margin in the 60th minute.
"I was coming into this weekend kind of nervous," Carlson said. "No matter when the break came I was going to be nervous and a little jumpy."
Conscious of the need to be his harshest critic in practice heading into the tournament, Carlson'sperformance reflected his preparation.
Aided by Carlson's work in net, the Buckeyes thwarted all six Clarkson power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 early in the third period.
"Our penalty kill deserves a lot of credit. I think we killed a period's worth of penalties," Bishop said. "[They] really stepped it up and brought this game home for us."
Complementing Bishop's success is the emergence of linemates Corey Elkins and Ian Boots.
Elkins, whose 21 points lead the team, assisted on Bishop's game-winner, one day after contributing three points in Friday's 6-1 victory against Army.
"You've got the prototypical winger with Hunter Bishop," Markell said. "He's fast, he can shoot the puck. He'll go to critical areas and score goals.
"Ian Boots can make plays up and down the ice. Corey can protect the puck with his big body and move it through with his speed. It's a good mixture."
The unit's six points against Army spearheaded a balanced attack, which featured goals from six players.
James Pallitto can be reached at email@example.com.