Jan. 31, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Behind 46 saves from freshman goalie Christian Frey and 11 points from its junior class, the Ohio State men's hockey team downed Penn State, 5-1, Friday in Value City Arena. Juniors Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick each scored twice in the win, with Big Ten leading scorer Dzingel adding an assist for a three-point night. Junior Tanner Fritz had two assists in the victory.
The Buckeyes (13-9-1, 3-5-1- B1G) and Nittany Lions (4-16-1, 0-7-0-0 B1G) will close the two-game series at 2 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena in a game televised by ESPNEWS. The day marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the Ohio State men's hockey program, with all alumni in attendance recognized pregame and the All-Buckeye Team revealed during the first intermission.
Ohio State held a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal at 9:30 from McCormick, assisted by Fritz and Justin DaSilva. Frey made 17 saves in the first period for the second game in a row, as the Buckeyes were outshot, 17-13.
The Buckeyes extended the lead to 4-0 with three second-period goals. Junior Matt Johnson scored on the rebound of a shot from classmate Chad Niddery at 5:31, with sophomore Tyler Lundey starting the play up ice. Just 26 seconds later McCormick scored on a rebound on the power play, assisted by Dzingel and Fritz. Dzingel notched his second shorthanded goal of the season at 14:04, converting a breakaway assisted by junior Nick Oddo. Shots were 11-7 in favor of Penn State in the period.
Each team notched an unassisted goal in the third period for the 5-1 final. At 3:55 David Goodwin put in a shot with the Nittany Lions on the power play, getting to the puck after a Buckeye defenseman cleared the puck just before it crossed the line. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Penn State pulled its goalie for the extra attacker. Dzingel was able to pick up the puck and score his league-best 16th goal of the year at the 8:29 mark. Penn State put 19 shots on goal in the period, with Ohio State getting 12 through.
For the game, Penn State outshot Ohio State, 47-32, a Buckeye opponent season high. Frey played all 60 minutes and had a career-high 46 saves for Ohio State. He is now 4-1 on the year, with a 2.23 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Penn State's Eamon McAdam had 27 saves in 59:16, allowing four goals.
Ohio State converted 1-of-5 power play chances in the win. The team has a power play goal in eight of the last 11 games, converting 30.2 (13-of-43) opportunities in the stretch. On the year, the squad is 23-for-106, ranking in the Top 10 nationally at 21.7 percent. Penn State was 1-for-3 on the power play.
A Hobey Baker candidate, Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 16 goals and 33 points this season, ranking in the Top 10 nationally in goals, goals per game (.70) and points per game (1.43). He leads the Big Ten in all three categories.
Fritz is first on the team with 18 assists, ranking fifth nationally in assists per game (1.00). McCormick is second on the team with nine assists and 23 points and tied for third with 14 assists. Oddo and Fritz are tied for third with 21 points each.
Ohio State is fourth nationally in scoring offense, averaging 3.57 goals per game. The squad has three or more goals in 18 games on the year. The squad has allowed one goal in four of its last six outings.
The Buckeye junior class is second nationally in points per game, averaging 5.61 points an outing, just .01 behind Mercyhurst (5.62). Ohio State's juniors have totaled 129 points in the team's first 23 games.
Ohio State Postgame Quotes
Head coach Steve Rohlik
On his team's performance
"It looks good when you look at a 5-1 win, but you have to turn around and look at the fact we gave up 47 shots. It's a team that plays hard - they shoot from all over, but I think our guys gave a good effort and we just have to tighten up on a few things. I thought we beat a very good hockey team tonight."
On his team's chemistry
"I think our guys like playing with each other, no matter who they're with. We have mixed and matched a little bit over the last few weeks to try and find some better 5 on 5 hockey. Our power plays and special teams have been good but we have been losing the 5 on 5 battle and tonight we were certainly better in that area."
Freshman goalie Christian Frey
On his transition to Ohio State
"It's weird coming to a new team halfway through the year, but the guys have been great to me and it has been a very smooth transition."
Junior forward Max McCormick
On the team reaching its potential
"We know we have it [the potential] in our locker room, it is just a matter of whether or not we execute the things our coaches are asking us to do. Our power plays have been really hot this year because we are all clicking. We have been trying to find lines that will have some chemistry so we can produce more five on five and I think we did that tonight."