Feb. 7, 2014
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – With two power play goals in the final 1:34 of regulation – including the game-tying tally with 1.7 left on the clock – the Ohio State men’s hockey team rallied for a 2-2 tie at Michigan State Friday in Munn Ice Arena. The Buckeyes then won the shootout, 2-1 in five rounds, to pick up the extra point in league standings.
Junior Tanner Fritz put Ohio State on the board at 18:26 of the third and senior Alex Szczechura netted the gametying tally. Fritz also scored the shootout winner, with freshman Nick Schilkey also scoring in the shootout. Freshman goalie Christian Frey had 25 saves in the game, along with stops in the shootout win.
“I like the never-give up attitude we showed,” Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. “We didn’t have our best night but I’m proud of how we battled to the end. We know we’re in for another tough test tomorrow.”
Ohio State, unbeaten in its last four games, moves to 14-9-2 on the year and 4-5-2-1 in B1G play. It will wrap up the series with the Spartans (8-13-5, 2-5-4-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday in a game televised by Fox Sports Detroit and picked up by SportsTime Ohio, along with radio coverage on 1460 AM in Columbus.
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the first period. Ohio State put eight shots on net, with Michigan State getting six through. The Buckeyes’ best chance came midway through the stanza, when Max McCormick’s shot hit the pipe. There were no penalties called in the period.
The Spartans notched the only goal of the second period when Lee Reimer scored from in front, off a pass from Greg Wolfe, at 7:44. Each team had 14 shots on goal in the period and one power play attempt.
Michigan State extended the lead to 2-0 on a goal from Greg Wolfe at 8:19 of the third. With time winding down and trailing 2-0, the Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and drew an interference call. Skating 6-on-4, Fritz scored from the faceoff circle, taking a pass from classmate Ryan Dzingel, with McCormick picking up the second assist on the goal, which came at 18:26. Ohio State drew another penalty at 19:21. Again skating 6-on-4, the Buckeyes worked the puck to the front of the net and Szczechura was able to slam it home and tie the game with 1.7 seconds left in regulation. Schilkey and senior Curtis Gedig, back in the lineup after missing four games with an injury, assisted on the goal. Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 18-6, in the period.
Neither team was able to score in overtime. Ohio State put two shots on net, with the Spartans getting one through. Each team took a penalty in the period, with 48 seconds of 4-on-4 play and a power play for each side. Both the Buckeyes and Spartans earned one league point for tying the game.
The contest then went to a shootout to determine the extra point in the league standings. After MSU’s Michael Ferrantino and Buckeye Schilkey traded goals in the first round, the teams were scoreless through the next three rounds. In the fifth, Frey made a save and Fritz scored for the Buckeye shootout win. It was Ohio State’s first shootout victory since Nov. 9, 2012 vs. Alaska. The team fell to the Spartans in a shootout Jan. 11 in Columbus in the last game between the teams.
Ohio State outshot Michigan State, 42-27, in the game. Frey, starting his fourth consecutive game, made 25 saves in 62:12 in the Buckeye net. MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand had 40 stops in 65 minutes. Frey is now 5-1-1 on the year, with a 2.15 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. He and the Buckeyes have given up two goals or less in each of the last four games.
Ohio State was 2-for-4 on the power play in the game vs. the Spartans. The team has a power play goal in 10 of the last 13 games, converting 33.3 (17-of-51) opportunities in the stretch. On the year, the squad is 27-for-114, ranking in the Top 5 nationally at 23.7 percent. Michigan State was scoreless on two chances.
A Hobey Baker candidate, Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 17 goals, 20 assists and 37 points this season, ranking in the Top 10 nationally in goals and points per game (1.47) and leading the Big Ten in scoring. Dzingel has 99 career points, with 40 goals and 59 assists, in 98 career games.
McCormick is second on the team with 10 goals and 25 points, with Fritz second in assists (19) and third in points (24). Szczechura is fifth with 20 points, including seven goals and 13 assists. Schilkey leads the Buckeye rookies and is among the B1G freshman scoring leaders with 18 points, including eight goals.
Ohio State was held to less than three goals for the first time in five games. The squad is in the Top 5 nationally in scoring offense, averaging 3.56 goals a game.