No. 17 Buckeyes Lose Regular-Season Finale to No. 15 Miami, 5-1
Al McLean scored his third goal of the season vs. Miami.
Feb. 25, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team wrapped up the regular season with a 5-1 loss to No. 15 Miami in front of 8,404 fans in Value City Arena Saturday. The four members of the Ohio State senior class – Danny Dries, Sean Duddy, Cal Heeter and Cory Schneider – were honored in a pregame ceremony.
The Buckeyes (15-13-5, 11-12-5-1 CCHA) will travel to Notre Dame for the first round of the CCHA tournament next week. The teams will meet in a best-of-three series March 2-4, with the series winner advancing to the quarterfinal round March 9-11.
Miami scored just 43 seconds into the game when Jimmy Mullin came out of the corner and was able to slide the puck in. Ohio State tied the game at 8:45, as freshman Al McLean’s shot from the point got through with Ohio State on a 5-on-3 power play. Rookie Ryan Dzingel and junior Devon Krogh assisted on the tally, McLean’s third of the year. The RedHawks took control of the game with two goals in 33 seconds later in the period. Blake Coleman scored at 15:34, redirecting a shot by Cameron Schilling, to put Miami ahead 2-1. Reilly Smith then scored at 16:09, putting in a loose puck from the high slot after the original shot was blocked by the Buckeye defense. Shots were 11-9 in favor of Ohio State in the period. Miami had one power play chance and Ohio State had two opportunities.
In the second, Austin Czarnik scored twice for Miami for a 5-1 lead. His first came at 8:23, with the second scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 10:06. Buckeye starting goalie Cal Heeter faced a penalty shot 1:18 into the stanza, making a save on Miami’s Coleman. Miami outshot the Buckeyes, 16-6, in the stanza. Neither team converted on the power play – Ohio State had four chances, with Miami on two.
Neither team scored in the third period and there were no penalties called. Miami outshot Ohio State, 8-6, in the stanza.
For the game, Miami outshot Ohio State, 33-23. Heeter started for the Buckeyes and played the first 30:06, making 13 saves and taking the loss. Junior Brady Hjelle closed out the final 29:54 and stopped the 15 shots he faced.
Ohio State was 1-for-6 on the power play in the game, with Miami 1-for-3.
• Dzingel now shares the team point lead with sophomore Chris Crane with 24 points each. Dzingel has a team-best 17 assists.
• Dzingel finished CCHA play fourth in scoring among league freshmen with 20 points. McCormick tied with Czarnik for the league scoring lead among rookies.
• The attendance of 8,404 was the second-highest in Value City Arena this season, behind only the 9,828 that watched Ohio State vs. Michigan Jan. 13.
• The Buckeyes has a power play goal in three of the last four games.
• Krogh has a career-best 12 assists and 14 points on the year and leads Ohio State’s defensemen in scoring.
• The game will be replayed on BTN at 4 p.m. Monday.
Sean Duddy, Ohio State senior defenseman
On team’s struggles tonight
“Guys were forcing things. We haven’t done a good job overall, but I’ll take responsibility as a captain for that. Obviously you’d want to have home ice for the playoffs, but the playoffs are a new season and it’ll be good to get back on the ice.”
On the team’s recent slump
“I believe in the guys in this room, and we’re not overwhelmed at all from this slump. We’re fired up and confidence is key coming down the stretch.”
On the playoffs
“It’s up to the veterans to get the team focused and confident. Like coach says, it’s who wins the championship in the second season that counts.”
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On the loss tonight
“I thought we competed. You don’t like to see the first shot go in for the other team, but I thought we played well in the first period.”
On the second period
“In the second period we had a puck hit the post and it bounced out. It could’ve been a 3-2 game but we haven’t been able to get those bounces to go our way all season when they matter.”
On a new start for playoffs
“It’s a new season -- wipe the slate clean.”
Enrico Blasi, Miami head coach
On his team’s momentum heading into the CCHA tournament
“It’s a fun time of year and you want your team playing well. We’ve played some of our best hockey these past two weekends, so we feel good about where we’re at.”
On the play of goalkeeper Connor Knapp
“He is seeing the puck really well and controlling rebounds well. I thought he played a very good game for us tonight.”
Reilly Smith, Miami junior forward
On the significance of the win
“This win was a big step for our program because it secured home ice for us. We wanted to ride the wave of momentum we’ve been on and head into the playoffs on a high.”