Buckeyes, Hjelle Blank No. 3 Miami, 3-0
March 1, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Behind 29 saves from senior Brady Hjelle, the Ohio State men’s hockey team shut out No. 3-ranked Miami, 3-0, Friday in Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio. The line of junior Alex Szczechura and sophomores Tanner Fritz and Max McCormick paced the team with six points, as Szczechura and McCormick each had a goal and an assist and Fritz had two assists.
The Buckeyes (14-14-7, 13-9-5-1 CCHA) and RedHawks (21-9-5, 16-7-4-4 CCHA) will close the series, and the regular season, at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Oxford. The Buckeyes’ Friday night win, along with a Ferris State loss, puts Ohio State alone in fourth place in the CCHA standings, three points ahead of the Bulldogs. The Buckeyes can clinch home ice in the quarterfinals of the CCHA tournament with at least one point Saturday vs. the RedHawks.
Friday night, the teams were scoreless in the first period before a power play goal by junior Chris Crane early in the second period put Ohio State ahead. Szczechura made it a two-goal game at 13:20 of the middle period and McCormick sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:19 left in regulation. The Buckeye special teams were 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill in the game.
Miami outshot Ohio State, 13-6, in the opening period. The first penalty was called on Miami with 1.6 seconds left in the period, carrying nearly the entire two minutes into the second period.
The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the middle period. Just 1:14 into the stanza Crane redirected a Devon Krogh shot with Ohio State on the power play. Szczechura had the second assist on the goal, which came on the Buckeyes’ first power play of the night. At 13:20 the Buckeyes cycled down low and Fritz passed to Szczechura just outside the crease. His first shot was saved, but he was able to get his rebound past Miami goalie Ryan McKay from a sharp angle. McCormick had the second assist on the helper. Miami outshot the Buckeyes, 8-5, in the period. The Buckeyes stopped the RedHawks on three power play chances and Ohio State was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Ohio State held its two-goal lead throughout the third period, with Hjelle making eight saves. With 1:19 left McCormick sealed the win with an empty-net goal, assisted by Fritz and freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple. The Buckeyes put five shots on net and held the RedHawks scoreless on the one power play chance of the stanza.
Ohio State was outshot, 29-16, in the game. Hjelle stopped all 29 shots in 59:56. Miami’s Ryan McKay had 12 stops, allowing two goals, in 59:42.
The Buckeyes converted one of three power play chances and held the RedHawks scoreless on all four chances, allowing just two power play shots.