Nov. 9, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team opened its home schedule with a 1-1 tie and shootout win vs. Alaska Friday night in Value City Arena. Sophomore Max McCormick scored just 15 seconds into the third period to deadlock the game and senior goalie Brady Hjelle made 34 saves in the Buckeye net through overtime. In the shootout, redshirt freshman Riley Simpson put Ohio State on the board and Ryan Dzingel scored the shootout winner in the sixth round after a save by Hjelle to open the round.
The Buckeyes, now 2-2-3 overall and 1-0-2-1 in the CCHA, and Nanooks, 4-3-2, 2-2-1-0 CCHA, will meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena. Buckeye All-American, Columbus Blue Jacket forward and current Ohio State volunteer coach RJ Umberger will sign autographs pregame, with the 2012-13 squad available for autographs postgame.
Friday, the teams were scoreless after the first period, with the goalies combined for 24 saves. Hjelle stopped 11 shots in the Ohio State net, with Nanook goalie John Keeney saving all 13 Buckeye attempts. Ohio State had the first two power play chances, putting three shots on net, and stopped a Nanook chance with 2:01 left in the period.
Alaska took a 1-0 lead 5:05 into the second period when Colton Parayko converted on a 5-on-3 power play, scoring from the far post after a pass from Colton Beck. Hjelle had 15 saves in the period, as the Nanooks outshot the Buckeyes, 16-10. Ohio State had three power play chances, with Alaska 1-for-2.
On the first shift of the third period, junior Curtis Gedig lifted the puck out of the Buckeye zone and McCormick picked it up on the fly, skating down the left side and scoring high. Ohio State outshot the Nanooks in the period, 9-6. The Buckeyes had a power play for four minutes early in the period after two penalties on a Nanook but were unable to convert. A major penalty on a UAF player with 4:57 left in the third gave the Buckeyes another chance but UAF held strong.
Neither team was able to score in overtime, with each goalie making two saves.
The game went to a shootout to determine the extra point in the CCHA standings. After a save by Hjelle in the first round, Simpson put Ohio State ahead. The Nanooks' Tyler Morley tied the shootout in the next round and neither team was able to score until Dzingel in the sixth round.
Ohio State was outshot, 35-34, in the game. Hjelle played all 65 minutes and had 34 saves, with Keeney making 33 saves in all 65 minutes.
The Nanooks converted 1-of-4 power play chances and stopped Ohio State on all eight opportunities.
• Hjelle now has a 1.92 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. He has allowed two goals in his last three starts combined. He has 30-plus saves in three of four starts on the year.
• As a team, the Buckeyes have allowed nine goals in their last six games combined (1.5 goals per game).
• The Nanooks' power play goal was the first allowed by the Buckeyes in five games and ended a streak of 17-consecutive penalties killed.
• McCormick leads the Buckeyes with five points.
• Gedig's assist was his first of the season.
• The shootout win was the first for the Buckeyes since beating the Nanooks Oct. 27, 2011.
• Senior Devon Krogh marked the 100th game of his Buckeye career.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On this year's team
"This team is going to be a lot different, way different from last year. This team is trying to create the chemistry and it's coming along. I see it in practice."
On the team's power play
"I think it's the monkey on our back, the gorilla in the corner. What I tell the team is that it's coming. We're trying to stay positive with our power play performance; power play is a tough thing."
Brady Hjelle, Ohio State senior goaltender
On his game
"The defense played really well in front of me and I felt really in tune with the game. We've (the team's goalies) been working a lot in the mornings with Coach [Joe] Exter, which I think has helped a lot. I felt good out there."
"I love them, win or lose. I think the fans really enjoy them, too."
Max McCormick, Ohio State sophomore forward
On the play of the team
"We were a tough team tonight. We were fearless and went after the puck, and that's the way we have to play all the time."
On his third period goal
"It was a big momentum changer. We wanted to get off to a fast start and switch the game in our favor, and the goal allowed us to do that."
Dallas Ferguson, Alaska head coach
"When you only give up one power play goal in eight chances you have to be happy with your penalty kill, but you're not going to get a lot of points if you're busy killing penalties."
On tomorrow's rematch
"We have to be more disciplined and get some points tomorrow night."
On the play of goalie John Keeney
"He looked calm in the net. We are trying to establish our No. 1 and No. 2 goaltenders right now and they're all making it a tough decision by playing well."
Colton Parayko, Alaska freshman defender
On long penalty kills
"The long penalty kills have been a staple of our team so far this season. The secret behind it is to keep the puck out of our end and away from our goal."