Nov. 9, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team used points from 10 players - including two goals each from juniors Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel- to defeat Niagara, 6-1, Saturday in Value City Arena and claim a series sweep of the Purple Eagles. Ohio State, which has won six of its last seven games and is 6-4 on the year (0-0-0 B1G), posted a 4-1 win over Niagara (1-6-1, 1-1-1 AHA) Friday.
Ohio State hosts Canisius next weekend to close out its seven-game homestand, taking on the Golden Griffins at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in VCA. After a bye weekend, the Buckeyes will open Big Ten Conference play vs. Michigan, facing the Wolverines in Ann Arbor Nov. 29 and in Columbus Dec. 2.
Against Niagara, Ohio State led 2-0 after the first period. The Buckeyes extended the lead to 6-1 after the second period and neither team scored in the third. Freshman Drew Brevig, seniors Curtis Gedig and Alex Szczechura and juniors Nick Oddo and Tanner Fritzeach had two assists in the victory. The six goals were a season high for the Buckeyes, who are averaging 3.70 goals a game and have scored four or more in all six wins this year. The squad was 2-for-4 on the power play in the contest and 3-for-9 in the series.
Ohio State limited the Purple Eagles to just 16 shots on goal in the game, including just two in the first period. The Buckeyes blocked 16 shots as a team, led by Fritz with three. Freshman goalie Logan Davis stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced in his first collegiate action, coming on in the first period for injured starter and classmate Matt Tomkins. The Buckeyes held Niagara scoreless on five power play chances in the game and 11 opportunities in the two games combined.
"I thought we were a much better hockey team tonight, and probably played close to a full 60 minutes," Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. "When you say defense, that's all five guys on the ice working as one. Our guys stepped up in that area. We blocked shots, from our forwards to our defensemen."
At 8:58 of the first period, Niagara goalie Adrian Ignagni made a save on Fritz but the puck went to McCormick and deflected in to put Ohio State on the board. Szczechura had the second assist on the tally. Ohio State took a 2-0 lead when Brevig found Dzingel and he was able to score high from the right faceoff circle. Szczechura picked up an assist on the power play tally. Ohio State put 15 shots on net, holding Niagara to just two shots on goal, in the period.
The Buckeyes outscored the Purple Eagles, 4-1, in the middle period to take a 6-1 lead. Freshman Nick Schilkey scored on the power play at 1:45, assisted by Gedig and Oddo, followed by a goal on the rush by junior Matt Johnson. Fritz and Brevig started the play up ice for the helpers on the goal, which came at 2:42. Dzingel netted his second of the game, and his second career shorthanded goal, at 6:44, scoring on a breakaway to give Ohio State a 5-0 lead. The Purple Eagles' Kevin Patterson scored at 8:30, but McCormick answered with a goal at 15:00, assisted by Gedig and freshman defenseman Josh Healey, for a 6-1 Buckeye advantage. The assist was the first point for Healey as a Buckeye. Shots were 14-9 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period.
Ohio State outshot Niagara, 8-5, in the third period. The Purple Eagles had the only power play chance in the stanza.
In the game, Ohio State outshot Niagara, 37-16. Tomkins started the for the Buckeyes and stopped the only shot he faced before he suffered an injury and was replaced by Davis 3:44 into the contest. Davis played 56:16 and picked up the win, making 14 saves and allowing one goal. Ignagni had 13 saves on 17 shots for Niagara in 22:42. Jackson Teichroeb had 18 saves, allowing two goals, in 37:18 of relief.
In the series vs. Niagara, Fritz (playing for the first time since missing five games with an injury) had a team-best six points and joined Szczechura with a team-high five assists. McCormick was first on the squad with four goals, scoring twice in each game, and tied Szczechura for second with five points. Dzingel had three goals in the series.
McCormick leads Ohio State with 12 points and is tied with Dzingel for the team lead with five goals each. Szczechura has a team-high eight assists and is tied with Dzingel for second with 11 points apiece. McCormick and Dzingel both have a point in all but two games this season, while Szczechura has a point in 7-of-10 games.
Brevig had the first two-assist game of his career and he has an assist in five of his last six games, posting a 1-5-6 line on the year to lead the Buckeye rookies. Gedig's assists were his first points of the season and marked his ninth two-point game as a Buckeye. Oddo has a career-high six assists this year and it was his second career two-assist night, with the first Feb. 1 vs. Notre Dame.