Nov. 12, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team posted its second-consecutive 4-1 victory over No. 14/15 Northern Michigan to record a two-game sweep of the Wildcats (4-5-3, 1-4-3-2 CCHA) and extend its unbeaten streak to seven. The Buckeyes are now 8-3-1 on the year and stand 5-2-1-1 in the CCHA to tie for first place.
Ohio State led the game 1-0 after the opening period and 2-0 after the second stanza on goals by Danny Dries and Nick Oddo. The Wildcats cut the lead in half with a tally at 3:12 of the third period but Ohio State responded with a power-play goal from Curtis Gedig 1:02 later to regain the two-goal advantage and added a tally from Alex Lippincott at 7:06 for a three-goal lead. Gedig, Lippincott, Oddo and Dries each added an assist in the game for a two-point night. Senior goalie Cal Heeter had 18 saves, as Ohio State outshot the Wildcats, 38-19.
The Buckeyes got on the board at 10:54 of the first period when senior Sean Duddy led Dries into the offensive zone and his wrist shot beat NMU goalie Reid Ellingson for his team-best eighth goal of the year. Gedig had the second assist on the tally. The Buckeyes controlled play in the period and outshot the Wildcats, 14-6. Each team had one power-play chance.
Ohio State added another goal in the second for a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. For the Buckeyes' second goal, Lippincott sent Oddo and Darik Angeli on a 2-on-1 into the NMU zone. Oddo completed a give-and-go for his second goal of the year. Ohio State continued to outshoot Northern Michigan, with a 17-2 advantage in the period and a 31-8 mark through the first two periods. No penalties were called in the stanza.
The Wildcats drew within one at 3:12 of the third period when Dylan Walchuk put in the rebound of a Reed Seckel goal. Ohio State went on the power play just 40 seconds later and regained the two-goal edge when Gedig netted his first collegiate goal, scoring from the point on the power play, assisted by Alex Szczechura and Dries at 4:14. On the final goal, Justin DaSilva kept the puck in at the blueline and passed to Oddo at the halfwall. He found Lippincott in the slot, where he was able to backhand his shot in. Heeter had 10 saves in the period, as the Buckeyes were outshot, 11-7.
The Buckeyes outshot the Wildcats, 38-19, in the game. Heeter played all 60 minutes in the Buckeye net and had 18 saves for his seventh win. Ellingson started and played the first 29:04 for Northern Michigan, allowing two goals and making 19 saves. Jared Coreau had 15 saves and gave up two goals in 30:56 of relief.
Ohio State converted 1-of-4 power-play chances and stopped the Wildcats on two opportunities.
• Ohio State will return to action with two games at Michigan next week. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.
• The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents, 20-2, in the last five games combined and 27-6 in the seven-game unbeaten streak.
• Heeter is now 7-1-1 on the year, with a 1.73 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
• The Buckeyes have not allowed a power play goal in the last five games, stopping all 19 opponent chances. Northern Michigan had just three power plays in the series. The penalty kill is 55-for-61 on the year
• Ohio State has four penalties (a season low) in each of its last four games.
• The five-game winning and seven-game unbeaten streaks are the longest for the Buckeyes since winning six games in a row Dec. 10-Jan. 8 last season.
• Gedig had the third two-point game of his career and first since Jan. 21 vs. Notre Dame. The tally was the first of his career and came in his 46th game.
• Lippincott's points were his first of the season. It was his second two-point outing, with the last Nov. 6, 2010 vs. Alabama-Huntsville.
• Oddo had his first multiple-point game and now has a 1-2-3 line in his last three games combined.
• Dries, with a team-high eight goals, shares the team point lead with Chris Crane with 12 points each. Dries has four multiple-point games this season and has 6-3-9 totals in his last five games.
• DaSilva's assist was his first collegiate point. He is the 11th freshman with a point this year.
• The Buckeyes have a power-play goal in six of the last seven games and are 14-for-57 (.246) this year. • The team, outshot in six of its first seven games, has outshot its opponents in each of the last five games with at least 37 shots in each contest.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On overall team play
"As a coach, you can always find fault with your team. You want to correct so many things, but hockey is a game of mistakes, and it is with the team that makes the fewest that you are generally going to have success."
On his team's response to Northern Michigan's early third-period goal
"We have handled adversity well, and success well. When the other team scores, you are going to start second guessing yourselves, but I do not think they did that. It is probably a good thing Northern scored and put us in that position. It let us see how our guys would handle it."
On practice paying off
"We have done some things in practice to make our guys move their feet and keep their sticks down. I think that has been a big factor in us being smart and knowing we can play hard and stay out of the penalty box."
Curtis Gedig, Ohio State sophomore defenseman
On his first career goal
"I was excited about it on the bench. I was thinking, `this can't be real' when they were reviewing it, and I'm still excited about it."
On how the team is handling success
"We are handling it well. We are a young team, and we might be a little naïve. We are taking things day-to-day, and we are not looking at the rankings yet. We are trying to go one day at a time."
Danny Dries, Ohio State senior forward
On the team's discipline
"At the beginning of the year, we were spending too much time in the box. We have done a much better job of staying out of the box, especially over the last two weekends. Coach has been talking to us a lot about it in practice, and it has been paying off."
Walt Kyle, Northern Michigan head coach
On Ohio State
"Ohio State is a good hockey team. I don't know if people know how good they are. They were owning the game."
On making it a 2-1 game
"A 2-0 lead is dangerous. In the third period we came out and we scored and took over the momentum for a brief time down 2-1. We didn't deserve to be that close but we were. Then we had a guy make a dumb, lack of discipline play and got a two-minute penalty. Ohio State was able to convert and get the big lead back. The game was back in their hands after that."
On the team's offense
"We're not very good offensively right now. Our power play is going dry, mainly because we haven't had many opportunities."
Mason Jobst - All-American