Nov. 16, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team extended its winning streak to five, downing Canisius, 3-1, Saturday in Value City Arena for a series sweep of the Golden Griffins. Ohio State (8-4, 0-0-0 B1G) defeated Canisius (2-7-0, 1-3-0 AHA) 3-0 Friday in the series opener and the Buckeyes are 8-1 in their last nine games.
“Good teams find a way to win close games,” Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. “It is nice to know if we shut teams down like we did tonight we can score enough goals to win. In any sport they say defense wins and we are stressing that a lot.”
The teams were scoreless through the first period. Ohio State took a 2-0 lead with goals early in the second period by senior Alex Szczechura and freshman Josh Healey, but Canisius answered less than three minutes later for a 2-1 game. The Buckeyes held the one-goal lead until junior Ryan Dzingel scored an empty-netted with .5 left in regulation. Junior Tanner Fritz had two assists to lead the Buckeyes. Freshman goalie Logan Davis made 22 stops in the Buckeye net for his third win of the year. As a team, the Buckeyes blocked 20 shots, led by junior Al McLean and Healey with four each and junior Justin DaSilva with three.
“Our confidence has always been there, we’re just finally doing some of the little things that allow you to win,” Dzingel said.
The game ended a seven-game homestand for the Buckeyes, who were 6-1 in the stretch. Ohio State will have the upcoming week off before beginning Big Ten Conference play with a series against Michigan. The Buckeyes and Wolverines will meet Nov. 29 in Ann Arbor and Dec. 2 in Columbus. That series closes the first half of the Buckeyes’ schedule, as they will be off until Dec. 28-29 vs. Mercyhurst.
Saturday in Value City Arena, Ohio State and Canisius were scoreless after the first period. Ohio State outshot Canisius, 11-3, in the stanza and each team had one power play chance.
The teams combined for three goals in the second period, with Ohio State leading, 2-1, after 40 minutes. At 3:38, Szczechura put in the rebound of a save on a Max McCormick shot, with Fritz starting the rush up the ice. Healey picked up his first career goal at 5:32, scoring from the faceoff circle off an assist from classmate David Gust. Senior Cutis Gedig got the puck down low to Gust for his third assist of the year. At 7:49 Mitch McCrank scored on a wraparound to put Canisius on the board and make it one-goal game (2-1). Shots were 11-10 in favor of the Golden Griffins in the period.
In the third, Davis stopped all nine shots he faced to preserve the lead. With time running down, Dzingel stole the puck and skated in with Fritz on the empty Canisius goal. They passed back and forth and Dzingel completed the play with .5 on the clock, sealing the win. Ohio State had eight shots in the period and stopped Canisius on two power play chances.
The Buckeyes outshot Canisius, 29-23, in the game. Davis played 59:41 and had 22 saves. He has played nearly three whole games (175:53) and has allowed two goals, with a .68 goals-against average and .966 save percentage, along with three wins. Tony Capobianco had 26 saves on 28 shots in 59:06 for the Golden Griffins.
“Logan Davis has been solid for us and our defensemen have been doing their jobs – blocking shots and getting the puck north,” Healey said.
Neither team was able to score on the power play. Ohio State was 0-for-3 and held Canisius scoreless on four chances. The Buckeyes have not allowed a power play goal in the last five games and have stopped the last 25 opponent chances.
Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with seven goals and 14 points this season, while Fritz is first with nine assists. McCormick and Szczechura are tied for second with eight assists each, while McCormick is second with 13 points, followed by Szczechura with 12 and Fritz with 10.
Ohio State is averaging 3.58 goals a game to rank in the Top 10 nationally. The team has three or more goals in all but one game this season. The Buckeyes have not allowed more than one goal in the last four games, giving up three in the last four (and five in the last five) combined.
Mason Jobst - All-American