Dec. 7, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In game one of a home-and-home series, the Ohio State men's hockey team lost to Robert Morris, 3-2, Friday night in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes (7-5-3, 6-2-2-1) and Colonials (6-4-1, 4-3-1 Atlantic Hockey) will close the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Friday night in Columbus, Ohio State took a lead just 1:51 into the contest on a Matt Johnson goal and killed off four penalties in the first period to maintain the advantage before an RMU goal with 35 seconds left in the period evened the score at 1. Ohio State again scored early in a period when sophomore Max McCormick tallied on the power play. A shorthanded goal by the Colonials, with Ohio State on a major advantage, again deadlocked the score late in the second. Robert Morris took its first lead of the night eight minutes into the third period when it scored on its eighth power play chance of the night. Ohio State put 20 shots on net in the third, and skated the final 1:41 with the net empty, but was unable to get the equalizer.
Johnson took a pass from sophomore classmate Justin DaSilva and snuck a shot in on the short side just 1:51 into the period to open the scoring. Redshirt freshman Riley Simpson had the second assist on the goal; the assists for DaSilva and Simpson were the first of the season for both. With just 35 seconds left in the period RMU's Andrew Blazek scored from the slot, assisted by Adam Brace. Ohio State held the Colonials scoreless on four power play chances in the period. Robert Morris outshot Ohio State, 12-11, in the stanza.
A power play goal 1:10 into the second period by McCormick, as he redirected a shot by freshman Craig Dalrymple, put Ohio State ahead, 2-1. Sophomore Ryan Dzingel had the second assist on the goal, extending his point streak to eight. With Ohio State on a major power play, the Colonials' Brace was able to steal the puck at the RMU blueline and skate in alone on the Buckeye net, converting shorthanded to tie the score at 2-all. Shots were 14-8 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period. Ohio State had two major power plays in the stanza and was 1-for-3 with the man advantage in the period. Robert Morris was scoreless on two chances.
The Colonials scored the go-ahead goal eight minutes into the third period when Jeff Jones picked off a Buckeye clearing attempt and Scott Jacklin was able to redirect his pass into the goal with Robert Morris on the power play. RMU goalie Eric Levine stopped all 20 Ohio State shots in the period and the Colonials put seven shots on net. Ohio State had one power play chance in the period. The Colonials had three chances, including a major 43 seconds into the period.
Ohio State outshot Robert Morris, 45-27, in the game. Hjelle had 24 saves for the Buckeyes in 58:19. For the Colonials, Levine made 43 saves in all 60 minutes.
The teams combined for 17 penalties and 67 penalty minutes, including three major penalties. Ohio State stopped Robert Morris on 8-of-9 power play chances and converted one of its four opportunities.
Each team blocked 17 shots. Junior Curtis Gedig led the Buckeyes with five blocks.
• The Buckeyes will close out the first half of the season with two games vs. Miami next weekend in Value City Arena. The squads will meet at 7:05 p.m. Dec. 14 and at 8:05 p.m. Dec. 15.
• Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 14 points and six goals. He is on an eight-game point streak, with four goals, seven assists and 11 points in the stretch.
• Hjelle allowed more than one goal for the first time in nine outings. He is in the Top 5 in the NCAA with a 1.42 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.
• Simpson's assist was the first of his career and came in his 15th game.
• DaSilva now has five career assists.
• Ohio State's 45 shots were a season high.
• Ohio State's 31 penalty minutes and nine power plays against both were season highs. Robert Morris had an opponent season-high 36 PIM.
• Ohio State allowed more than two goals for just the second time in the last seven games. The team is in the Top 10 in the NCAA holding opponents to 1.93 goals a game.
• The Buckeyes lost for just the second time in the last seven games.
• McCormick is second on the team with five goals and third on the squad with nine points.
• RMU's power play goal in the third period stopped a streak of 16-consecutive penalties killed for the Buckeyes.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On tonight's game
"In the third period we had some good opportunities and good looks. It was almost like a perfect storm. We won two at Michigan State on the road, scored early tonight and had the momentum -after that we got complacent."
On Ohio State's game
"I refuse to believe it has anything to do with exams. Exams shouldn't have anything to do with it though, hockey should be their sanctuary."
Derek Schooley, Robert Morris head coach
On intensity of game
"Our team showed a lot of heart tonight even though we bent at times, we never broke. We always want to play hard and with a lot of energy and I think we were able to come out and do that tonight."
On the play of his team
"We sold out and didn't leave anything on the ice tonight."
My Gameday - Tim Adams