Dec. 28, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team opened the second half of its schedule with a 1-0 loss to No. 5- ranked Miami Friday in the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Buckeye goalie Brady Hjellehad 25 saves in the game, as Ohio State was shut out for the first time this season.
The Buckeyes (7-7-5) will face Penn State (7-9-0) in the tournament's consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It marks the first game between the teams as varsity opponents, with the Nittany Lions joining the Division I ranks this season. Penn State lost to Robert Morris, 6-0, in its first game of the tournament Friday. Attendance for the first day of the inaugural tournament was 11,663.
Ohio State and Miami combined for 17 first-period shots, with Hjelle making seven saves and Miami's Jay Williams stopping 10 shots. Neither team took a penalty in the stanza. Ohio State had an early goal waved off because it was ruled the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the line.
Neither team was able to score in the second period. Ohio State carried play for much of the period, and outshot the RedHawks, 13-5, including 9-0 to start the stanza. Ohio State had the only two power plays of the period.
The RedHawks took a 1-0 lead just 14 seconds into the third period when Curtis McKenzie scored from the doorstep, assisted by Jimmy Mullin and Austin Czarnik. Ohio State played the final 1:04 with the net empty for an extra attacker, but did not convert. Miami outshot Ohio State, 14-6, in the period, and had two power play chances in the stanza.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Miami, 29-26. Hjelle played 58:52 for the Buckeyes and had 25 saves. He is third in the NCAA in goals-against average (1.43) and second in save percentage (.951). Miami's Williams stopped all 29 Buckeye shots in 60 minutes between the pipes.
The Buckeyes blocked 23 shots as a team, led by sophomore blueliner Al McLean with six and senior defensemen Brandon Martell and junior blueliner Curtis Gedigwith five each. Ohio State ranks sixth nationally in team defense, holding opponents to 1.89 goals a game.
Each team was 0-for-2 on the power play in the game. Ohio State has just 10 penalties in its last four games combined.
Ohio State and Miami were meeting for the third-consecutive game. The squads will face off March 1-2 in Oxford to close the regular season.