Buckeyes Face Northern Michigan in CCHA Series
Tanner Fritz leads Ohio State with 12 assists. (credit Mike Drazdzinski)

Jan. 16, 2013

Ohio State at Northern Michigan 
Berry Events Center - Marquette, Mich. 
Friday, Jan. 18 - 7:35 p.m. 
Saturday, Jan. 19 - 7:35 p.m.

WATCH: Coach Osiecki | Fritz

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Follow Along
All Links: go.osu.edu/mhkygameday
Radio: 1460 AM Columbus 
Live Stats
Webcast: America One Sports ($)

Drop the Puck
The Ohio State men’s hockey team (8-9-5, 7-4-3-1 CCHA) heads to the Upper Peninsula for a two-game CCHA series with Northern Michigan (9-10-4, 3-9-4-1 CCHA) this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

Follow Along
For both games at Ferris State, Ohio State/IMG Radio will carry the action over the air in Columbus on 1460 AM and live online on ESPNColumbus.com, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat calling the action. The games will be streamed online for a fee through America One Sports.

As always, links for audio, video and game tracker live stats are on the Buckeye Hockey Gameday page (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) and the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Buckeye Brief
The Buckeyes are 8-9-5 overall and 7-4-3-1 in CCHA play to stand in a tie for fourth place. The squad last played at Ferris State last weekend, winning 3-1 in the opener before falling by the same score in the series finale. The team is scoring 1.95 goals a game and allowing 2.05 goals per game to rank seventh in the nation in team defense. The team is 8-for-92 (.087) on the power play and 73-for-86 (.849) on the penalty kill.

Sophomore Ryan Dzingel is first with 17 points and nine goals. Classmate Tanner Fritz leads the team with 12 assists and is second with 14 points. Max McCormick is second with seven goals and third with 12 points. Senior goalie Brady Hjelle has played in 16 games, starting 15, and has a 1.43 goals-against average and .952 save percentage to rank first and second in the NCAA, respectively. Freshman Collin Olson has played seven games and has a 3.08 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

Looking Ahead
Ohio State will play its first home games of 2013 next weekend, hosting Lake Superior State Jan. 25-26 in Value City Arena. Faceoff both nights is at 7:05 p.m. The following weekend (Feb. 1-2), Notre Dame will come to the Schott for two 7:05 p.m. contests.

Wearing the C
For the fourth-consecutive weekend, juniors Curtis Gedig and Travis Statchuk and sophomore Ryan Dzingel will serve as captains for the the Buckeyes.

Ohio State has rotated captains for much of the season, switching the trio about every two series though the first half of the year. For the first two series at Minnesota Duluth and Quinnipiac, seniors Alex Carlson and Brandon Martell were joined by sophomore Matt Johnson wearing the ‘C’, while juniors Alex Lippincott and Statchuk and sophomore Max McCormick donned the letter vs. Bowling Green and Alaska. Senior Devon Krogh, junior Chris Crane and Dzingel served as captains vs. Northern Michigan and at Lake Superior State and juniors Gedig and Alex Szczechura and sophomore Tanner Fritz served as captains at Michigan State and retained the ‘C’s for the series with Robert Morris. For the series vs. Miami Dec. 14-15 and the Three Rivers Classic Dec. 28-29, Gedig, Statchuk and Dzingel reprised their roles as captains, the first second-time selections of the season. Gedig, Statchuk and Dzingel were joined by Johnson as captains for the series at Ferris State last week.

Buckeyes on the Hobey Fan Ballot
Fan voting for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award opened earlier this week, with Buckeye senior goalie Brady Hjelle and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel on the ballot. Fans can vote daily through March 10. The fans’ vote accounts for a full one percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting the 2013 award recipient. To vote: go.osu.edu/osuvote4hobey.

Hjelle, who has started 14 games for the Buckeyes and played in 16, leads the NCAA with a 1.44 goals-against average and is second nationally with a .952 save percentage. He has allowed one goal or less in 11 games this year. Dzingel is first for the Buckeyes with nine goals and 17 points. Three of his goals have been game-winners (including in both 1-0 Ohio State wins this year), tying him for seventh in the NCAA and first in the CCHA.

Buckeyes in the NHL
Buckeyes at NHL training camps this week included Nate Guenin (Anaheim), Matt Bartkowski (Boston), Zac Dalpe (Carolina), RJ Umberger (Columbus), Tyson Strachan (Florida) and David Steckel (Toronto). Ryan Kesler is with Vancouver but is injured.

Buckeyes vs. Wildcats
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northern Michigan, 37-36-3, but trails in Marquette, 11-26-2. The teams met in Columbus in November, with Ohio State posting a sweep with 2-0 and 4-2 wins. The teams last met in Marquette Oct. 29-30, 2010, a sweep by the Wildcats (2-1, 4-3).

Wildcats Writeup
Northern Michigan enters the series 9-10-4 overall and 3-9-4 in the CCHA. The squad is on a four-game unbeaten streak, sweeping St. Cloud State on the road before returning to CCHA play vs. Miami at home. The Wildcats topped the RedHawks in game one, 2-1, before skating to a 3-3 OT tie/shootout loss in game two. The squad is averaging 2.26 goals a game while allowing 2.65 an outing. The power play is 13 percent (12-for-92) and the penalty kill is 78.2 percent (79-for-101).

Senior forward Matt Thurber leads the team with 17 assists and 18 points. Reed Seckel is second with 16 points and shares the goal-scoring lead with sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty with eight each. Junior forward Stephan Vigier is second with nine assists and third with 13 points. In goal Jared Coreau has a 9-10-4 record, with a 2.59 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

Earlier This Season - Ohio State Sweeps Northern Michigan
A team effort propelled Ohio State to a 2-0 victory over No. 19 Northern Michigan Nov. 16 in Value City Arena. Senior goalie Brady Hjelle stopped all 20 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season, while junior Travis Statchuk and sophomore Max McCormick scored for the Buckeyes and Ryan Dzingel had two assists. Ohio State dominated play in the first period, outshooting the Wildcats, 19-1, with Statchuk opening the scoring at 8:56 of the stanza. The teams were scoreless through the second, as NMU outshot Ohio State, 11-8. In the third, McCormick’s power play goal at 11:53 extended the Buckeye lead to 2-0. Hjelle added eight saves and the Buckeye defense held off the Wildcats for the final 1:40 with their net empty to preserve the shutout.

Nov. 17, third-period goals from juniors Alex Szczechura and Chris Crane lifted Ohio State to a 4-2 victory and series sweep of Northern Michigan. The Buckeyes trailed 1-0 after the first period before back-to-back power play goals from redshirt freshman Riley Simpson and sophomore Ryan Dzingel in a 1:42 span gave the squad a 2-1 lead early in the second stanza. The Wildcats tied the game with a power play goal of their own at 6:34 of the second. Szczechura then broke the tie 1:50 into the third and Crane extended the lead to 4-2 at 8:06. Crane and sophomore Dzingel each had a goal and an assist in the game, while sophomore Tanner Fritz had two assists. Ohio State outshot the Wildcats, 42-14, in the contest.

Last Time Out - Ohio State Splits Series with Ferris State
Behind 38 saves from senior goalie Brady Hjelle, and two goals from junior Chris Crane, Ohio State defeated Ferris State, 3-1, Friday night at Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Buckeyes led the Bulldogs 2-0 after the first period on goals by Crane and junior Alex Szczechura and the teams were scoreless in the middle stanza. Crane added his second of the game 1:52 into the third period to extend the Buckeye lead to 3-0. The Bulldogs got on the board at 11:13 but could get no closer, as Ohio State and Hjelle shut down Ferris State the rest of the way. Ohio State’s penalty kill was 5-for-5 in the game and Ohio State blocked 17 shots.

In game two Saturday night, Ohio State was unable to recover from a 2-0 first-period deficit and fell to Ferris State, 3-1, Saturday night. The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard at 13:33 and made it 2-0 32 seconds later. Neither team scored in the second. The Buckeyes cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Max McCormick at 7:54 of the third but could get no closer and the Bulldogs sealed the win with a late empty-net goal. Ohio State was outshot, 28-26, in the game, with Hjelle making 25 saves. Ohio State was scoreless on six power play chances and stopped the Bulldogs on two chances, including a five-minute major in the first period.

Buckeye This and That
• Ohio State was 7-for-7 on the penalty kill vs. Ferris State in the series last weekend, including 5-for-5 Friday and stopping a five-minute major power play Saturday. The squad has held its opponent scoreless in seven of the last 11 games (.882, 30-for-34). The squad has not allowed more than one power play goal since giving up five in the season-opening series at Minnesota Duluth (three in the first game, two in the second game).
• Ohio State, which has had a number of players miss time with injuries this season, had two players return from injury in the series with Ferris State. Sophomore forward Nick Oddo played his first game since Oct. 27 at Bowling Green, while freshman defenseman Sam Jardine played his first game since Nov. 10 vs. Alaska. Both had an assist in the Friday win vs. Ferris State.
• In scoring among sophomores nationally, Ohio State’s class ranks eighth, averaging 2.73 points a game, combining for 60 points. Sophomores are the Top 3 point scorers on the squad this year.
• Ohio State is seventh in the NCAA in team defense, allowing 2.05 goals a game. The team has held opponents to one goal or less in seven of the last 14 games.
• Ohio State is 6-4-3 in road games this year, including a 5-2-1 ledger in road CCHA contests. The squad is scoring 2.1 goals a game, while allowing 2.0. Tanner Fritz leads the team with 11 road points, including a team-high eight assists. Ryan Dzingel is first with five goals in road games.
• Ohio State played 11 of its first 18 games away from Columbus and the second half of the year begins with six games away from Value City Arena. Eight of the team’s final 12 games will be at home.
• The Buckeyes have eight goals in their last three games combined (2.67 goals per game) but has been held to two or fewer goals in five of its last eight games. Ohio State is averaging 1.95 goals a game on the year.
• Ohio State, Bowling Green, Canisius, Clarkson, Miami, RPI and Wisconsin lead the nation with five ties each.
• Every Buckeye skater has at least one point this year. Fourteen Buckeyes have at least one goal and 23 have at least one assist. Nick Oddo and Al McLean each had their first assists of the year at Ferris State.

Between the Pipes
• Goalie Brady Hjelle, who has played in 16 games and started 15, is first in the NCAA with a CCHA-best 1.44 goals-against average and is second in the NCAA (and first in the league) with a .952 save percentage. The senior has started 10 of the last 11 games and played in 11 of the last 12. He has allowed more than one goal just five times in 16 appearances this year.
• His three shutouts are tied for fourth in the NCAA and first in the CCHA.
• In CCHA play, Hjelle has a league-best .92 goals-against average, .968 save percentage and three shutouts.
• Hjelle has eight games with 30 or more saves, including a career-high 38 in a 3-1 win at Ferris State Friday night and then-career-high tying 37 vs. Robert Morris Dec. 8.
• Hjelle has been the first or second star in nine of 10 league starts, with a league-best seven first star honors and 41 Perani Cup points.
• Hjelle is a three-time CCHA Goaltender of the Week and was the CCHA Goaltender of the Month for November. In November, he had a league-best .62 goals-against average and .978 save percentage, playing in five games (with four starts) and did not allow more than one goal in any appearance. He allowed three total goals, with two of the three on the power play.
• Freshman Collin Olson is the first Buckeye true freshman to see game time between the pipes for Ohio State since Cal Heeter in 2008-09. He started vs. Penn State Dec. 29, his first game action since Nov. 24 at Lake Superior State.

Up Front
• Junior forward Chris Crane had his second two-point game of the season with two goals at Ferris State Friday night. It was his third career two-goal game and first since Nov. 19, 2011 at Michigan. Crane now has five goals and seven points this season, tying for third on the team in goals.
• Junior Alex Szczechura scored Friday night at Ferris State, giving him goals in back-to-back games. He a point in seven of the last 12 games and has a 3-6-9 line on the year.
• Sophomore Tanner Fritz had an assist in each game at Ferris State, ending a season-high six-game scoreless streak. He now leads Ohio State with 12 assists and is second with 15 points.
• Sophomore Max McCormick had an assist Friday at Ferris State before scoring a goal Saturday. He is second on the team with seven goals and ranks third with 12 points.
• In CCHA games only, Fritz is tied for fifth with 13 points, while Dzingel is tied for ninth with 12 points. Fritz is third with 11 assists and Dzingel and Crane are tied for 11th with five goals in league play. Dzingel’s three game-winning goals are tied for first.
• In all games, Dzingel is tied for 10th in scoring among CCHA players. Dzingel is tied for sixth in goals, with McCormick tied for 14th. Fritz is fifth (tied) in assists.
• Freshman Tyler Lundey, who missed the Ferris State series with an illness, has eight points, with three goals and five assists, to lead the Buckeye rookies in scoring. He is tied for 11th in the CCHA in scoring among freshmen overall.

On the Blueline
• Ohio State blocked 17 shots vs. Ferris State Friday (and another 10 Saturday), led by junior Curtis Gedig with three in the opener. As a team, Ohio State has 338 recorded blocked shots, while its opponents have blocked 267 of its attempts. Justin DaSilva is first with 41 blocked shots, followed by Al McLean with 38, Gedig with 36 and Brandon Martell with 35. Every Buckeye skater has at least one blocked shot this year. (Individual blocks were not recorded in the series at Minnesota Duluth).
• Freshman Craig Dalrymple leads the Buckeye defensemen in scoring with six points, on a goal and five assists. He is tied for seventh in scoring among CCHA rookie blueliners (and tied for 14th among all CCHA freshmen). Dalrymple leads Ohio State witha +7 mark in CCHA play, tying for 10th among all CCHA players and ranking second among freshmen and fifth among defensemen.
• Al McLean’s assist at Ferris State Saturday night was his first point this season.