Drop the Puck After a trip west to open the campaign, the Ohio State men's hockey team now heads east for a non-conference series at No. 20 Quinnipiac. The Buckeyes (1-1-0, 0-0-0 CCHA) and Bobcats (2-1-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
Last Time Out Ohio State opened the season with a series split at No. 12/13 Minnesota Duluth last weekend at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. The Buckeyes dropped the opener, 6-2, before winning the finale, 3-2.
In game one, the teams were tied 1-1 just 2:56 into the game, with Buckeye freshman Anthony Greco tallying the squad's first goal of the year, before the Bulldogs went on a three-goal run, including two goals in 20 seconds, to take a 4-1 lead after the first 20 minutes. Ohio State sophomore Matt Johnson scored the lone goal of the second period to draw the Buckeyes within two, but UMD scored two power play goals in the third period and outshot Ohio State 14-6 in the stanza to seal the non-conference win.
In game two, a third-period goal from sophomore Max McCormick lifted Ohio State to a 3-2 win. The Buckeyes held a 2-0 advantage after the first period on goals by Alex Carlson and Tanner Fritz before the Bulldogs tied the game with two power play scores in the second period. Early in the third McCormick and Fritz converted a 2-on-1 to put Ohio State back on top and the Ohio State defense held strong to close out the nonconference victory. Freshman goalie Collin Olson made 26 saves between the pipes for Ohio State. Fritz led the Buckeyes with two points in the game.
Noting the Buckeyes and the Series • Buckeye freshman goalie Collin Olson made 26 saves at Minnesota Duluth Saturday to pick up the win in his first collegiate action. He was the first freshman to see action in the net for Ohio State since Cal Heeter in 2008-09. Olson is a native of Apple Valley, Minn. • Eleven Buckeyes had a point vs. the Bulldogs. Max McCormick had an assist in the opener and a goal in game two and Alex Lippincott had a helper in each contest; they were the only Buckeyes with a point in each game vs. Minnesota Duluth. Tanner Fritz had a goal and a helper Saturday for his fourth career multiple point game. • The four Buckeye freshman skaters all played in their first NCAA game Friday at Minnesota Duluth, with three picking up a point. Forward Anthony Greco had a power play goal (the team's first tally of the year) while defenseman Craig Dalrymple and forward Tyler Lundey each posted an assist. Defenseman Sam Jardine led the Buckeyes with five shots on goal. • Friday night, sophomore Matt Johnson scored his first goal of the season with a power-play marker. It was his fourth career goal but first since Oct. 21, 2011 at Michigan State. • Saturday, senior Alex Carlson tallied the game's first goal, his first score since Feb. 11 at Western Michigan.
Wearing the C The Buckeyes have not yet named captains for the 2012-13 season and are designating captains for each weekend. Seniors Alex Carlson and Brandon Martell and sophomore Matt Johnson each wore `C's at Minnesota Duluth and the trio will serve as captains for the series at Quinnipiac as well.
Two Down, Four to Go Ohio State is opening its regular season with six-consecutive road games, traveling first to Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA and then heading to Connecticut for two games with Quinnipiac of the ECAC. CCHA play begins the following week when Ohio State plays at Bowling Green Oct. 26-27. After a bye week, the Buckeyes will open their home schedule with two games against Alaska Nov. 9-10.
It is the longest stretch of road games to open the regular season since 1998-99, when the squad played its first nine games away from Columbus as the Schottenstein Center construction was being completed. That year, the first home game was Nov. 13 vs. Michigan State.
Buckeyes vs. Bobcats The Buckeyes trail the series with Quinnipiac, 3-4. The squads have met in October each of the last three years, splitting the last two series. Last season Ohio State won game one 2-1 before falling 4-3 in game two in Columbus. In the last series in Connecticut to open the 2010-11 campaign, QU won 2-1 before Ohio State posted a 4-0 victory. That series was the first for Mark Osiecki as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats Quinnipiac is 2-1 this year, opening the campaign with a 2-1 win at Maine Oct. 6 before splitting a home series with Robert Morris last weekend (W 4-0, L 0-4). The Bobcats have goals from six players this year and Jeremy Langlois is first with three points, including two assists to tie Clay Harvey for the team lead. Senior Eric Hartzell has started all three games in goal and has a 1.20 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. The squad was 20-14-6 last season and 9-8-5 in the ECAC. Now-junior Connor Jones led the 2011-12 team with 41 points, including 28 assists. Matthew Peca, a sophomore this year, was first with 31 assists and second with 39 points. Langlois had a team-high 17 goals a season ago.
Buckeyes in the Pros Ten Buckeyes were on AHL opening-day rosters: Cal Heeter (Adirondack/Philadelphia), Zac Dalpe (Charlotte/Carolina), Sean Collins (Connecticut/New York Rangers), Mathieu Beaudoin (Hershey/Washington), Corey Elkins and Nate Guenin (Norfolk/Anaheim), Matt Bartkowski (Providence/Boston), Tyson Strachan and Jason DeSantis (San Antonio/Florida) and John Albert (St. John's/Winnipeg). Former Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso is an assistant coach with the Albany Devils.
Six Buckeyes are currently on ECHL rosters: Peter Boyd (Bakersfield), Chris Reed (Cincinnati), Kyle Hood (Colorado), Sean Duddy (Gwinett), CJ Severyn (Orlando) and Hunter Bishop (South Carolina). Former Buckeyes Matt McIlvane (Orlando) and JB Bittner (South Carolina) are assistant coaches in the ECHL this season.
A Pro Joins the Program With the NHL lockout ongoing, former Buckeye All-American RJ Umberger (2001-03), an alternate captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets who has played in 551 NHL games, will serve as the volunteer coach for the Buckeyes. Umberger, the highest draft pick in Ohio State history when he was selected No. 16 overall by Vancouver in 2001, earned his degree in marketing last spring.