Drop the Puck After six road games and four weeks, the Ohio State men's hockey team opens its home season when it hosts Alaska in Value City Arena this weekend. The Buckeyes (2-2-2, 1-0-1-0 CCHA) and Nanooks (4-3-1, 2-2-0-0 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Follow Along For both games vs. Alaska, 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 on the call.
Both games against the Nanooks will be streamed online and accessible through the Buckeye Vision subscription package, which gives access on both OhioStateBuckeyes.com and BTN.com (Ohio State content only).
The Buckeye Hockey Gameday page (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) and the men's hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com has links to video, audio and live stats links for both games this weekend.
Ticket Info Single-game tickets for the 2012-13 Ohio State men's hockey home schedule can be purchased at the arena on game night and are $11 for adults and $8 for youth. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com, in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Ohio State University ticket office in the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Again this year, all Ohio State students will receive free admission to regular-season home games with a valid BuckID.
Fans interested in season tickets, a four or eight game mini plan package or group tickets should contact the athletic ticket sales staff for details. Account executives can be reached by phone (614-292-0043) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Group tickets (10 or more) are available starting at $6 each when purchased in advance.
Autographs Aplenty Fans will have the chance to get autographs before and after the game Saturday. Prior to the game, former Buckeye All-American and now Columbus Blue Jacket forward RJ Umberger, the Buckeyes' volunteer coach, will be signing autographs from 6-6:50. Following the game, the entire 2012-13 squad will be available for autographs. Both sessions will be held on the concourse level by the team shop.
Movember The Buckeyes are growing mustaches as part of the Movember movement to help raise money and bring awareness to men's health issues. Fans can follow along with their progress online: go.osu.edu/mhkymovember, with photos updated weekly.
Buckeyes in Brief The Buckeyes, coming off a bye week, enter the weekend 2-2-2 and opened CCHA play with a 1-0 win and 3-3 tie at Bowling Green Oct. 26-27 in their last time out. The squad is averaging 1.83 goals a game while holding opponents to 2.50 goals an outing. After allowing six goals in the season opener, the Buckeyes have allowed nine goals in their last five games combined (1.8 goals per game). The power play is looking for its first goal since the season opener while the penalty kill has not allowed a power play goal in its last four outings (16-for-16).
Buckeyes vs. Nanooks The Nanooks lead the all-time series by one (25-24-6) but Ohio State leads in Columbus, 14-8-4. The teams met in Columbus last season, skating to a 2-2 tie in the opener Oct. 27 (with Ohio State winning the shootout) before the Buckeyes posted a 6-0 victory in game two.
The squads will meet again this season in Fairbanks, facing off Feb. 8-9, 2013. That series will be the final two-game set as CCHA foes, with Ohio State joining the Big Ten next year and the Nanooks moving to the WCHA.
Nanook Notes Alaska enters the series 4-3-1 overall and is 2-2-0-0 in the conference, splitting a road series at Ferris State (L 3-6, W 3-2) before splitting two games in Fairbanks with Lake Superior State last week (W 2-1, L 2-4). The Nanooks are averaging 2.38 goals a game while allowing 2.75 an outing. The power play is 6-for-39 (.154) and the penalty kill is 27-for-31 (.871).
Cody Kunyk is first on the team with five assists and seven points. Andy Taranto, Colton Beck and Tyler Morley all have three goals to pace the squad. Trevor Campbell, Jarret Granberg and Michael Quinn each have four assists to lead the team. Taranto is second with six points followed by Beck and Campbell with five. In goal Sean Cahill is 2-1-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. Steve Thompson is 2-1-0 and has a 3.00 gaa and .897 svpct. while John Keeney has played one game (0-1-0) and has a 3.06 gaa and .880 save percentage.
Buckeyes vs. Nanooks in 2011-12 The Buckeyes earned five points in a home series vs. Alaska Oct. 27-28, 2011, with a shootout win in the opener (2-2 OT tie) and 6-0 shutout victory in game two.
In the series opener, the teams were scoreless through the first two periods before Buckeye Alex Carlson tallied just 38 seconds into the third period to open the scoring. The Nanooks took the lead with two goals in a 1:07 span at 8:02 and 9:09, but Ben Gallacher's power-play shot got through traffic 2:04 later to deadlock the score at 2-all. Neither team could add to its goal total through the rest of the third and overtime, sending the contest to a shootout. In the shootout, Tanner Fritz and sophomore Chris Crane scored for Ohio State, while Cal Heeter stood strong between the pipes for the Buckeyes. Heeter had 34 saves for the Buckeyes in the game.
In game two, Ohio State got two goals from Danny Dries in a 1:46 span, followed by a score from Crane 41 seconds later, on a major power play in the first period for a 3-0 lead. Darik Angeli added a 5-on-3 power-play tally in the middle period for a 4-0 Buckeye advantage after 40 minutes. In the third period, Alex Szczechura tallied, followed by Crane's second goal of the night, to give Ohio State a 6-0 edge. The Buckeye penalty kill was outstanding in the game, with a perfect 8-for-8 performance, including holding Alaska scoreless on a 5-on-3 for 1:50 with less than three minutes left in regulation to preserve the shutout. Heeter had 27 saves in the game for his fourth career shutout, including 13 first-period stops.
Last Time Out - Ohio State at Bowling Green Behind 25 saves from senior Brady Hjelle and an unassisted Ryan Dzingel goal in the first period, Ohio State skated to a 1-0 win at Bowling Green Oct. 26 in the BGSU Ice Arena. Ohio State outshot Bowling Green, 28-25. Hjelle had eight saves in the first, 10 in the second and seven in the third. Neither team was able to score on the power play - Ohio State was 0-for-3 and Bowling Green was 0-for-5.
Ohio State rallied from a two-goal deficit en route to a 3-3 overtime tie at Bowling Green in game two Oct. 27. Ohio State trailed 2-0 early in the second period but scored three times in a 3:13 span midway through the stanza to tie the game and take the lead, with goals from Matt Johnson, Tanner Fritz and Tyler Lundey. A Bowling Green goal at 12:21 of the third period deadlocked the score at 3-all and neither team was able to find the back of the net the rest of the way. The Falcons won the shootout, 1-0 in four rounds, to determine the extra point in the CCHA standings. Freshman goalie Collin Olson had a career-high 36 saves in the game.
Goalie of the Week Brady Hjelle was named the CCHA Goaltender of the Week after he posted 25 saves in a 1-0 shutout win at Bowling Green Oct. 26 in the Buckeyes' last series. Against Bowling Green, Hjelle stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period as Ohio State took a 1-0 lead and added 10 in the second and seven in the third. Hjelle and the Buckeyes were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in the game.
The shutout was Hjelle's third collegiate whitewash and second at Ohio State. He blanked Alabama-Huntsville on the road Nov. 4, 2011 and shut out Minnesota Feb. 27, 2010 while playing for Minnesota Duluth.
Between the Pipes Ohio State goalies senior Brady Hjelle and freshman Collin Olson have split starts the first three series and are expected to again against Alaska. The duo have nearly identical numbers and have played just :02 seconds different (Hjelle 184:42, Olson 184:40). Each has allowed seven goals and they have matching 2.27 goals-against averages, with Hjelle (89 saves) posting a .927 save percentage. Olson's (87 saves) save percentage is .926.
Hjelle had 25 saves in the Buckeyes' 1-0 shutout win at Bowling Green Oct. 26. In the second game vs. the Falcons, Olson had a career-high 36 saves in the Ohio State net. Olson is the first Buckeye true freshman goalie to see game time for Ohio State since Cal Heeter in 2008-09,
Rookie Skaters Each of the four Buckeye rookie skaters has recorded his first career point (if not more) so far this season. Anthony Greco scored the team's first goal of the year in the season opener at Minnesota Duluth Oct. 12 and Tyler Lundey and Craig Dalrymple had assists in the contest. Sam Jardine posted his first point at Quinnipiac Oct. 20. Greco had the squad's first two-assist game of the year with two helpers at Bowling Green Oct. 27, while Lundey had his first collegiate goal vs. the Falcons that same night.
Buckeye This and That • After allowing six goals in the season opener, Ohio State has allowed nine goals in its last five games combined (1.8 goals per game). • Ohio State has not allowed a power play goal in the last four games (16-for-16). • The Buckeyes outshot Bowling Green, 28-25, Oct. 26, the first time they outshot an opponent this season. The team is averaging 24.5 shots a game while allowing 31.8. • The Buckeyes' shutout at Bowling Green Oct. 26 was their first of the season and the first since back-to-back whitewashes Nov. 4-5, 2011 at Alabama-Huntsville. • Ohio State played its first six games on the road. It was the longest streak to start the year since the 1998-99 squad played its first nine games away from Columbus while Value City Arena was being built. • The Buckeyes are opening their first of three four-game homestands this weekend. The team will host Lake Superior State and Notre Dame back to back and then close their home schedule with Western Michigan and Michigan in February. • Sophomore Ryan Dzingel enters the Alaska series on a three-game point streak with two goals and an assist in the stretch. He scored shorthanded at Quinnipiac Oct. 20 and then scored the Buckeyes' lone goal in their 1-0 win at Bowilng Green Oct. 26 before an assist vs. the Falcons Oct. 27. • Sophomore Max McCormick has a point in four of six games this year and leads Ohio State with four points and three assists. • Senior Devon Krogh, who has been out with an injury, may return to the lineup this weekend. He has played in 99 career games for the Scarlet and Gray. • Just three Buckeyes have multiple goals this season - Matt Johnson is first with three, while Ryan Dzingel and Tanner Fritz each have lit the lamp twice. Four other Buckeyes have scored this season. • As a team, Ohio State has 96 recorded blocked shots, while its opponents have blocked just 55 of its attempts. Justin DaSilva is first with 12 recorded blocked shots, the only Buckeye with more than six. (Individual blocks were not recorded in the series at Minnesota Duluth).
Celebrate the Legacy This season marks the final campaign for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The CCHA's 42-year history includes eight NCAA national championships, 664 NHL draft picks (including 35 first-round picks), 33 combined Frozen Four appearances by nine teams, 179 All-Americans and 35 Stanley Cup champions.
Ohio State was a member of the league's inaugural season in 1971-72 (playing the first CCHA game Nov. 12, 1971 vs. St. Louis and winning the first CCHA title) and remained for two more years. The team then competed as an independent for three years before returning to the CCHA in 1976-77, where it has remained.