Buckeyes Ready for Two Games at Michigan State
Tanner Fritz is on a five-game assist streak and leads the Buckeyes with 11 points.
Nov. 28, 2012
OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Friday, Nov. 30 - 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 6:05 p.m.
Munn Ice Arena - East Lansing, Mich.
Buckeye Hockey Gameday
TV: Friday/BTN, Saturday/Comcast (Channel 900 in Mid-Michigan)
Radio: 1460 AM Columbus | Online: 1460 AM
Live Video ($): Saturday Only - Buckeye Vision
Live Stats: Friday Saturday
Drop the Puck
The Ohio State men's hockey team plays its second-consecutive road series, taking on Michigan State this weekend. The Buckeyes (5-4-3, 4-2-2-1 CCHA) and Spartans (4-6-2, 3-4-1-0 CCHA) will meet at 8:05 p.m. Friday and 6:05 p.m. Saturday in Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
Both games this weekend will be televised. BTN will carry the contest Friday night, with Rob Andringa and Dan Kelly calling the action and Lisa Byington rinkside. Saturday, Comcast (Ch. 900 in mid-Michigan) will carry the action, with Ben Holden and Lyle Phair on the call. The game Saturday will be streamed through the Buckeye Vision subscription service on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
For both games vs. Michigan 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 Buckeyes are 5-4-3 overall and 4-2-2-1 in CCHA play to stand in a three-way tie for second place. The squad is scoring and allowing 2.08 goals per game, ranking ninth (tied) in the nation in team defense. The team is 6-for-57 (.105) on the power play and 44-for-53 (.830) on the penalty kill.
Sophomore Tanner Fritz, who has two assists in each of his last three games, is first with nine assists and 11 points. Ryan Dzingel is second with 10 points and first with five goals. Sophomore Max McCormick is third with eight points and tied with classmate Matt Johnson for second with four goals each. Senior Brady Hjelle and freshman Collin Olson split starts in net the first six series. Hjelle is 3-2-2 with a 1.45 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. Olson has a 2-2-1 ledger, 2.68 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Wearing the C
Ohio State has rotated captains this season. For the 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 Travis Statchuk and sophomore Max McCormick donned the letter the last two series vs. Bowling Green and Alaska. Senior Devon Krogh, junior Chris Crane and sophomore Ryan Dzingel served as captains the last two weeks vs. Northern Michigan and at Lake Superior State. This week at Michigan State, the captains are juniors Curtis Gedig and Alex Szczechura and sophomore Tanner Fritz.
Hjelle Named CCHA Goaltender of the Week
For the second time this season, senior Brady Hjelle has been named the CCHA Goaltender of the Week. A native of International Falls, Minn., Hjelle had a league-best 1.14 goals-against average and .961 save percentage over the weekend in the Buckeyes' series split at Lake Superior State. He had 32 saves Friday and 18 saves in relief Saturday, allowing just two goals in the two games combined.
Buckeyes vs. Spartans
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Michigan State, 26-84-8, including 9-45-3 in East Lansing. However, in the last 30 matchups, the series is even at 14-14-2.
Last year, the teams split a series in East Lansing, with the Spartans winning the opener, 3-0, Oct. 20 before Ohio State won game two, 5-2, the next night. In a series in Columbus Feb. 3-4, Michigan State swept the Buckeyes, 6-3 and 3-2.
Michigan State, coming off a bye week, is 4-6-2 on the year and 3-4-1-0 in the CCHA. The squad last played Nov. 16-17, going 0-1-1 at Miami. This marks the team's first two-game league series in East Lansing this season. The Spartans are averaging 2.5 goals a game while giving up 2.92 an outing. The power play is 12-for-49 (.245) and the penalty kill is 46-for-53 (.868).
Sophomore Matt Berry leads the team with seven goals and 13 points. Freshman Matt DeBlouw is tied with sophomore Brent Darnell for the team lead with seven assists each. DeBlouw is second with 11 points, followed by Darnell with 10. In goal junior Will Yanakeff is 2-4-1, with a 3.71 goals-against average and .879 save percentage in seven games played. Freshman Jake Hildebrand is 2-2-1, with a 1.85 gaa and .941 svpct. in six appearances.
Last Time Out - Buckeyes Split Series at Lake Superior State
Ohio State is coming off a series split at Lake Superior State last weekend, posting a 4-1 win Friday before suffering a 3-2 loss Saturday.
Game One: Points from 10 Buckeyes, along with 31 saves from senior goalie Brady Hjelle, led Ohio State to a 4-1 victory at Lake Superior State Friday night in Taffy Abel Arena. Ohio State led 1-0 after the first on a Matt Johnson goal just 2:07 into the game and sophomore classmate Ryan Dzingel scored in the second for a 2-0 Buckeye advantage after 40 minutes. Sophomore Max McCormick extended the lead to 3-0 in the third before the Lakers broke up the shutout with a power play goal at 16:22. Junior Chris Crane sealed the win for the Buckeyes with an empty-net goal. Sophomore Tanner Fritz was the lone Buckeye with multiple points, posting two assists for the second-consecutive game. Ohio State was outshot, 32-28, in the contest.
Game 2: The Buckeyes' rally fell short in a 3-2 loss to the Lakers Saturday to close the series. Ohio State fell behind 2-0 early in the first period before drawing within a goal on a Darik Angeli tally 55 seconds into the second period. An early LSSU goal in the third period extended the lead to 3-1 and served as the eventual gamewinner. Ohio State was able to again draw within one when sophomore Ryan Dzingel scored on the power play with the Buckeye net empty with less than three minutes remaining, but the Lakers held the Buckeyes off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Buckeye sophomore Tanner Fritz had two assists for the third-consecutive game.
Buckeye This and That
The Buckeyes are playing their last two-game road series of the first half of the season. The squad will have a home-and-home series vs. Robert Morris next weekend (Dec. 7-8) before closing out the first half at home vs. Miami. Eleven of the team's 18 first-half games are road contests.
In scoring among sophomores nationally, Ohio State's class ranks sixth, averaging 3.08 points a game. Sophomores are the Top 4 point scorers on the squad this year.
Ohio State is tied for eighth nationally and ranks third in the CCHA in team defense, holding opponents to 2.08 goals a game. In CCHA games only, the Buckeyes are holding opponents to 1.62 goals a game to rank second.
Ohio State has a power play goal in four of the last five games and is 5-for-24 (20.7) over the stretch.
The Buckeyes are 4-1-0 when scoring first this season, but are 1-3-3 in games where they have been scored on first.
Ohio State is 4-2-2 in its last eight games after posting just one win in its first four games of the year.
Nineteen Buckeye skaters have at least one point this year. Twelve Buckeyes have at least one goal and 19 have at least one assist. Chad Niddery and Darik Angeli both posted their first point of the season in the win Friday night at Lake Superior State.
Ohio State has scored 10 goals in its last three games combined after scoring more than two goals just twice in the first nine games.
Noting the Goalies
Senior Brady Hjelle is third in the NCAA with a 1.45 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. He has not allowed more than one goal in a game since giving up six in the season opener at Minnesota Duluth Oct. 12.
Hjelle leads the CCHA with a .62 goals-against average and .977 save percentage. He has been the first star in all four of his league starts and has saved 125-of-128 shots in CCHA outings.
Freshman Collin Olson is the first Buckeye true freshman to see time in net since Cal Heeter was a rookie in 2008-09. Olson had a team season-high 42 saves vs. Alaska Nov. 10.
Sophomore Tanner Fritz is on a five-game assist streak, with eight helpers in the stretch. He has two assists in each of his last three games and four two-point outings on the year. Fritz now leads the Buckeyes with 11 points and nine assists.
Sophomore Ryan Dzingel is on a five-game point streak (3G, 4A, 7P) and has a point in eight of his last nine games. Dzingel is first on the team with five goals and ranks second with 10 points.
Sophomore Max McCormick has a point in three of the last four games and in all but four games on the year. He is third on the squad with eight points.
In CCHA play, Dzingel and Fritz are tied for third with nine points each. Dzingel is tied for fourth with four goals and Fritz is tied for first with eight assists.
Sophomore Matt Johnson, who is tied for fourth on the squad with five points and ranks tied for second with four goals, is tied for sixth in the CCHA with a +5 mark in league play.
In all games, Fritz is tied for seventh in scoring among CCHA players, with Dzingel tied for 13th. Fritz's third assists are third and Dzingel's five goals are tied for seventh.
The four Buckeye rookie skaters have all recorded their 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. (Greco and Jardine are both currently out with injuries.)
On the Blueline
As a team, Ohio State has 178 recorded blocked shots, while its opponents have blocked 133 of its attempts. Justin DaSilva is first with 20 recorded blocked shots, followed by Al McLean with 14, Curtis Gedig and Brandon Martell with 13 each and Craig Dalrymple with 12. All but one Buckeye skaters have at least one blocked shot. (Individual blocks were not recorded in the series at Minnesota Duluth).
Defenseman Curtis Gedig was a career-high +4 Friday night at Lake Superior State to lead Ohio State, while freshman Craig Dalrymple was a personal best +3 that night.
Senior blueliner Devon Krogh leads the current squad in career games played with 105, the lone Buckeye to hit triple-digits.
The Coaching Staff
Mark Osiecki is in his third year at the helm of the Buckeyes. He will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team and will be behind the bench at the IIHF World Junior Championship for the third time this winter. Osiecki was with Team USA in 2011 when the squad won bronze and in 2010 when the team won the gold medal. Those tournaments marked the first time the U.S. medaled in back-to-back years.
Osiecki is joined by associate head coach Steve Rohlik, also in his third year, and Joe Exter, who is in his second year with the program. Layne LeBel is in his second campaign as the team's director of operations.
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.