Drop the Puck The Ohio State men’s hockey team steps out of conference play for a home-and-home series with Robert Morris this weekend. The Buckeyes (7-4-3, 6-2-2-1 CCHA) and Colonials (5-4-1, 4-3-1 Atlantic Hockey) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday in Value City Arena in Columbus. Saturday, the squads will meet at 7:05 p.m. in 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh.
Follow Along Both games this weekend will be streamed online for a fee. Friday night, the matchup will be on Buckeye Vision, part of the Big Ten Digital Network package. Saturday the contest will be available through America One Sports through RMUColonials.com.
For both games vs. Robert Morris, 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.
As always, links for audio, video and live stats are on the Buckeye Hockey Gameday page (go.osu.edu/mhkygameday) and the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Script Ohio on Ice! Youth Hockey Fun! Friday night in Value City Arena, Script Ohio on Ice will be performed during the first intermission.
Throughout the season, all hockey players eighth grade and under who wear their jerseys to hockey games at Value City Arena receive free admission (with a ticket-purchasing parent). This Friday only, all jersey-wearing youth eighth grade and under are invited to a postgame meet and greet and lockerroom tour with the Buckeyes. Youth and their parents should meet in Section 104 of Value City Arena postgame.
Tickets! Get your Tickets! Single-game tickets for the 2012-13 Ohio State men’s hockey home schedule can be purchased at the arena on game night. 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 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).
Up Next The Buckeyes will close out the first half of the season with two games vs. Miami in Value City Arena next week. The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and at 8:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. At the Buckeyes’ game Friday vs. the RedHawks, the first 3,000 fans will get free fan fans. Postgame Saturday, there will be an autograph session on the concourse level.
Buckeye Brief The Buckeyes, winners of five of their last six games, are 7-4-3 overall and 6-2-2-1 in CCHA play to stand in a tie for second place. The squad is scoring 2.07 goals a game while allowing 1.86 goals per game to rank sixth in the nation in team defense. The team is 6-for-62 (.097) on the power play and 50-for-59 (.847) on the penalty kill.
Sophomores Ryan Dzingel and Tanner Fritz are tied for first with 13 points each. Dzingel has a team-best six goals and Fritz leads the squad with 10 assists. Sophomore Max McCormick is second with eight points and tied with classmate Matt Johnson for second with four goals each. Senior Brady Hjelle has played in nine games and has a 1.23 goals-against average and .957 save percentage to rank second nationally in both categories, while his three shutouts are tied for third in the NCAA. Freshman Collin Olson has played six games and has a 2.68 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Buckeyes vs. Colonials The Buckeyes are 3-2-1 all-time vs. Robert Morris, but 0-2 in Columbus and 3-0-1 at neutral sites. Last season, Ohio State topped Robert Morris, 4-2, Dec. 30, 2011, at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The teams last met in Columbus Oct. 15, 2010, a 4-3 RMU win. The series dates to November 2007, when the squads skated to a 5-5 tie in Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh Nov. 16 before the Colonials won in Columbus Nov. 18.
The teams will both participate in the College Hockey Invitational Dec. 28-29 in CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Ohio State takes on Miami in the first round, while Robert Morris faces Penn State. The teams coudl meet on day two.
Last Year - Ohio State 4, Robert Morris 2 In the last meeting betweeen the teams, Ohio State posted a 4-2 victory over Robert Morris Dec. 30, 2011, at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh in the RMU Hockey Showcase. The Buckeyes rallied from a goal down twice in the first period and the teams were deadlocked at 2 after the opening stanza. Defenseman Curtis Gedig scored Ohio State’s first goal, with Nick Oddo tallying the second just 32 seconds after RMU regained the lead. Defenseman Devon Krogh’s 5-on-3 goal in the second period broke a 2-all tie and stood as the eventual gamewinner. The final goal was an empty-netter by Chris Crane with 14 seconds remaining. Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter had 33 saves in the game. Oddo added an assist for his second career two-point night and Dries had two assists. In all, nine Buckeyes had a point in the win.
Colonial Chatter Robert Morris enters the weekend 5-4-1 on the year and has a 4-3-1 ledger in Atlantic Hockey play. The squad posted a 4-3 win at 1-1 OT tie at Holy Cross last weekend. The Colonials are averaging 2.90 goals a game and allowing 2.60 an outing. The power play is 4-for-42 (.095) and the penalty kill is 40-for-48 (.833).
Senior Zach Hervato is first with six goals and 12 points and third with six assists. Junior Colin South is second with five goals and 10 points. Sophomores Scott Jacklin and Jeff Jones lead the team with seven assists each. In goal senior Eric Levine is 4-2-1 and has a 2.27 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Freshman Terry Shafer is 1-2-0, with a 2.70 gaa and .902 sv%.
Hjelle Honored Senior Brady Hjelle picked up CCHA Goaltender of the Week and Month honors earlier this week. He is now a three-time CCHA Goaltender of the Week honoree.
Hjelle allowed just one goal in the Buckeyes’ series sweep at Michigan State to pick up back-to-back weekly awards. Hjelle allowed just one goal in two wins at Michigan State (.50 gaa), stopping 53-of-54 shots for a .981 save percentage. He was the first star both nights in his first back-to-back starts of the year. Hjelle and the Buckeyes held the Spartans, who came into the weekend second in the CCHA on the power play, scoreless in six chances.
For November, Hjelle had a league-best .62 goals-against average and .978 save percentage. He played in five games, starting four, and did not allow more than one goal in any appearance. He had four starts and was the first star in all four, and came on in relief 15 minutes into his other appearance. He allowed three total goals, with two of the three on the power play (one a 5x3 vs. Alaska Nov. 9, one a 6x4 score late at Lake Superior State Nov. 23). Hjelle had 31 or more saves in three outings.
On the year, Hjelle has a 1.23 goals-against average and .957 save percentage, ranking second in the NCAA and first in the CCHA. He is tied for third nationally with three shutouts.
Last Time Out - Buckeyes Sweeps Spartans Ohio State posted its second sweep of the season – and first road sweep – with two wins at Michigan State over the weekend. Ohio State won 1-0 in game one and then rallied for a 3-1 victory in game two Saturday.
Game 1: A third-period goal by sophomore Ryan Dzingel broke a scoreless tie as Ohio State men’s defeated Michigan State, 1-0, Friday in Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Buckeye senior goalie Brady Hjelle had 31 saves for his third shutout of the season. The teams were scoreless through the first two periods, with each squad having a goal overturned in the middle stanza. Dzingel’s gamewinner, assisted by Alex Szczechura and Curtis Gedig, came with just 2:13 remaining in regulation.
Game 2: Two-point nights from freshman Tyler Lundey and sophomores Tanner Fritz and Ryan Dzingel, along with 22 saves from senior Brady Hjelle, helped Ohio State to a come-from-behind 3-1 victory at Michigan State Saturday night. Ohio State trailed 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes after a goal by MSU’s Chris Forfar at 9:20 of the first period. In the second, Fritz tied the game at 6:50 before Lundey gave Ohio State the lead on a goal with just 1:05 left in the period. The Buckeyes held off the Spartans in the third and a shorthanded, empty net tally by Lundey, assisted by Fritz, with 21 seconds remaining sealed the win. Dzingel had two assists in the victory, while Fritz had the sole assist on Lundey’s second goal.
Buckeye This and That • As a team, Ohio State is holding opponents to 1.86 goals a game, ranking sixth in the NCAA. The squad has allowed more than one goal just three times in its last eight games. In CCHA games only, the Buckeyes are holding opponents to 1.40 goals a game to rank first. • After playing 10 of their first 14 games on the road, the Buckeyes will close the first half of the season with three of four games in Columbus. After the home-and-home series with Robert Morris this weekend, Ohio State will close out first-half play with two games vs. Miami in Value City Arena. • In scoring among sophomores nationally, Ohio State’s class ranks fifth, averaging 3.07 points a game. Sophomores are the Top 4 point scorers on the squad this year. • Ohio State has a power play goal in four of the last seven games and is 5-for-29 (17.2) over the stretch but was held scoreless in five chances in the series at Michigan State. • The Buckeye penalty kill was 6-for-6 at Michigan State and has not allowed a power play goal in its last three games (9-for-9). The squad faced a season-low one chance (after a season-low one penalty) Friday night vs. the Spartans. • The Buckeyes’ win Saturday night was their second this season after trailing after the first period. The team is 4-1-0 when leading after the first and 2-2-1 when trailing after the first. The squad is 5-1 when scoring first. • Ohio State is 6-2-2 in its last 10 games (5-1 in the last six) 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.
Up Front • Sophomore Ryan Dzingel is on a seven-game point streak, with four goals, six assists and 10 points in the stretch. He scored the third-period gamewinner Friday night and then had two assists Saturday. The game was his fifth career two-assist outing and his second this season. • Dzingel has a team-best three gamewinning goals (tying for third nationally), including the gamewinners in both of the Buckeyes’ 1-0 victories this season. All three of his GWG have been in league play to rank first. • Sophomore Tanner Fritz, who had a five-game point streak ended last Friday night vs. the Spartans, has two points in four of his last five games after a goal and an assist Saturday vs. Michigan State. • Fritz and Dzingel lead the Buckeyes with 13 points each. Fritz is first with 12 assists and Dzingel has a team-best six goals. • Junior Alex Szczechura has a point in three of his last four games after he was a healthy scratch in three of the previous five outings. • In all games, Fritz and Dzingel are tied for fifth in scoring among CCHA players. Dzingel is sixth (tied) in goals and Fritz is fourth in assists. • In CCHA games only, Dzingel is tied for third with 12 points and Fritz is fifth with 11 points. Fritz is tied for second with nine assists, with Dzingel tied for fourth with seven. Dzingel is tied for sixth with five goals in league play. Dzingel is tied for fifth in power play points (5) and Fritz is tied for ninth (4). • Freshman Tyler Lundey had his first career multiple-point game and the first multiple-goal game for a Buckeye this season Saturday night vs. Michigan State Saturday. He leads the Buckeye freshmen with three goals and six points this season. His second goal was shorthanded, the second SHG for a Buckeye this year. • Sophomore Matt Johnson, who is fourth on the squad with six points and tied for second with four goals, is tied for eighth in the CCHA with a +6 mark in league play. In all games, his +7 mark is tied for 10th.
On the Blueline • As a team, Ohio State has 208 recorded blocked shots, while its opponents have blocked 155 of its attempts. Al McLean is first with 22 recorded blocked shots, followed by Al McLean with 21, Brandon Martell has 16, Curtis Gedig has 15 and Craig Dalrymple has 13. Every Buckeye skater has at least one blocked shot this year. (Individual blocks were not recorded in the series at Minnesota Duluth). • Sophomore Al McLean had eight blocked shots in the series at Michigan State, with five in the opener. • Freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple was +3 Saturday night vs. Michigan State, his second +3 outing this season (11/23/12 at Lake Superior State). • Dalrymple and junior Cutis Gedig lead the Buckeyes and are tied for sixth in the CCHA with +8 ratings this season. In league play, Dalrymple is +9 to tie for third and Gedig is +7 to rank seventh. • Dalrymple and Gedig lead the blueliners with three assists each. Gedig had a helper on the team’s game-winning goal in the 1-0 win Friday at Michigan State. • Senior blueliner Devon Krogh leads the current squad in career games played with 107, the lone Buckeye to hit triple-digits.