Ice Hockey

Buckeyes Back in Action vs. Mercyhurst This Weekend

Dec. 26, 2013

Ohio State vs. Mercyhurst
Saturday, Dec. 28 - 7:05 p.m. 
Sunday, Dec. 29 - 8:05 p.m. 
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio 

RELATED INFO
• Buckeye Hockey Gameday Page: go.osu.edu/mhkygameday
• Ohio State Game Notes: PDF
• Live Stats: Saturday Sunday
• Webstream ($): Saturday Sunday
• Radio: OhioStateSports.net
• Compete 2013-14 schedule: go.osu.edu/mhkysked1314
• Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's hockey team (8-6-0, 0-2-0-0 B1G) returns to action with two non-conference games vs. Mercyhurst (9-7-2, 7-1-1 AHA) this weekend. The Buckeyes and Lakers will meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 8:05 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena in Columbus.

Follow Along
The games between Ohio State and Mercyhurst will be streamed online through BTN.com and are available as part of the Buckeye Vision subscription package. The games will be available through the BTN2Go website and app for cable subscribers (depending on carrier).

Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio will call the action online for free through OhioStateSports.net.

Audio, video and live stats links for the games vs. Mercyhurst, as well as all games throughout the season, are on the men's hockey schedule page or gameday page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, with in-game updates also on Twitter @OhioState_MHKY.

The Fun Stuff - Meet and Greets Planned Sunday
Sunday is Youth Hockey Night in Value City Arena. All children 13 and under who wear their youth team hockey jersey to the game are invited to the Ohio State lockerroom postgame for a tour and meet and greet with selection Ohio State players.

In addition Sunday night, select players will be available on the concourse level for a meet and greet for all fans.

Last Time Out
Ohio State last played Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, facing No. 3-ranked Michigan in the inaugural Big Ten Conference series for both squads. The Wolverines captured two one-goal wins, with a 4-3 overtime victory Nov. 29 in Ann Arbor and a 5-4 win Dec. 2 in Columbus.

Mercyhurst skated to a 5-5 tie vs. Robert Morris Dec. 14 in its last time out and enters the series with the Buckeyes on a five-game (4-0-1) unbeaten streak.

A Look Ahead
After the series vs. Mercyhurst, Ohio State will be off until Jan. 10-11 when it hosts Michigan State in a two-game Big Ten Conference series. Those games open a stretch of 18-consecutive conference matchups (nine in Columbus) to close the regular season, leading to the Big Ten Tournament March 20-22 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Ticket Talk
Tickets for all Buckeye hockey home games can be purchased at the arena on game night, 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. Single game tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for student/youth and seniors.

Again this year, all Ohio State students will receive free admission to regular-season home games with a valid BuckID.

Any youth 13 or under wearing their youth jersey can receive one complimentary ticket to any regular season game in Value City Arena. The promotion is only available at the Schottenstein Center Box Office on game night.

Fans interested in season tickets, a 10-game mini plan that includes all 10 Big Ten games in Columbus or group tickets should contact the athletic ticket sales staff for details. Account executives can be reached by phone (1-800-GOBUCKS; select option 2) or email (athleticsales@osu.edu).

The More the Buckeyes Score ...
This season, when the Buckeyes score three goals in a game, all patrons in attendance will receive a coupon for free french fries from participating McDonald's of Columbus and Central Ohio. If the Buckeyes hit the four-goal mark, the coupons will be upgraded to a free Big Mac instead of french fries. For Raising Cane's Power Plays this season, if the Buckeyes score on their first power play of the game, fans in attendance will receive a coupon for a free chicken finger, while select fans in attendance will receive a buy one, get one combo offer coupon.

All-Buckeye Team
The Ohio State men's hockey team is celebrating its first 50 years as a program this season. As part of the festivities, an All-Buckeye Team will be selected through a fan vote. One goalie, two defensemen and three forwards will be selected and recognized at the Buckeyes' home game vs. Penn State Feb. 1. Voting began with the goalies, followed by the defensemen. Selection of the Top 3 forwards opened Monday and closes Jan. 12. For information on the candiates and to vote, visit: go.osu.edu/Vote4AllBuckeyeTeam. Votes should be based on a player's performance during his time with the Buckeyes and based on his on-ice accomplishments. The nominees are all former Buckeyes who were first or second team all-conference selections and/or Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.

Buckeye Snapshot
Ohio State, under first-year head coach Steve Rohlik, has won eight of its last 11 games and is now 8-6 on the year. The squad is averaging 3.57 goals a game to rank eighth in scoring in the NCAA and is allowing 3.00 a contest. Ohio State's power play is 14-for-72 (.194) and the penalty kill is 50-for-62 (.806).

Junior Ryan Dzingel leads the team with nine goals and 18 points. Junior Max McCormick and senior Alex Szczechura are tied for second with 16 points each, followed by junior Tanner Fritz with 15 points. Fritz has a team-best 13 assists and Szczechura is second with 12 helpers, while McCormick is second with seven goals. In goal, freshman Matt Tomkins has a 2.76 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in nine games but has not played since suffering an injury early in the first period vs. Niagara Nov. 9. Freshman Logan Davis came on in relief vs. Niagara and has started the last four games. He has played in nearly five total games (298:40), with a 2.21 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout.

Last Time Out - Michigan 5, Ohio State 4
The Buckeyes lost to No. 3-ranked Michigan, 5-4, Dec. 2 in Value City Arena in the first Big Ten Conference game in Columbus. Despite being outshot 12-4, Michigan led 1-0 after the first period. After Ohio State's Ryan Dzingel tied the game early in the second, the Wolverines scored three goals in a row, including a score 1:09 after Dzingel's tally, to take an eventual 4-1 lead at 2:49 of the third period. In the third, Ohio State scored three times in less than four minutes to tie the game at 4 with 5:29 left in regulation. Max McCormick scored on the power play at 10:37, David Gust tallied at 13:13 and Tanner Fritz, who assisted on both the McCormick and Gust scores, tied the game at 14:31 with a power play goal. Michigan's Mac Bennett pushed the Wolverines back ahead with the eventual gamewinner at 18:25. Dzingel and Fritz each had three-point nights with a goal and two assists, while senior Alex Szczechura had two assists.

Buckeyes vs. Lakers
Ohio State leads the series with Mercyhurst, 2-1-0. Ohio State won the first meeting in Columbus, Nov. 30, 1999 (5-2) before falling to the Lakers, 3-2, Oct. 24, 2003 in Value City Arena. The last meeting between the teams was Oct. 12, 2007, a 2-1 Ohio State win in the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational in Dayton, Ohio.

Look at the Lakers
Mercyhurst is 9-7-2 overall this year and 7-1-1 in Atlantic Hockey action. The squad enters the series vs. Ohio State on a five-game unbeaten streak, with sweeps of American International (Nov. 29-30) and Sacred Heart (Dec. 6-7) and a tie vs. Robert Morris (Dec. 14). The Lakers are fourth nationally in scoring offense, averaging 3.83 goals a game, and allow 3.17 goals an outing. The power play is 14-for-84 (.167) and the penalty kill has stopped 74-of-88 opponent chances (.841). Matthew Zay leads Mercyhurst and is tied for fifth nationally with 26 points, including a team-high 10 goals. Zay and Daniel O'Donoghue, who is second with 24 assists, are tied for first on the team with 16 assists each. Ryan Misiak is third with 21 points and 15 assists. In goal, Jimmy Sarjeant has played in 15 games and has a 9-3-2 record, 2.57 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

The AHA
Mercyhurst is a member of Atlantic Hockey Association. Ohio State is 33-11-2 all-time vs. the current members of the conference, including a 6-0 ledger this year, with sweeps of Canisius, Niagara and Robert Morris. Ohio State has a winning record vs Air Force (14-6), Army (2-0), Bentley (2-0), Canisius (2-0), Holy Cross (1-0), Mercyhurst (2-1), Niagara (3-1), Robert Morris (5-3-2) and Sacred Heart (2-0) and has never faced American International, Connecticut or RIT.

Dzingel on a Hot Streak
Ryan Dzingelenters the weekend on seven-game goal and point streaks, with an 8-3-11 line in the last seven games combined. He is tied for 14th in the NCAA with .64 goals a game and ranks 15th nationally with 1.29 points per outing. He has a point in all but two games this year and leads the team with nine goals, tying for second in the Big Ten and his 18 points are first for the Buckeyes and second in the league. He has three gamewinning goals to share the league lead and tie for third in the NCAA. Dzingel shared the team scoring lead as a freshman and had a Buckeye-best 16 goals and 38 assists as a sophomore last season.

In the B1G Rankings
Ryan Dzingel is second in scoring among all Big Ten players with 18 points, with Max McCormick and Alex Szczechura tied for fifth (16) and Tanner Fritz ninth (15).
• Dzingel is tied for second in the B1G with nine goals and McCormick is tied for sixth with seven tallies.
• Fritz's 13 assists are tied for second, Szczechura is fifth (12) and McCormick and Dzingel are tied for seventh (9).
• Dzingel is first in the league with 1.29 points per game, with McCormick and Szczechura tied for fourth (1.14). Fritz averages a league-best 1.67 points per outing (a mark that would rank third nationally) but has not played in the required 75 percent of the team's games to qualify for the official rankings.
• Szczechura is third with .86 assists per game, with Dzingel and McCormick tied for sixth (.64). Fritz has 1.44 assists per game that would rank first in the conference (and nationally). Dzingel is tied for second with .64 goals per outing and McCormick is sixth (.50).
• Dzingel is tied for third nationally and tied for first in the Big Ten with three gamewinning goals this season.
• Szchechura is tied for second in the league with seven power play points, with McCormick and Dzingel tied for sixth. Dzingel has three power play goals to tie for fourth in the Big Ten.
• Nick Oddo is +11 to lead Ohio State and rank sixth among all Big Ten players (one of only 2 non-Minnesota players in the Top 9).
• Justin DaSilva's 27 blocked shots are tied for fourth, with Al McLean tied for ninth with 25. DaSilva is second in blocks per game (2.45), with McLean third (2.27) and Josh Healey sixth (2.00).
• Darik Angeli is first in faceoff winning percentage (.645) with a 49-27 mark. McCormick is eight (45-34, .570). Tyler Lundey is 10th with 100 faceoff wins.
•Freshman Drew Brevig is tied for eighth in scoring among defensemen with six points and he is tied for second among rookie defensemen in points.
• Among rookies, Nick Schilkey is tied for 10th with seven points.

WJC Watch
Janik Moser, who signed a National Letter of Intent in November and is scheduled to join the Buckeye program in the fall, is playing for Germany in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. A native of Mannheim, Germany, who skates for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL, Moser was Germany's Player of the Game Thursday after scoring a power play goal vs. Canada.

Goalie News: Frey Joins Ohio State Roster, Gretz Returns to Baseball
Christian Frey has been added to the Ohio State roster as a goaltender. He signed a National Letter of Intent with the squad this fall and is eligible to play for the Buckeyes beginning with the series vs. Mercyhurst this weekend. A native of Arlington, Texas, Frey joins the Ohio State squad from the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL, where he was 10-4, with a 2.29 goals-against average and .911 save percentage and helped the Saints capture the bronze medal at the 2013 Junior Club World Cup. Frey was in his second year with the Saints and also played for the Tri-City Storm, posting a goals-against average of 2.81 and .902 save percentage, with a 23-16-4 record, in his USHL career.

Aaron Gretz, a catcher for the Ohio State baseball team who joined the Buckeye hockey roster in November, is set to return to the baseball team as the squad begins preparations for its spring season.

Dzingel on a Hot Streak
Ryan Dzingel enters the weekend on seven-game goal and point streaks, with an 8-3-11 line in the last seven games combined. He is tied for 14th in the NCAA with .64 goals a game and ranks 15th nationally with 1.29 points per outing. He has a point in all but two games this year and leads the team with nine goals, tying for second in the Big Ten and his 18 points are first for the Buckeyes and second in the league. He has three gamewinning goals to share the league lead and tie for third in the NCAA. Dzingel shared the team scoring lead as a freshman and had a Buckeye-best 16 goals and 38 assists as a sophomore last season.

Special Teams
Ohio State was 4-for-9 (.444) on the power play in its series vs. Michigan and is now 14-for-72 (.194) this season, ranking third among Big Ten teams. Alex Szczechura leads the team with six assists and seven points on the power play, while Ryan Dzingel is first with three power play tallies, followed by Max McCormick, Nick Schilkey and Tyler Lundey with two PPG each. Dzingel and McCormick are tied for second with six power play points.

On the penalty kill vs. Michigan, Ohio State stopped 8-of-9 chances in the series, including all five in game two. Michigan converted its second power play chance in the series opener, ending a streak of 26 consecutive penalties killed by Ohio State and ending a stretch of five-consecutive games the team did not allow a goal on the penalty kill. The Buckeyes are 30-for-31 (.968) in the last seven games combined.

Fritz Back to Form
Junior Tanner Fritz was injured Oct. 15 vs. Bowling Green and missed the next five games, returning Nov. 8 vs. Niagara. He has 13 points (2g, 11a) in the last six games combined since returning, with three assists and four points in his first game back vs. Niagara and two helpers against Niagara Nov. 9, Canisius Nov. 16 and Michigan Nov. 29 and three points, on a goal and two assists, in game two vs. Michigan Dec. 2. Fritz, who led the CCHA in scoring during conference play last year, had a team-best 26 assists a season ago and was second with 37 points. This season, he is tied for second in the Big Ten with 13 assists overall. Of his 13 assists, 10 are first assists, tying for seventh nationally and he is second nationally with six two-assists nights.

McCormick on the Scoresheet
Junior Max McCormick has a point in all but three games this season, with four multiple-point nights. He enters the Mercyhurst series on a three-game point streak, with two goals and two assists in the stretch. McCormick is second on the team with 16 points, including seven goals and nine assists. He had career highs of 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points last year.

Szczechura Posting Points
Senior Alex Szczechura has a point in six of the last seven games, with a 2-9-11 line in the stretch. He has four multiple-point outings in the last six games, including two assists in each game vs. Michigan. Szczechura is second on the team with a career-high 12 assists, passing the career-high 11 he had last year. He has a point in all but four games this season.

Lighting the Lamp
The Buckeyes are averaging 3.57 goals a game, ranking eighth nationally in scoring offense. The squad has four or more goals in seven of the last 11 games and at least three in all but two games this year.

Led by the Juniors
The Buckeye junior class is third in the nation with 76 combined points and ranks second with 5.43 points per game this season (through 14 games). Mercyhurst is first with 106 points in 18 games and Rensselaer is second with 81 points in its first 18 games. Mercyhurst also leads the NCAA with 5.89 points per game from its junior class, followed by the Buckeyes and Cornell (5.38).

Five of the Buckeyes’ top six scorers - Ryan Dzingel, Max McCormick, Tanner Fritz, Nick Oddo and Darik Angeli - are juniors, with the lone exception senior Alex Szczechura.

Streaking
Five Buckeyes carry point streaks into the series vs. Mercyhurst: Ryan Dzingel (7 games, 8-3-11), Tanner Fritz (3 games, 1-6-7), Max McCormick (3 games, 2-2-4), Alex Szczechura (3 games, 1-4-5) and David Gust (2 games, 1-1-2).

In VCA
Ohio State is 7-3-0 in Columbus this season and had a five-game home winning streak ended with its 5-4 loss to Michigan Dec. 2. The squad is averaging 3.7 goals a game in Value City Arena, while allowing 2.5 an outing. Ryan Dzingel leads the team with eight goals and 15 points in VCA, while Tanner Fritz is first with nine assists and second with 11 points. Max McCormick (6g, 4a) and Alex Szczechura (2g, 8a) both have 10 points in the Buckeyes’ 10 games in Columbus.

Block Party
Ohio State blocked 49 shots in its two-game series vs. Michigan, including 30 in the series opener. Justin DaSilva had a team-best six in the game at Michigan, with Al McLean and Curtis Gedig blocking five each. In the home game against the Wolverines, freshmen defensemen Drew Brevig and Josh Healey led the team with five blocks each.

DaSilva is ninth nationally with 2.45 blocks per game and ranks second among Big Ten players. McLean averages 2.27 to rank third in the conference, with Healey sixth (2.00). In all, 10 Buckeyes have double-digit blocks this season.

Contributions from the Freshmen
All six Buckeye freshmen have seen game action this season, with the four skaters all picking up at least one goal and one assist. Nick Schilkey is first with seven points, followed by Drew Brevig (6 points), David Gust (4) and Josh Healey (3). Matt Tomkins and Logan Davis both have seen time between the pipes, with Davis recording his first career assist Dec. 2 vs. Michigan.


 

 

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