COLUMBUS, Ohio – With points from 12 skaters, including the 100th point of senior John Albert’s career, the Ohio State men’s hockey team downed Alabama-Huntsville, 5-1, Saturday in Value City Arena. The win gives Ohio State a sweep of the Chargers after a 6-2 win Friday.
The Buckeyes (4-5-0) led 1-0 after the first period. The Chargers (1-8-1) tied the game just two minutes into the second period but Ohio State scored four unanswered, with two goals in both the second and third periods, for the non-conference victory.
Albert’s 100th point was a third-period assist on Chris Crane’s power-play tally. He is the 52nd Buckeye to join the ‘Century Club’ and the first since Tom Fritsche in 2008. Crane and C.J. Severyn both ended the game with two points on a goal and an assist, while Alex Lippincott had two assists.
The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period, as Cory Schneider tallied at 16:42. Curtis Gedig got the puck down low to Severyn. The puck went over to Schneider in the slot, and he was able to beat the goalie wide for his first tally of the year. The Buckeyes outshot the Chargers, 12-5, in the period. The teams had five power-play chances – Ohio State was 0-for-3 and UAH was 0-for-2.
The Chargers scored on the power play just two minutes into the second period to deadlock the game at 1. Neil Ruffini came around the net and tallied his third of the year, with assists from Keenan Desmet and Justin Cseter. The Buckeyes responded just 59 seconds later to regain the lead, as Sergio Somma and Crane cycled along the boards. Severyn picked the puck up behind the net and scored on a wrap around from a bad angle. At 11:35 a Shane Sims wrist shot went off Alex Sczcechura and in, with Danny Dries on the second assist, to extend the lead to 3-1. The Buckeyes had 20 shots in the stanza, with UAH putting nine on goal. The Chargers had the only two power-play chances, scoring once.
The Buckeyes tallied twice in less than four minutes in the third period to put the game out of reach. The first goal came from Crane on the power play. Albert and Lippincott both put shots on net that were saved, and the puck went to Crane at the post who slid the puck into the net with the goalie out of position at 13:09. The final goal came at 16:51. Lippincott passed to Patrick Schafer, who found Paul Kirtland at the far post with a cross-crease pass. Kirtland redirected the puck past the UAH goalie for his first score of the campaign. Shots were 17-7 for the Buckeyes in the period. Ohio State was 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the period, including holding the Chargers scoreless on a 5-on-3 advantage for the first 1:18 of the stanza.
For the game, the Buckeyes outshot the Chargers, 49-21. Cal Heeter made 20 saves for the Buckeyes in 59:52. C.J. Groh had 44 stops in 59:46 for UAH.
Ohio State was 1-for-5 on the power play in the game, with UAH 1-for-7.
The Buckeyes will return to action with a two-game CCHA series at Michigan State next week. The teams will meet at 6:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Albert had 24 goals and 76 assists in his Buckeye career, skating in 131 games.
Somma and Albert share the team lead with 10 points each. Somma has a team-high six goals, while Albert is first with seven assists.
Lippincott and Crane both had the first multiple point games of their Buckeye careers.
Kirtland’s goal, Schafer’s assist and Schneider’s tally marked the first point for all three players this season.
Sixteen of the 18 Buckeye skaters were +1 or better in the game.
Chris Luongo, Alabama-Huntsville head coach
On Alabama-Huntsville performance
“We didn’t take advantage of the 5-on-3 powerplay. I thought we plugged away but couldn’t get anything out of it. Our guys got frustrated and started searching for ways to score. I thought for the most part we executed and had some chances for opportunity.”
On Alabama-Huntsville season
“I thought we played better tonight. We’ve played a tough schedule so far. We had an uptick at Michigan State, where we lost one and were able to tie another. The first game here last night was a down night for us psychologically coming off those games [at Michigan State]. Playing a challenging schedule has its upsides with wins and its downsides with losses. On the outside it might look like we’ve played a string of bad games, but from our side we’ve learned about ourselves and what we can do to have success later.”
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On the win vs. Alabama-Huntsville
“We knew coming in we would be facing a different team. We knew they would play harder and smarter than last night and it was a good challenge for us. That was a small step and we needed to learn how to win back-to-backs (games).”
On all four lines scoring goals tonight
“Having a balanced attack is great; you would love to see that every night. Pat (Schafer) was a big positive for the team. Alex Lippincott is starting to hear a lot of the things we are talking about. He always had the physical stature and now he’s applying hockey smarts.”
On the defensive performance
“I think this deserves a hats off to the forwards. If we protect the puck and get it in deep we prevent the rush coming back to our defense.”
C.J. Severyn senior forward
On the confidence of the team after the sweep
“We needed two wins. We were 2-5 and this definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into the game against Michigan State as everyone chipped in offensively.”
Chris Crane freshman forward
On the freshmen’s performance
“At first it was an adjustment getting use to the speed of play and the physicality at the college level, but it was our hard work that paid off and gets us goals and wins at the end of the day.”
John Albert senior forward
On recording his 100th point
“There are some elite players here at Ohio State, but it was in the back of my mind I was getting close.”