Feb. 1, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State freshman forward Tom Fritsche was named the INCH Player of the Week, insidecollegehockey.com announced Tuesday. Fritsche, from Parma, Ohio, had five points and was on the ice for 10 of 11 Buckeye goals in OSU’s sweep of Western Michigan Jan. 28-29.
Against the Broncos, Fritsche had three goals and two assists and a team-best +4 rating. Along with being on the ice for all but one Buckeye goal, he was not on the ice for a goal against, as OSU held WMU to just three goals on the weekend.
After posting an assist in OSU’s 4-3 win Jan. 28, Fritsche posted his second four-point game of the season in OSU’s 7-0 victory Jan. 29, as he recorded his first career multiple-goal game and hat trick to earn first star of the game honors. After posting an assist on Kyle Hood’s power-play goal less than three minutes into the game, Fritsche scored back-to-back goals just 1:19 apart later in the period. The first came on the power play at 17:00, followed by an unassisted scored at 18:19. He completed the hat trick with an even-strength goal 5:42 into the second stanza. Fritsche’s three goals came on five shots and he was a career-high tying +3. The four-point night tied his career best, first set vs. Sacred Heart Nov. 6.
Fritsche leads the Buckeyes with 31 points this year and a +16 rating, as well as a league-best 24 assists. He is third among the nation’s rookies in points per game (1.11) and 13th in the nation in assists per game (.86). He has been named CCHA Rookie of the Week twice this season (Nov. 8, Jan. 17) and earned a spot on the Ohio Hockey Classic All-Tournament Team.
This marks the third time a Buckeye has been honored by INCH with a weekly award. Earlier this season (Oct. 26), junior forward Rod Pelley was honored after leading OSU to a two-game sweep of Miami. Goalie Mike Betz was named the INCH Player of the Week Oct. 21, 2003 after leading Ohio State to a two-game road sweep of Michigan State. No. 8/9 Ohio State (18-7-3, 15-4-1/2nd CCHA) travels to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to take on Lake Superior State (7-13-6, 6-7-5/t-6th CCHA) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Both games will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org).