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Oct. 28, 2011

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Osiecki Postgame Press Conference
Dries/Crane Postgame Press Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead with three goals in a 2:27 span on a major penalty in the first period, the Ohio State men’s hockey skated to a 6-0 victory over Alaska Friday night in Value City Arena. The win gives the Buckeyes (4-3-1, 3-2-1-1 CCHA) five points in the series with Alaska (3-3-2, 0-2-2-0 CCHA) after a shootout victory Thursday night.

In the series finale with the Nanooks, Ohio State got two goals from Danny Dries in a 1:46 span, followed by a score from Chris Crane 41 seconds later, on a major power play in the first period for a 3-0 lead. Darik Angeli added a 5-on-3 power-play tally in the middle period for a 4-0 Buckeye advantage after 40 minutes. In the third period, Alex Szczechura tallied, followed by Crane’s second goal of the night, to give Ohio State a 6-0 edge. The Buckeye penalty kill was outstanding in the game, with a perfect 8-for-8 performance, including holding Alaska scoreless on a 5-on-3 for 1:50 with less than three minutes left in regulation to preserve the shutout. Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter had 27 saves in the game for his fourth career shutout, including 13 first-period stops.

Crane led the Buckeyes with two goals and three points, while Dries had two tallies. Devon Krogh had two assists and Szczechura had two points with a goal and a helper.

The Buckeyes took advantage of an early major penalty to Alaska to grab a 3-0 lead. Dries’ first goal was assisted by Szczechura and Tanner Fritz, coming at 7:08 from in front of the net. At 8:54 he tallied with an assist from defensemen Curtis Gedig and Sean Duddy. Less than a minute later, Crane scored on the rebound of a Ben Gallacher shot, with Alex Carlson picking up the second assist on the goal at 9:35. Each team had 13 shots in the period. Ohio State’s penalty kill was 2-for-2, while the power play was 3-for-4, with all the chances on the major.

Angeli had the only goal of the second period, converting a 5-on-3 advantage for the Buckeyes at 2:40. A shot by Krogh was saved and Crane attempted a shot on the rebound. Angeli was able to knock it home for a 4-0 Buckeye lead. Ohio State had 14 shots in the period, while holding the Nanooks to five. Ohio State’s penalty kill stopped three Nanook chances.

At 10:26 of the third Szczechura was able to get to a loose puck and put it high from the right post after work down low by Cory Schneider and Travis Statchuk. Crane’s second goal came at 15:06, scoring on a quick shot on the rush after an assist from Krogh. Ohio State’s penalty kill was 3-for-3, including holding Alaska scoreless on a 5-on-3 for 1:50. Ohio State outshot Alaska in the period, 10-9.

Ohio State outshot Alaska, 37-27. Heeter played all 60 minutes for the Buckeyes. Greenham had 31 saves in 59:54 for the Nanooks.

The Buckeye power play was 4-for-7, with the penalty kill a perfect 8-for-8.

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Postgame Notes
• The Buckeyes hit the road next weekend for two games at Alabama-Huntsville. The team returns home and to conference action Nov. 11-12 when it hosts Northern Michigan. Game time is 12:05 p.m. for the opening game and 7:05 p.m. for game two.
• The two-goal, three-point night was the second for Crane in three outings. He also scored twice and added an assist at Michigan State Oct. 21. • Heeter had the fourth shutout of his career and first since Jan. 7 vs. Miami.
• Angeli (2-1-3), Krogh (0-5-5) and Gallacher (1-3-4) all are on three-game point streaks.
• Fritz had the first point of his Buckeye career. Nine Buckeye rookies have at least one point this season. • Dries had his fourth career two-goal game and second this season (Oct. 14 at Notre Dame).
• The Buckeyes’ four power-play goals were the most since scoring five times with the man advantage against Bentley Dec. 12, 2008.
• Crane leads the Buckeyes with five goals and eight points. Krogh is first with six assists and tied with Ryan Dzingel for second in points with seven each.
• The six goals were the most for the Buckeyes since a 6-1 win over Notre Dame Jan. 21.
• The six-goal win was the first win by more than five since an 8-2 victory over Notre Dame March 6, 2010 in the CCHA tournament.
• The penalty kill was 8-for-8 for the first time since Jan. 10, 2009 at Bowling Green.
• The 37 shots were a season high for the Buckeyes and marked the second time this season the team outshot its opponents. The 27 shots by Alaska were an OSU opponent season low.
• The 1971-72 squad gathered in the arena to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the team’s CCHA championship. Captain Peter Bartkiewicz and alternate captains Eldon Simpson and Dave Hoyles dropped the ceremonial puck pregame and the entire team was recognized after the first period.

Postgame Quotes
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On consistency
“We had an honest talk with our guys this morning about developing more consistency as a team. Everyone has to hold themselves accountable and play like upperclassmen. Tonight was a good first step.”

On jumping out to an early 3-0 lead
“The five-minute major changed the complexion of the game. We took advantage and gained the upper hand early.

On the play of Chris Crane
“He got the game puck tonight. He played some really solid hockey and gave our offense a huge lift.”

Chris Crane, Ohio State sophomore forward
On the start of the game
“Our team’s mentality has been to come out with the first punch in every game. We came out to tell Alaska we were here to play.”

Danny Dries, Ohio State senior forward
On the power play units
“We had to switch some things up because of injuries. We had a couple new guys and they stepped up. All of the power-play goals came near the crease and we knew that we had to get greasy. At this level of hockey, the goalies are pretty good and it’s not likely you’ll score on the first shot.”

On special teams
“Coach Osiecki talks a lot about special team battles. We’ve worked on it a lot in practice and it’s really working out for us.”