Feb. 23, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its regular-season home finale, the Ohio State men’s hockey lost to Michigan, 6-3, Saturday in Value City Arena in front of a season-high crowd of 9,278. The game marked Senior Night for the five members of the Buckeye senior class – Alex Carlson, Brady Hjelle, Devon Krogh, Brandon Martell and Jeff Michael – and the group was honored in a pregame ceremony.
Ohio State (13-14-7, 12-9-5-1) will end the regular season with two games at Miami next weekend, playing at 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio. The Buckeyes have clinched a Top 5 spot for the CCHA playoffs and will have a first-round bye. Ohio State and Ferris State will meet in the quarterfinal round March 15-17, but the site (Columbus or Big Rapids, Mich.) will be determined after action next weekend. The teams are tied for fourth place.
Buckeye sophomore Tanner Fritz led the team with two goals and three points, while classmate Max McCormick had a goal and an assist. The teams were tied at 2 after the first period, with Fritz scoring both goals for the Buckeyes. The teams traded goals in the second to enter the third period tied at 3. Michigan went ahead 4-3 with a goal at 5:25 of the third and made it a two-goal advantage at 11:20. The Wolverines sealed the win with an empty-net win to give UM a series sweep.
Fritz opened the scoring at 7:58 of the first period on a power play goal, assisted by freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple and classmate Ryan Dzingel. Michigan responded quickly, as Andrew Copp scored just 21 seconds later to tie the game. Justin Selman put the Wolverines ahead at 12:05, scoring unassisted following a Buckeye turnover in front of the net. Fritz scored from the high slot at 15:48 to deadlock the score, assisted by McCormick and sophomore Clark Cristofoli. Each team had 13 shots in the period. Michigan had one power play chance and Ohio State was 1-for-2.
The Wolverines’ Phil Di Giuseppe put the Wolverines back ahead 2:59 into the second period but Fritz set up McCormick on a 2-on-1 at 5:16 to again tie the score. Ohio State outshot Michigan, 11-9, in the stanza and each team had one power play.
In the third, with the teams skating 4-on-4, Alex Guptill drove to the net and put Michigan ahead, 4-3, with the eventual gamewinner at 5:25. Andrew Sinelli made it a two-goal lead at 11:20 and Di Guiseppe netted his second of the game at 15:56 with Ohio State skating with its net empty. Ohio State was outshot, 8-4, in the period and had the only two power play chances.
For the game, Michigan outshot the Buckeyes, 30-28. Hjelle started and suffered the loss, making 23 saves on 28 shots. Freshman Collin Olson closed out the game, stopping the one shot he saw in 8:32. Michigan’s Steve Racine had 25 saves in all 60 minutes.
Ohio State converted one of five power play chances and held the Wolverines scoreless on two opportunities.
• Fritz has nine points, with four goals and five assists, in his last three games combined and has a point in 10 of his last 12 games. He leads the CCHA with 30 points in conference play, along with a league-best 21 assists in CCHA action. He is first on the team with 22 assists overall and tied with Ryan Dzingel for first with 32 points.
• McCormick is on a four-game point streak (3g, 4a, 7p) and has a point in 11 of the last 13 games. He ranks third on the squad with 24 points and is second with 11 goals.
• Ohio State has three or more goals in four of its last five games and is now averaging 2.38 goals a game on the season.
• The attendance of 9,278 was the highest in Value City Arena since Jan. 13, 2012 when 9,828 were on hand to watch the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
• Dalrymple leads Ohio State’s defensemen with 11 points this season, including nine assists. He had an assist in each game vs. UM.
• Dzingel has a team-high 14 goals and shares the point lead with Fritz with 32 points. He has a point in each of the last five games (2g, 4a, 6p) and a point in 11 of the last 12 outings.
• Ohio State blocked 15 shots, led by six from Martell.
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On Ohio State
“We haven’t seen two games like this all year, this is not Ohio State hockey and it is not how we have played this year at all. But that is probably the best hockey Michigan has played this season.”
On the team morale during the game
“I thought we were more settled-in tonight than yesterday.”
On the state of the team
“Our blue line is thin right now, but going forward we know we have a bye week, which is great. Those six goals we let go were not goals we let through normally which is disappointing.”
On moving forward
“We need to turn the page as soon as possible but it has to stay around long enough to sting. We need to remember how this feels on Monday, but we also need to move on and look forward to our next game.”
On fan attendance
“The fans have done a great job and the student section has been phenomenal this season. We have had a great turnout this year and we hope to be active with our fans.”
Brandon Martell, Ohio State senior defenseman
“Michigan is a good club and they played well this weekend. We created some opportunities for them that we shouldn’t have but you can’t take credit away from them.”
On his senior year
“I can’t argue at all, we have had a great season. Four years have gone by so fast and this group of seniors has been great. I have no regrets and I really enjoyed it.”
Red Berenson, Michigan head coach
On the Wolverines’ performance tonight
“That’s probably the best weekend of hockey Michigan has played all year. The penalty killing was good and the power play was good. Our third period tonight was one of the better ones we’ve had all year. It felt like everybody on the team was having a better weekend.”
On giving up more goals than they prefer
“You’re not going to win many games giving up three so we’ll still focus on that. Somehow though we found a way to score against a team that doesn’t usually give up many.”
On a growth in confidence after this series
“It should help our team. If we’re going anywhere [in the playoffs], we have to play well on the road.”
On playing Ohio State at this point in the season
“That’s the best we’ve looked. We’ve played good opponents in the past three. For the most part, we were in those games. Tonight though, we finished better and we looked better. As a team, we came together tonight.”
Alex Guptill, Michigan sophomore forward
On tonight’s win
“It felt great. We can carry this momentum into the playoffs.”
On his goal tonight
“Coach told me to go hard into the net and that’s what I tried to do. Good things happen when you go to the net.”