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Oct. 27, 2011

Video highlights
Heeter/Gallacher Postgame Press Conference
Osiecki Postgame Press Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Alaska in a shootout, 2-1, after skating to a 2-all tie with the Nanooks Thursday night in Value City Arena. Ohio State (3-3-1, 2-2-1-1 CCHA) and Alaska (3-2-2, 0-1-2-0 CCHA) will close out the series at 7:05 p.m. Friday in Value City Arena. The game is a Buckeye Spooktacular, with Halloween activities throughout the night. A Skate with the Buckeyes follows the game (fans must bring skates to the arena).

In the series opener, the teams were scoreless through the first two periods before Buckeye junior Alex Carlson tallied just 38 seconds into the third period to open the scoring. The Nanooks took the lead with two goals in a 1:07 span at 8:02 and 9:09, but Buckeye freshman defenseman Ben Gallacher’s power-play shot got through traffic 2:04 later to deadlock the score at two-all. Neither team could add to its goal total through the rest of the third and overtime, sending the contest to a shootout. In the shootout, freshman Tanner Fritz and sophomore Chris Crane scored for Ohio State, while Cal Heeter stood strong between the pipes for the Buckeyes. Heeter had 34 saves for the Buckeyes in the game.

In the first period, Ohio State put nine shots on the Nanook net, while holding Alaska to just two shots in the stanza. Shots by Buckeyes Alex Lippincott and Darik Angeli hit the pipe in the period. Each team had one unsuccessful power-play attempt.

Alaska outshot the Buckeyes, 15-7, in the second period, with Buckeye Heeter making 15 saves. Alaska had the lone power-play chance.

Carlson put the Buckeyes on the board just 38 seconds into the third period, taking a pass from sophomore Curtis Gedig and scoring on a wrist shot while on the rush. Darik Angeli had the second assist on the tally, Carlson’s first of the year. The Nanooks scored twice in 1:07 for a 2-1 advantage. Jarret Granberg tied the game at 8:02 with a power-play tally, scoring on a backhand while skating through the slot. At 9:09 Justin Filzen put Alaska ahead, picking up the puck after a blocked shot and scoring. Ohio State responded quickly when Gallacher’s shot from the point on the power play got through traffic at 11:13. Devon Krogh and Ryan Dzingel assisted on the score, Gallacher’s first career goal. Heeter made 16 saves in the stanza, as Alaska outshot Ohio State, 18-4. The Buckeye penalty kill was 3-for-4 in the period, holding Alaska to five shots on the man advantages.

In overtime, the Buckeyes had a two-minute power play and generated chances, but could not find the back of the net. Greenham had two saves in the Alaska net, with Heeter making one stop in the extra session.

The teams went to a shootout to determine the extra point in the league standings. Alaska shot first, with Colton Beck converting and Fritz responded with a goal of his own to tie the shootout. In round two, Heeter made a save on Granberg and Crane put Ohio State ahead with a goal. In the third round, Andy Taranto, forced by Heeter to the outside, was unable to get a shot on net, giving Ohio State the shootout victory.

Alaska outshot Ohio State, 36-22, in the game, including 33-11 in the second and third periods combined. Heeter had 34 saves in 64:45. Greenham had 20 stops in all 65 minutes.

Ohio State converted 1-of-4 power-play chances and held the Nanooks to one goal on six opportunities.

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Postgame Notes
• The game was Ohio State’s first tie and shootout of the year.
• Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with seven points. He and Krogh share the team assist lead with four each.
• Gallacher is the fifth Buckeye freshman to score a goal this season and the first rookie blueliner. He has three assists and four points this season.
• Carlson’s goal was the second of his career and first since Oct. 9, 2009 vs. Quinnipiac. • Ohio State has been outshot in all but one game this season. The 36 shots by Alaska tied the team’s opponent season high.
• Gedig blocked a team-best six shots in the game vs. the Nanooks. Ohio State had 15 blocked shots as a team. • The game was the first conference home game for Ohio State this season.
• The Buckeyes and Nanooks have tied and gone to a shootout in three of the last meetings, with Ohio State winning all three shootouts.

POSTGAME QUOTES
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On starting the game strong
“With a young group, on a Thursday night and with midterms this week, I thought we came out with a great start. Probably the best start we have had all year.”

On Ohio State’s ability to respond
“It comes from a young team’s psyche. Their response to different situations in a game has been great. Maybe we didn’t play great in the second and third, they (Alaska) did, but we were able to respond.”

On choosing players for the shootout
“We keep tabs on that. Chris Crane did a nice job with shootouts the other day in practice, and Tanner Fritz is a pretty gifted goal scorer.”

Ben Gallacher, Ohio State freshman defenseman
On his third period, game-tying goal
“It was a good play by Ryan Dzingel to get it over to me and the goalie just didn’t see it go past him.”

On the game
“We came out strong. Coach Osiecki has a saying that we threw the first punch in the first period. We let off in the second but ended up pulling it out in the third and shootout.”

Cal Heeter, Ohio State senior goalie
On shots off the post “It makes you nervous to hear the `ping.’ The puck is either going to go up or go in. Your first reaction as a goalie is `oh no’, but you feel relief when you look and the puck is in the corner.”

On the game
“The first period was one of the best periods of the year for us, especially only allowing two shots. Our defense was all over them. We took our foot off the pedal in the second period, but we battled through and persevered. Getting the extra point with the shootout win is big for the CCHA standings.”

Dallas Ferguson, Alaska head coach
On the game
“I think for us, the game got better as it went on. The first period for about the first five minutes we had a little tempo to our game, then we had that one turnover and then all of a sudden they’re in our zone for two minutes and we took a penalty and the rest was Ohio State. It was nothing that we couldn’t figure out. It was just a matter of being a little more careful with the puck in the neutral zone.”

On the shootout
“Sometimes you can get really consumed with these shootouts and at the end of the day, we got a point on the road the first night. Would we have wanted that second point? Yes, but at the same time it’s important now to start to reset and respond tomorrow.”