COLUMBUS, Ohio – With four goals and nine points from the line of Danny Dries, Peter Boyd and Alex Szczechura, the Ohio State men’s hockey team downed Alabama-Huntsville, 6-2, Friday night in Value City Arena. Dries had four points on a goal and three assists, Boyd chipped in two goals and a helper for three points and Szczechura had two points with his first career goal and an assist.
The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first before the Chargers cut the lead to one with the only goal of the second period. In the third, the Buckeyes scored twice in the first 3:25 to extend the lead to 4-1 and outscored UAH 2-1 the rest of the way for the non-conference win.
Ohio State (3-5) and Alabama-Huntsville (1-7-1) will close out the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes controlled play in the first period, ending the stanza ahead, 2-0. Sergio Somma scored his team-best sixth goal of the season just 2:10 into the game. Chris Crane put the first shot toward net, followed by Severyn. UAH goalie Clarke Saunders made the save, but Somma was there for the rebound and scored on his second attempt. At 6:34 two Chargers were assessed a penalty, giving the Buckeyes a two-minute 5-on-3 advantage. Dries converted at 7:16, putting in the rebound of a Shane Sims shot from the doorstep, with John Albert on the second assist. The Buckeyes had another two-man advantage late in the period, this time for 1:38, but could not convert. Ohio State outshot the Chargers, 18-5, in the period, with UAH putting its first shot on net with 11 minutes remaining.
In the second, UAH scored the only goal to cut the Buckeye advantage to one (2-1). At 12:49 Jamie Easton tallied, assisted by Chris Fairbanks and Nickolas Gatt. Ohio State put 12 shots on net in the stanza, with UAH adding another five.
Just 1:12 into the third Boyd scored after a scrum in front of the net, set up by his linemates Dries and Szczechura. Freshman Alex Lippincott followed at 3:25 with a goal from the side of the net, with assists from classmates Travis Statchuk and Curtis Gedig, extending the Buckeye lead to 4-1. At 5:18 Tom Durnie scored on a shot from the point for the Chargers on the power play to draw UAH within one. Boyd responded with a power play goal of his own at 10:26, assisted by Dries. Szczechura scored his first career goal at 13:09, with assists from Dries and Boyd. The Buckeyes had 11 shots in the period, with UAH posting another five.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Alabama-Huntsville, 41-15. Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter had 13 saves in 59:28, with Saunders posting 35 saves for the Chargers.
The Buckeyes were 2-for-7 on the power play in the game, allowing one goal on four Charger chances.
Albert now has 99 career points, with 24 goals and 75 assists. Boyd has climbed to 95 points as a Buckeye after his first three-point game of the season.
Somma has a team-high six goals and shares the team point lead with Albert with nine each. Albert leads the squad with six assists.
Dries had his first multiple-point game as a Buckeye.
Crane’s assist was his first as a Buckeye, while Szczechura had his first goal.
The Buckeyes had their second-consecutive game with two power-play goals.
The 41 shots for the Buckeyes were a season high.
Coach Mark Osiecki, Ohio State Head Coach
“At Northern Michigan we did win not because we did not get into the top area, so the assistant coaches took markers and drew on the ice to make sure we got there to win the next battle.
“Getting a win definitely ups the spirit of the team. I told them from the beginning there would be growing pains and this was a great example of that. We will keep focusing on not gripping the stick, playing hard and having fun.”
On the top line
“Alex [Szczechura] has not been on the score sheet but he had the most team hits. [Peter] Boyd is a good shooter and played a physical game and kept it simple. Danny Dries sat out last season and tried to tough it out with speed and dangling.”
Danny Dries, Ohio State junior forward
On Alex Szczechura’s first career goal
“He is always doing the little things on the ice and in practice for the good of the team. It’s about time he got a goal. The first one is always the toughest.”
On the second period
“I think we played their style in the second period, which is why things slowed down. When we smell blood we need to finish and not let the other teams back in the game.”
Peter Boyd, senior forward
On the game
“We had been talking all week about setting the pace in the game and we did a good job in the first period of putting pucks on the net. Our game kind of tailed off in the second, but we regrouped in the third to put the game away. It was really good to see.”
Chris Luongo, Alabama-Huntsville head coach
On his team’s play in the first period
“Sporadic effort usually doesn’t pay off. It’s awful hard to get yourself back in the game once you’ve allowed the other team to generate momentum. We were never able to turn the game back in our favor.”
On changes for tomorrow night’s game
“When we decide to compete and play hard we have the ability to be in just about any game. There are a few tactical changes we might make, but more importantly we have to be ready to go 60 minutes when the puck drops.”