Nov. 17, 2012

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Postgame Press Conference video (Coach Osiecki, Chris Crane, Riley Simpson)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Third-period goals from juniors Alex Szczechura and Chris Crane lifted the Ohio State men’s hockey team to a 4-2 victory and series sweep of No. 19 Northern Michigan Saturday in Value City Arena. Ohio State moves to 4-3-3 on the year and is 3-1-2-1 in the CCHA, while the Wildcats fall to 4-5-2 and 1-5-2-0 in the league.

The Buckeyes trailed 1-0 after the first period before back-to-back power play goals from redshirt freshman Riley Simpson and sophomore Ryan Dzingel in a 1:42 span gave the squad a 2-1 lead early in the second stanza. The Wildcats tied the game with a power play goal of their own at 6:34 of the second. Szczechura then broke the tie 1:50 into the third and Crane extended the lead to 4-2 at 8:06. Crane and sophomore Dzingel each had a goal and an assist in the game, while sophomore Tanner Fritz had two assists. Ohio State outshot the Wildcats, 42-14, in the contest.

The Wildcats opened the scoring at 9:43. Ryan Daugherty blocked a shot at the NMU blueline and was able to skate in on a breakaway for a tally. Shots were 13-4 in favor the Buckeyes in the stanza and Ohio State had the only two power plays.

The teams were tied at 2 after the second period. Just 1:04 into the period Buckeye Simpson netted his first career goal. With Ohio State on the power play, the puck came to Simpson in the slot on the rebound of a Fritz shot and he was able to knock it home. Dzingel had the second assist on the goal, his third helper of the weekend. Just 1:42 later, skating 5-on-3 with a contact to the head major and tripping penalty against NMU, Ohio State took its first lead of the game. Fritz won the faceoff in the Wildcat zone and the puck came to sophomore Max McCormick along the wall. He passed to senior Devon Krogh at the left point. He found Dzingel at the right faceoff circle and his shot got through traffic at 2:46. The Wildcats tied the game with a 5-on-3 goal of their own at 6:34. Scott Macaulay scored from the faceoff circle, assisted by Stephan Vigier and Ryan Daugherty. Shots were 20-6 in favor of Ohio State in the period. The Buckeyes were 2-for-5 with the man advantage and NMU converted one of its three chances.

Just 1:50 into the third Szczechura put in the rebound of a Matt Johnson shot, with Crane picking up the second assist. At 8:06 Crane scored a goal of his own, backhanding in a loose puck after a shot by freshman Craig Dalrymple. Fritz had the second assist on the even strength goal. Ohio State put nine shots on net, while limiting NMU to four. Ohio State had two power play chances (with the first carrying over from the second period) and held the Wildcats scoreless on one chance.

For the game, Ohio State outshot Northern Michigan, 42-14. Freshman Collin Olson played all 60 minutes for Ohio State and had 12 saves. NMU’s Jared Coreau had 38 saves in 59:52.

Ohio State was 2-for-8 with the man advantage in the game and NMU converted one of four chances.

Ohio State will hit the road for the next two series, skating at Lake Superior State Nov. 23-24 and at Michigan State Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The team will then play three of its next four games in Columbus, hosting Robert Morris Dec. 7 in the first game of a home-and-home series before closing out the first half of the schedule vs. Miami Dec. 14-15.

Postgame Notes
• The sweep was the Buckeyes’ first of the year and first since Dec. 2-3, 2011 vs. Lake Superior State.
• Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with five assists and eight points this season. He had four points (1g, 3a) in the series vs. Northern Michigan. Dzingel now has four career two-point games and five multiple-point outings. • Fritz had his second two-point game of the year and his third two-point game of his career. He is on a three-game point streak (4a).
• He is tied for second on the team with seven points this year and tied for first with five assists.
• McCormick has a point in seven of 10 games this season and is tied for second with seven points.
• Simpson’s goal was the first of his career and came in his 12th game.
• Szczechura’s goal was his first of the season.
• Ohio State outshot Northern Michigan, 77-34, in the series and allowed two goals in the two games combined.
• Ohio State had multiple power play goals for the first time this season and was 3-for-12 in the series.

Postgame Quotes
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On scoring power play goals
“Certainly you see us with more shots on net and having opportunities. It’s a confidence thing, the team has to relax a little bit. Those five, 10, 12 players that have seen power play time are coming out there and gripping their sticks a little bit better.”

On finishing the second period in a tie
“We went from full of confidence to all of sudden, it’s a tie game. Overall, I thought the guys reacted very well.”

On limiting NMU’s shots
“It is not so much our defensemen, it is our forwards putting pressure on the other team’s defensemen. We are moving our feet more and utilizing one of our strengths, our speed.”

Chris Crane, Ohio State junior forward
On taking the lead during the third period
“Third periods, physically out-playing the opposing team and playing Buckeye hockey is our strategy. We keep working hard and sticking to what we know works. We played really good hockey this week and we need to keep working forward and improving during practice.”

On getting a lot of shots
“We have been talking a lot about net front presence this past week. Getting more bounces, obstructing the goalie’s view and getting high and low on the net, that is our style of play. I think we did a great job crashing the net and frustrating the goalie.”

On the team
“We are a hard-working team. We have worked really hard to physically be better than everyone else. We might be young but we are also fast.”

Riley Simpson, Ohio State redshirt freshman forward
On his first goal as a Buckeye
“It feels really good, like a weight has been taken off my back.”

On the power plays
“We have been working on it a lot at practice. We have had lots of opportunities and I think it is all coming together.”

On the team’s performance so far
“We haven’t been getting frustrated, we have stuck to our game and now it is finally paying off.“

Walt Kyle, Northern Michigan head coach
On Ohio State
“We were fortunate to have the score tied at two to start the third period. Ohio State outplayed us tonight and they deserved to win.”

On having a short bench
“We had some guys stay home with injuries and lost some guys to penalties, which left us with a shorter than usual bench; However it gave some different guys a chance to get in-game experience tonight.”