Dec. 2, 2013


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team fell to No. 3-ranked Michigan, 5-4, Monday in Value City Arena in the first Big Ten Conference game in Columbus. Ohio State rallied from a three-goal third-period deficit to tie the game at 4-all, but the Wolverines scored with 1:35 remaining for the win and series sweep. The Buckeyes head into their December break 8-6 overall (0-2-0-0 B1G) and Michigan improves to 10-3-1 (2-0-0-0 B1G). Ohio State will return to action Dec. 28-29 when it hosts Mercyhurst in Value City Arena.

“I told our guys I’m proud of our effort,” Steve Rohlik, Ohio State head coach, said. “We never quit, battled back and gave ourselves a chance.”

Despite being outshot 12-4, Michigan led 1-0 after the first period. After Ohio State’s Ryan Dzingel tied the game early in the second, the Wolverines scored three goals in a row, including one 1:09 after Dzingel’s tally, to take an eventual 4-1 lead at 2:49 of the third period. In the third, Ohio State scored three times in less than four minutes to tie the game at 4 with 5:29 left in the period. Michigan’s Mac Bennett pushed the Wolverines back ahead with the eventual gamewinner at 18:25. Dzingel and junior Tanner Fritz each had three-point nights with a goal and two assists, while senior Alex Szczechura had two assists. Freshman David Gust and junior Max McCormick also scored for the Buckeyes.

The Wolverines scored on their second shot of the game, with Zach Hyman tallying on a rebound at 14:04, to lead 1-0 after the first period. Ohio State outshot UM, 12-4, in the stanza.

Dzingel tallied while he was tripped down at 3:57 of the second, assisted by Szczechura and sophomore Sam Jardine, to tie the game at 1. Michigan’s TJ Compher scored back-to-back goals at 5:06 and 14:03 to tie the game and put the Wolverines back on top through two periods. Shots were 13-12 in favor of Ohio State in the period.

The teams combined for five goals in the third. Michael Downing scored for Michigan at 2:49 for a 4-1 lead. At 10:37 McCormick scored on a wrist shot from the high slot on the power play, assisted by Fritz and Dzingel. Fritz took a pass from Buckeye goalie Logan Davis and skated into the Michigan zone, finding freshman David Gust outside the crease and he converted at 13:13 to draw the Buckeyes within one. At 14:31 Fritz scored a 4-on-3 power play goal, set up by Szczechura and Dzingel, to tie the game at four. Bennett got behind the Ohio State defense and scored from just outside the crease at 18:25. Ohio State had 18 shots in the period, with Michigan putting nine on net.

The Buckeyes outshot Michigan, 43-25, marking a season high in shots on goal. Davis played 59:09 and had 20 saves for Ohio State. Steve Racine made 39 saves in all 60 minutes for Michigan.

Ohio State converted 2-of-7 power play chances in the game and was 4-for-9 in the series vs. Michigan. The Buckeyes held the Wolverines scoreless on five chances and have allowed just one power play goal in the last seven games, stopping 30-of-31 opponent opportunities.

Led by freshmen defensemen Drew Brevig and Josh Healey with five each, Ohio State blocked 19 Wolverine shots.

Dzingel extended his goal and point streaks to seven, with eight goals, three assists and 11 goals in the stretch. He has four multiple-point games this year. Fritz has two assists in each of his last three games and multiple points in five of six games since returning from injury, with two goals, 11 assists and 13 points in the six games combined. Szczechura had his fourth multiple-assist game of the season and has multiple points in four of his last six games.

Dzingel leads Ohio State and is second in the Big Ten with 18 points, leading the conference with nine goals. McCormick and Szczechura are second on the squad and tied for third in the Big Ten with 16 points each, with McCormick third in the league with seven goals. Fritz is tied for second in the conference in assists and is sixth in points (15), leading the Big Ten with 1.67 points per game. Szczechura is fourth in the Big Ten with 12 assists, followed by Dzingel and McCormick, who are tied for fifth with nine each.

Ohio State is averaging 3.57 goals a game to rank ninth in the NCAA. The team has three or more goals in all but two games this season.

In Buckeye alumni news, Buckeye alum and Columbus Blue Jackets forward RJ Umberger dropped the puck pregame to commemorate the inaugural Big Ten game in Columbus, while alum John Albert scored a goal for the Winnipeg Jets against the New York Rangers in his first NHL contest.