Jan. 26, 2013

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WATCH: Postgame Press Conference (Osiecki, Simpson, Szczechura)
WATCH: Video highlights

OSU 6, LSSU 1 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team completed a series sweep of Lake Superior State Saturday in Value City Arena, knocking off the Lakers, 6-1, with points from 12 players and 30 saves from senior goalie Brady Hjelle.

Ohio State jumped out to a four-goal lead six minutes into the game and led 5-0 before the Lakers got on the board late in the first period. Neither team scored in the second period and Ohio State closed the scoring with an empty-net goal in the third. Junior Alex Szczechura had two goals to lead Ohio State, sophomore Tanner Fritz had two assists and sophomore Ryan Dzingel and freshman Anthony Greco each had a goal and an assist for two points.

The Buckeyes, now 10-11-5 overall and 9-6-3-1 in the CCHA, will close their four-game homestand next weekend when they host Notre Dame at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena. The game Saturday is the third-annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to the game to toss on the ice after the Buckeyes score their first goal. The animals collected will be donated to Ronald McDonald House.

Saturday night vs. the Lakers, Ohio State scored four goals in the first six minutes of the opening frame. Just 43 seconds into the contest Szczechura tallied from the slot, taking a pass from sophomore Max McCormick who was along the back wall. Fritz had the second helper on the goal. At 2:26 redshirt freshman Riley Simpson had a shot trickle though, with freshman Sam Jardine starting the play when he picked off a Laker pass in the neutral zone. Szczechura scored his second of the night at 4:02, assisted by junior Curtis Gedig and Fritz. With Ohio State killing a penalty, Laker goalie Kevin Kapalka made the first save on a Nick Oddo shot but junior Alex Lippincott was there to stuff home the rebound at 5:59. Greco tallied at 14:11, assisted by Dzingel and senior Devon Krogh. The Lakers got on the board when Andrew Dommett tallied at 17:51. Ohio State outshot the Lakers, 16-10, in the period, while the Lakers had the only power play.

Neither team scored in the second period, with Ohio State putting 12 shots on net and the Lakers getting nine through. Each team had a power play chance, with Ohio State’s carrying into the third period.

The Buckeyes netted the only goal of the third period at 8:28. The Lakers pulled their goalie for the extra attacker early and Dzingel converted, assisted by freshman Tyler Lundey and Greco. Hjelle stopped all 12 shots he faced in the stanza, with Ohio State putting 13 shots on net. The Buckeyes had four power play chances in the period.

Hjelle played all 60 minutes and made 30 saves. Kevin Murdock started for the Lakers and allowed three goals on five shots in 4:02 before he was replaced by Kapalka, who made 33 saves and allowed two goals.

Krogh led the Buckeyes with a +4 rating, while freshman Craig Dalrymple was +3. All but three Buckeyes were +1 or better in the contest.

Postgame Notes
• The Buckeyes’ six goals were a season high and the most since topping Michigan, 6-5, Nov. 19, 2011. • OSU last scored five goals in a period Jan. 8, 2011, in a 5-2 win vs. Miami Jan. 8, 2011. Those goals all came in the third period.
• The Buckeyes last scored five goals in the first period in a 6-2 win at Alaska Jan. 31, 2009.
• Hjelle is second in the NCAA with a .946 save percentage, while his 1.60 goals-against average ranks third.
• Szczechura’s two goals matched his career best, first set Nov. 12, 2012 at Michigan State. It was his sixth career two-point game and first of the year.
• Fritz is on a six-game point streak, with two goals, five assists and seven points. It was his fourth two-assist game this year and his sixth two-point outing of the campaign. Fritz leads the Buckeyes with 15 assists and is second with 20 points, both career highs.
• Dzingel leads the Buckeyes with 23 points and 10 goals and is second with 13 assists. He is on a four-game point streak (1g, 5a, 6p). Dzingel has six multiple-point outings on the year.
• Gedig is on a three-game point streak, with two goals and an assist. He has seven points this year, with five helpers.
• Lippincott’s goal was his first this season and first since Feb. 3, 2012 vs. Michigan State.
• Ohio State has not allowed a power play goal in its last six games and is 17-for-17 in the stretch. The squad has held its opponents scoreless on the man advantage in 11 of the last 15 games (.909). For the year, the team is 83-for-96, ranking 10th (86.5).
• McCormick has a point in each of the last three games and in five of the last six outings. He is third on the squad with 15 points, including eight goals.
• Simpson had a goal in each game vs. the Lakers and now has three goals this year.
• Jardine has an assist in four of his six games since returning from injury.
• Greco has a point in three of four games (2g, 2a, 4p) since returning from injury. The game was his second two-point outing.
• The Buckeyes are seventh nationally in the NCAA in team defense, holding opponents to 2.12 goals a game.

Postgame Quotes
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach
On the Buckeyes’ early success in the game
“No doubt we had some things go our way but our players also certainly deserved it. Whatever the goals were and however they go in, the players have stuck with everything we’ve talked about.”

On having energy early in the game
“We wanted to be on our toes. That’s how we wanted to play. We wanted to be aggressive, that was our mentality.”

On the momentum of the Buckeyes throughout the game
“Scoring five goals certainly helps that. You’re going to have some lapses. I thought Lake State did a great job getting some momentum when they were on the power play.”

On the series win as a confidence booster for the Buckeyes
“I don’t think our guys have lost any confidence but it certainly helps to win. Now we have to turn the page and get ready for the Irish.”

Alex Szczechura, Ohio State junior forward
On scoring early in the game
“It’s something we really emphasize, jumping on teams early on. We’ve struggled with that in the past but this weekend we did a good job.”

On putting shots on net
“We always try to get as many shots as we can. They were going in for us tonight and this weekend so that was great.”

On the high score as a confidence booster
“We haven’t been the highest scoring team but this weekend the goals were coming all night so that’s definitely a confidence booster for us.”

Riley Simpson, Ohio State redshirt freshman forward
On playing the weekend series when he was expected to sit out
“It definitely caught me off guard yesterday. I got the call about 4 o’ clock. I played the same as I always play, though. I scored a lucky goal last night and an even luckier one tonight.”

On staying consistent throughout the game
“I think we did pretty well staying with the system. It’s always tough to stay in the game playing the way you played at the start. We didn’t really give them too many opportunities to get back in the game. I thought we played really well tonight.”

Jim Roque, Lake Superior State head coach
On the play of the Buckeyes this series vs. Lake Superior
“My two [goalies] have played great all year and they had a bad night today. I give credit to Ohio State. I thought they played great all weekend. They were on the toes and played with energy. They had a lot of good chances both nights. You could tell they were desperate, hopefully we’ll get desperate this week to bounce back next weekend.”

On the play of the Lakers’ forwards and defenders
“I think [our forwards and defenders] played okay. When you get down that much early in the game, your game plan changes. You have to gamble and take chances. It’s a hard game to really judge. Our guys competed hard and wanted to try and get back in the game. They didn’t quit that’s for sure.”

On the Lakers’ decision to pull the goalie
“It was something we talked about in between periods. We put together two groups of six and just wanted to change the goalie on the fly and get some faceoffs.”