Jan. 25, 2013

Box Score | OSU 3, LSSU 2 

WATCH: Postgame Press Conference (Osiecki, Fritz, Gedig)

WATCH: Game Highlights

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With points from nine players, and 34 saves from goalie Brady Hjelle, the Ohio State men’s hockey team skated to a 3-2 win over Lake Superior State Friday night in Value City Arena.

The Buckeyes (9-11-5, 8-6-3-1 CCHA) and Lakers (13-13-1, 8-10-1-1 CCHA) will close the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in VCA. As with all regular-season home games, all youth hockey players eighth grade and under who wear their jerseys to the game receive free admission (with a ticket-purchasing parent). Saturday, those youth are invited to the Buckeye locker room postgame for a meet and greet and locker room tour. Youth and their parents should meet by section 104 after the game. In addition, sophomores Darik Angeli, Clark Cristofoli, Justin DaSilva and Ryan Dzingel will sign autographs on the concourse level postgame.

Friday vs. Lake Superior State, Ohio State led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Riley Simpson and Curtis Gedig and extended the lead to three on a goal from Tanner Fritzearly in the second. The Lakers got on the scoreboard in the first minute of the third, and then drew within one midway through the period, but Ohio State held Lake Superior State off the scoreboard the rest of the way for the win in their first home game since Dec. 15.

At 6:05 of the first period, Buckeye redshirt freshman Simpson put Ohio State on the board, scoring on the fly, assisted by junior Chris Crane and freshman Craig Dalrymple. At 17:48 Laker goalie Kevin Murdock stopped sophomore Ryan Dzingel’s initial shot but junior Gedig was there to jam it home out of a pileup around the crease. Freshman Anthony Grecopicked up the second helper on the power-play goal. Shots were 15-12 in favor of the Buckeyes in the period and each team had one power play chance.

Sophomore Fritz made it 3-0 when he was able to knock home a loose puck around the net, assisted by junior Alex Szczechura and sophomore Max McCormick, at 3:49 of the second. The Buckeyes outshot Lake Superior State, 14-10, in the stanza, and the Lakers had the only two power play chances.

Just 48 seconds into the third period Chris Ciotti found a loose puck and scored to break up the shutout and at 10:22 Ben Power scored on a rebound to make it a one-goal game. Each team had 14 shots and one power play chance in the period, which also saw four minutes of four-on-four play.

Hjelle played all 60 minutes in goal and had 34 saves for the Buckeyes, including stopping two breakaways. Kevin Kapalka started the game for the Lakers, playing the first 6:05 and allowing one goal. He was replaced by Kevin Murdock, who had 36 saves in 53:09 between the pipes.

Ohio State was 1-for-2 on the power play and held the Lakers scoreless on four chances, allowing seven power-play shots.

Postgame Notes
• Fritz extended his point-scoring streak to five (2-3-5). He is first on the team with 13 assists and second with 18 points.
• Gedig has goals in back-to-back games and now has six points on the year.
• McCormick has a point in four of his last five games and is third on the team with 14 points, including eight goals.
• Dzingel has four points in his last three games combined. He leads the squad with nine goals and 21 points.
• Simpson’s goal was his first since Nov. 17 vs. Northern Michigan and the second of his career.
• Dalrymple leads the Buckeye defensemen in scoring with seven points, including six assists.
• Ohio State has not allowed a power play goal in its last five games and is 15-for-15 in the stretch. The squad has held its opponents scoreless on the power play in 10 of the last 14 games (38-for-42, .905).
• The Buckeyes are 3-for-7 on the power play in the last two games combined.
• Hjelle is third in the NCAA with a 1.63 goals-against average and second nationally with a .945 save percentage.
• The Buckeyes are eighth nationally in team defense, allowing 2.16 goals a game.

Postgame Quotes
Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach

On the poise of the Buckeyes under pressure
“You’re going to make mistakes and never play a perfect game. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of handling the situation when we didn’t make the right decision, especially when they brought it up to one goal.”

On the transition and speed of the Buckeyes
“I thought you saw more of what this team can do tonight. They had a lot of four man rushes coming back at us, but our strength is our transition and our strength is our speed.”

On the Buckeyes’ offensive strategy and crashing the net
“Our second goal was a nice play on the power play. For the most part, offensively, there were a lot of good things by the forwards crashing the net and finding the soft spot in the zone. Three lines came away with a goal and I think all four played well.”

Curtis Gedig, Ohio State junior defenseman
On his goal
“It was a nice scramble in front to the net. I swung, made contact and saw the puck in the back of the net. We found a way to get the points tonight.”

On the Buckeyes’ in the third period
“I think we let off a bit. It’s hard to keep that level of play through 60 minutes. We weren’t too happy about it.”

Tanner Fritz, Ohio State sophomore forward
On Ohio State’s speed
“Our speed definitely helps us in the neutral zones. We had more shifts and if we keep doing that, we’re going to score.”

On gaining some puck luck for the Buckeyes
“Last weekend, we hit four posts so it was nice to have a little bit of puck also. Also, three lines getting points will definitely help you to win.”

Jim Roque, Lake Superior State head coach
On the decision to replace starting goaltender Kevin Kapalka after OSU’s first goal
“I’ve been with Kevin [Kapalka] for the last three years. It was a bad goal and a bad angle. Kevin just has to be more aggressive. I wasn’t going to let him play on his heels there, so I just got him out right away. I think I know Kevin well enough that when he’s not playing aggressive it’s not going to go well for us.”

On his team’s performance
“I was happy with our guys’ effort. We’re playing at Ohio State; they just got swept; they’re going to come out playing hard. We gave ourselves a chance with four minutes to go, on the road and in the CCHA, I think that’s all we could ask for.”