March 13, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Buckeyes have been honored with all-conference selections, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday. Senior Brady Hjelle is the First Team All-CCHA goaltender, sophomore Tanner Fritz was a second team all-league selection at forward and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel is an honorable mention recipient.
The teams were selected by a vote of the league’s head coaches and are based on performance in conference games. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Hjelle, from International Falls, Minn., had a league-high four shutouts, while his .937 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against average ranked second among CCHA goalies and first among goalies playing at least 50 percent of his team’s minutes. Hjelle started 24 of the Buckeyes’ 28 league games (including the last 22) and was a first or second star in 14 of those outings, earning the league’s Perani Cup. He earned CCHA Goalie of the Week honors a league-high five times and was the goalie of the month in November. Overall, Hjelle is eighth in the NCAA with a .934 save percentage and 13th with a 2.00 goals-against average, ranking second and fourth in the CCHA, respectively. Hjelle received six of 10 first-place votes from the league’s coaches.
Hjelle is the first Buckeye named to the league’s first team since Zac Dalpe in 2010 and nabs the 15th first-team accolade in program history. He is the fourth Buckeye goalie to earn first-team honors, joining Mike Blake (1981), John Dougan (1984) and Jeff Maund (1999).
A native of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Fritz won the CCHA scoring crown with 32 points in league play, including a league-high 23 assists (five more than second place). He is the third Buckeye to win the CCHA scoring title and first since 1998, while he is the fourth Buckeye to pace the league in helpers. The CCHA Player of the Month in February, Fritz had a point in 20 of 28 league games (including nine multiple-point outings), with 11 points in the final five games of the campaign (4g, 7a). He was +11 in CCHA play to tie for 10th among all skaters. Overall, Fritz has 34 points and 24 assists this year, leading the Buckeyes and tying for second in the CCHA in both categories.
Fritz picks up the 22nd Second Team All-CCHA award in Buckeye history and the first since defenseman Sean Collins was honored in 2007. Fritz is one of seven Ohio State forwards to earn a spot on the all-league second team, joining Dave Kobryn (1983), Larry Marson (1980, 82), Rod Pelley (2005), Paul Poole (1981), Perry Pooley (1984) and Paul Tilley (1977, 80).
Dzingel, from Wheaton, Ill., finished third in scoring in CCHA play with 28 points, tying for second in assists (18) and tying for 10th with 10 goals. His 15 power-play points, with four goals and 11 assists, paced the league. He had a point in 21 of 28 CCHA games, with seven two-point outings. He closed out CCHA action with a point in 12 of the last 14 games. Overall, Dzingel has 14 goals to lead Ohio State and tie for seventh in the CCHA. His 33 points are second on the team and tied for fourth in the league, while his 18 assists rank second on the squad and seventh (tied) in the CCHA. Dzingel earned first-team votes from two league coaches and was three points away from a second-team forward spot.
Dzingel, a CCHA All-Rookie team honorable mention choice in 2012, is the 29th Buckeye All-CCHA honorable mention choice and first since defenseman Matt Bartkowski in 2010. All-time, 12 Ohio State forwards have been Honorable Mention All-CCHA.
This is the first time Ohio State has placed two players on the first and/or second teams since 2005 when Nate Guenin and Rod Pelley were second-team selections. The last time the team had a first and second team choice was 2003 when RJ Umberger was a first-team honoree and Mike Betz was the second-team goalie.
The Buckeyes return to action this weekend when they host Ferris State in a CCHA Tournament quarterfinal best-of-three series. The games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday (and Sunday if necessary) in the OSU Ice Rink. Single-game tickets are on sale and can be purchased online (http://go.osu.edu/CCHATix). Ohio State radio will carry the action over the air on 1460 AM and online at ESPNColumbus.com, with a free video stream on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Audio, video and live stats links are on the Buckeye hockey gameday page: http://go.osu.edu/mhkygameday.