Nov. 5, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team completed a weekend sweep with its second shutout of the series, downing Alabama-Huntsville, 2-0, Saturday night. Buckeye senior goalie Cal Heeter had 20 saves for his second-consecutive shutout and the Buckeyes’ third straight as a team. Buckeye freshmen Nick Oddo and Tanner Fritz each netted their first career goals in the victory, while sophomore Chris Crane had two assists.
Ohio State, 6-3-1 on the year, is on a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1). The team returns home for a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series with Northern Michigan next week. The teams will meet at 12:05 p.m. Friday on Veteran’s Day and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes wasted little time opening the scoring, as Oddo tallied at 3:45 of the first period, set up by Crane and freshman defenseman Al McLean. Shots were 15-8 in favor of Ohio State in the stanza and Alabama-Huntsville had the only power-play chance.
In the second, Fritz scored his first career goal at 16:57 for a 2-0 Buckeye lead. Crane and freshman Matt Johnson had the assists after work along the wall to free the puck and get it to Fritz. Ohio State outshot UAH, 12-6, in the period and held the Chargers scoreless on two power-play chances.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third. Heeter stopped the six shots he faced, with UAH’s Clarke Saunders making 17 saves. The Chargers had a 6-on-4 advantage as time wound down with an empty net and a Buckeye in the penalty box, but they could not break up the shutout. It was UAH’s lone power play of the period.
For the game, Ohio State outshot Alabama-Huntsville, 44-20. Heeter played all 60 minutes and had 20 saves. Saunders was between the pipes for 58:20 and had 42 saves.
Ohio State held the Chargers scoreless on four power-play opportunities. Alabama-Huntsville was not assessed a penalty in the game.
• This is the first time in Ohio State history the Buckeyes have had three-consecutive shutouts. The shutout streak is 195:51, dating to the third period vs. Alaska Oct. 28.
• Heeter also had a shutout Oct. 28 against Alaska in his last start. It is the fourth time a Buckeye goalie has posted shutouts in back-to-back starts. Dave Caruso did it twice – Nov. 18-19, 2005 vs. Lake Superior State and Dec. 29, 2002 vs. Cornell/Jan. 7, 2003 vs. Findlay. Bill McKenzie was the first, shutting out Ohio in both ends of a home-and-home series Feb. 25-26, 1972.
• Heeter has five career shutouts to tie for fifth in program history.
• The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents, 12-0, in the last three games combined.
• Fritz and Oddo are the sixth and seventh Buckeye freshmen to score goals this year. It was Oddo’s first career point.
• Heeter is now 5-1-1 on the year, with a 1.93 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Brady Hjelle, the goalie of record in the shutout Friday, has a 1.80 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Ohio State is allowing 2.0 goals as a team.
• The sweep was the Buckeyes’ first road sweep since Dec. 10-11, 2010 at Bowling Green.
• The 44 shots were a season high for the Buckeyes. The team, outshot in six of its first seven games, has outshot its opponents in each of the last three games.
• The Buckeyes have not allowed a power play goal in the last three games, stopping all 16 opponent chances.
• Crane leads the Buckeyes with 10 points, ranking second with five goals. It was his first career two-assist game.
• Danny Dries is second on the team with nine points, including a team-best seven goals. Devon Krogh is first with seven assists and tied with Ryan Dzingel for third with eight points.