Photo courtesy: Ohio State athletics
NOTE: Blue Jackets TV analyst Bill Davidge is one of the most plugged-in sources for information on college hockey, and he breaks down the action from Ohio's CCHA teams in this blog.
Ohio State was the only CCHA representative from the Buckeye State in action over the Thanksgiving weekend, and Mark Osiecki's club earned a weekend split with the Lake Superior State Lakers in upstate Michigan.
Friday: Team offense solidifies win for Ohio State
The Buckeyes were looking to manufacture some consistent offensive play for 60 minutes -- and they did so, getting points from 10 different Buckeyes, along with 31 saves from senior goalie Brady Hjelle, leading to a 4-1 victory at Lake Superior State. Ohio State led 1-0 after the first on a Matt Johnson goal, and sophomore classmate Ryan Dzingel scored in the second for a 2-0 Buckeye advantage after 40 minutes. Sophomore Max McCormick extended the lead to 3-0 in the third before the Lakers broke up the shutout with a power play goal at 16:22. Junior Chris Crane sealed the win for the Buckeyes with an empty-net goal. Sophomore Tanner Fritz was the lone Buckeye with multiple points, posting two assists for the second-consecutive game.
Saturday: Poor start stymies Bucks in 3-2 loss
Ohio State fell behind 2-0 early in the first period before drawing within a goal on a Darik Angeli tally 55 seconds into the second period. An early Lakers goal in the third period extended the lead to 3-1 and served as the eventual game winner. Ohio State was able to again draw within one when Dzingel scored on the power play (and the Buckeye net empty) with less than three minutes remaining, but the Lakers held the Buckeyes off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Buckeye sophomore Tanner Fritz had two assists for the Buckeyes.
Buckeye Streaks and Stats!
• Fritz had his third consecutive two-assist night and is on a five-game assist streak with eight helpers in the stretch. He leads the Buckeyes with nine assists and 11 points.
• Dzingel is on a five-game point streak with a goal in each of his last three games. He has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last five games combined and a point in all but one of the last nine games. He is second on the team with 10 points and first with five goals.
• Hjelle now has a 1.45 goals-against average and .950 save percentage, ranking fifth in the NCAA and first in the CCHA in both categories. In CCHA play, he is first in the league with a 0.62 GAA and .977 save percentage.
• Ohio State has a power play goal in four of the last five games and is 5-for-24 (20.7) over the stretch. That has been an improvement and a far cry from the dismal start to the season with the man advantage.