Jackie Stoerer / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team continued its winless ways in a two-game series against Michigan State this past weekend.
The No. 10-ranked Buckeyes lost back-to-back games in Columbus this weekend, falling to the Spartans, 6-3 and 3-2, on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. OSU (14-10-5, 10-9-5-1 CCHA) has now gone 10 straight games without a win, and have a 0-6-4 record this calendar year following its two-game set with MSU (15-11-4, 10-9-3-2 CCHA).
OSU freshman forward Tanner Fritz scored two goals, with fellow freshman forwards Ryan Dzingel and Max McCormick, and sophomore forward Alex Lippincott each tallying a score in the series. The Buckeye defense gave up a total of nine goals against the Spartans, the most OSU has given up in a series this season.
OSU coach Mark Osiecki said the key to the series this weekend was the veteran play of the Spartans.
“That was the bottom line this weekend,” he said. “They only have a few freshmen in their lineup and that helps them in tough situations. We had 10 freshmen in the lineup tonight, and that was one of the differences in the game. It helps having their kind of experience going through league play.”
After jumping out to a 3-1 lead Friday night, before the Spartans scored five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-3 win, the Buckeyes got in a hole early on Saturday.
Spartan freshman forward Matt Berry scored a power-play goal at 9:14 in the first period to give MSU an early 1-0 lead. Berry tapped the puck in from the post after junior defenseman Torey Krug faked a shot on the wing before passing it to him.
MSU added two more goals in the second stanza to take a 3-0 lead half way through the period. Sophomore defenseman Jake Chelios, son of former NHL defenseman Chris Chelios, scored a 4-on-4 goal at 1:57 in the middle period. With 6:35 left in the second, Krug blasted a shot from the top of the right circle that flew past OSU senior goalie Cal Heeter and into the back of the net.
“He’s an all-league type of player,” Osiecki said of Krug. “It’s important to have a defenseman back there who can quarterback the team. From a power play standpoint he’s top notch, and my hat goes off to him.”
The Buckeyes rallied after Krug’s blast with two goals from Fritz.
The freshman forward gave OSU its first goal of the game when he slid the puck in off a rebound at 14:23 in the second stanza. A few minutes later, he found the back of the net again when Dzingel’s shot on a 2-on-1 breakaway bounced off MSU sophomore goalie Will Yanakeff. Fritz found the loose puck and buried it home with 2:11 remaining in the second.
“The line (with Dzingel and McCormick) feels good right now,” Fritz said. “We have played well the past couple series.”
The Spartans led 3-2 heading into the final period, and killed off multiple Buckeye power plays late in the third stanza to hold on for the win and series sweep. OSU’s power play was 0-8 on Saturday night and 0-14 on the weekend.
“Our power-play unit really needs to bear down,” Osiecki said. “We got some good looks but we couldn’t capitalize. Our power play could have been the difference for us the past couple of games.”
The Buckeyes take the ice again for a two-game series against Western Michigan starting Friday at 7:05 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Mich.