COLUMBUS, Ohio – A change of venue did not help the Northern Michigan University Wildcats on Friday night in the first game of the CCHA Playoffs. Ohio State used two power-play goals in the 6-2 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The game was played at the OSU Ice Rink as Value City Arena, the Buckeyes normal home, was being used for the Ohio High School State Wrestling Tournament.
NMU’s last win in the Ohio capital was a 3-2 decision on Nov. 7, 1981 at the OSU Ice Rink. The ‘Cats have not won in Columbus since then which is a total of 11 games. This season OSU took the season series with a 3-1 slate.
With the loss NMU is now 13-22-2 on the season while OSU improves to 15-15-5.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first 28 minutes of play. OSU’s first two goals of the game were on the power play as Sean Collins at 15:45 of the first period and John Dingle at 4:06 of the second gave OSU the 2-0 lead.
Mathieu Beaudoin gave the home team a 3-0 lead at 7:36 of the middle frame. Matt Maunu put the ‘Cats on the board with his fifth goal of the season at 16:43. TJ Miller and Rob Lehtinen assisted on the goal.
The third period saw the Buckeyes add three more goals to its scoring column while NMU had a single marker. The Buckeyes scored at 6:27 by Tom Fritsche and 10:30 by Tommy Goebel for the 5-1 lead. Mike Santorelli made the count 5-2 with his 29th goal of the season at 18:19. Matt Siddall and Lehtinen assisted. Jason DeSantis scored the final goal of the game at 19:09.
Bill Zaniboni began the game in goal for the ‘Cats. He was pulled after OSU’s third goal and ended the game with 19 saves. Brian Stewart played the rest of the game between the pipes as he had 18 saves and gave up three goals. Joseph Palmer for the Buckeyes had 22 saves in the win.
OSU had a big shot advantage on the night at 43-24. The Buckeyes were 2-5 on the power play while the ‘Cats were 0-4. Each side was whistled for four penalties.
NMU needs a win tomorrow night (March 3) at the OSU Ice Rink to continue its season. A loss and the season will be over for the ‘Cats.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director