COLUMBUS, Ohio – It took two seniors to keep the Northern Michigan University hockey season alive on Saturday night. With the Wildcats down 1-0 to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a best-of-three series, Darin Olver scored two first-period goals to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the second game of the CCHA First Round Playoffs. Then it took a goal from Dusty Collins in overtime to give the ‘Cats its first win in Columbus, 3-2, since Nov. 7, 1981. NMU had dropped its past 11 games in a row in the Ohio capital.
The third and deciding game will be played at the OSU Ice Rink tomorrow night (March 4) at 7:05 p.m. The winner will advance to the next round.
With the win NMU improves to 14-22-2 on the season while the Buckeyes drop to 15-16-5.
Olver gave the ‘Cats the 1-0 lead with his 12th goal on the season at 7:21. The power-play marker was assisted by Zach Tarkir and TJ Miller. A little over a minute-and-a-half later, Olver made the score 2-0 with his 13th goal of he season at 8:50. Matt Siddall and Pat Bateman assisted. The Buckeyes would cut NMU’s lead in half when Kenny Bernard scored at 9:44 (2-1).
OSU scored the lone goal in the second period, to tie the game, at 7:02 by John Dingle. The third period went scoreless, so to the extra session.
Collins scored the game-winning goal at 3:15 of the overtime period to send the series to a third and deciding game. Mike Santorelli and Matt Maunu assisted.
OSU for the second night in a row had over 40 shots on goal. Tonight the Buckeyes blasted 44 to 34 for the ‘Cats. NMU scored on half of its power play chances (1-2) while the Buckeyes were 0-4 with the extra skater.
Brian Stewart had 42 saves for the game in his first post-season start. Joseph Palmer backstopped OSU with 31 saves.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director