Press Box

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoffs land in Marquette this weekend to spotlight the schedule. Northern Michigan University (15-17-4, 12-13-3 CCHA) hosts Ohio State University (11-23-4, 7-18-3 CCHA) in a best-of-three series beginning Friday night, March 7, at 7:35 p.m. The Wildcats enter the playoffs as the sixth seed while the Buckeyes are the 11th. The winner of the series would advance in the CCHA Playoffs. Entering the weekend NMU is 2-2-1 in its past five games while the Buckeyes are also 2-2-1.
Last weekend, NMU lost (2-3) and tied Lake Superior (2-2 OT) while OSU was swept by Miami (1-2, 3-4).
Before the puck is dropped for the first game there will be a Blue Line Luncheon at the University Center beginning at 11:45 a.m. on Friday (March 7). The event is open to the public with a cost of $7.75 per person. Scheduled to speak are NMU head coach Walt Kyle and OSU’s John Markell. Selected Wildcats are scheduled to speak.   
The second game would be on Saturday night (March 8) at 7:35 p.m. A third game if necessary would be played on Sunday (March 9) also at 7:35 p.m. 
NMU and OSU met a couple of weeks ago (Feb. 15-16) in Columbus as the two teams split. NMU won the first night (2-0) while OSU took the second night (3-2). The playoff series is a rematch of last year’s first round when the two battled in Columbus. OSU took the first game 6-2 before NMU won the second game in overtime (3-2) to tie the series and then advanced by taking game three (3-2). 
NMU and OSU have met in the postseason nine times with the ‘Cats holding a 4-3-2 edge. This is the first time since 1981 the teams have played a postseason series in Marquette.
In the CCHA overall stats the ‘Cats were ranked eighth in team offense (2.53 g/gm) while the Buckeyes were ninth (2.39 g/gm). Defensively the ‘Cats were sixth (2.72 g/gm) and the Buckeyes 10th (3.24 g/gm). Nick Sirota leads NMU in goals (16) and points (31). Erik Gustafsson has a team-leading 19 assists. For the Buckeyes, Tommy Goebel leads the team in goals (20) and points (32). John Albert has a team-high 16 assists. Brian Stewart leads the ‘Cats between the pipes as he is 11-12-4 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .917 save-percentage. For OSU, Joseph Palmer has seen the most time in goal as he is 9-17-4 with a 3.02 goals-against average and a .891 save-percentage.   
Tickets are currently on sale at the Superior Dome ticket office, the TCF Bank ticket outlet in the University Center or on-line ( Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to have their season seat and to avoid lines on game day at the Berry Events Center ticket window.  
Season ticket holder’s seats are being held for purchase until 5 p.m., Thursday, March 6. After that time, the seats will be available to all ticket purchasers. 
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students (including NMU students) for each game.
For more information or with any questions please contact the Superior Dome ticket office at 906-227-1032.
Six members of the NMU men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams are in Bozeman, Montana for the 2008 National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Skiing Championships. Martin Stuge Banerud, Gus Kaeding and Phillip Violett will represent the NMU men. The three women representing NMU are Laura DeWitt, Morgan Smyth and Maria Stuber. 
Nordic events will be held March 5 and 7 at Bohart Ranch. The women’s five-kilometer and men’s 10-kilometer freestyle cross country races will be conducted March 5. The men’s 20-kilometer and women’s 15-kilometer classical races will be held March 7.
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Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director