Press Box


MARQUETTE, Mich. â€Ã‚“ With only two weeks to go in theregular season and the â€Ã‚˜Cats fighting for home ice for the CCHA First Roundthey faced the third place Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday night at the BerryEvents Center. Entering the game NMU was in a three-way tie for fifth place inthe CCHA standings.  But after the 5-2win over the Buckeyes on Friday night the â€Ã‚˜Cats are one step closer to homeice.  With the win NMU is now 17-14-2overall and 13-11-1 in the CCHA.  OhioState falls to 21-10-3 and 15-8-2.  Moreimportantly the â€Ã‚˜Cats are 11-2-1 at the Berry Events Center.  â€Ã‚œWe are a team built to play on this rink,â€Ã‚Walt Kyle, NMU head coach, said.  â€Ã‚œAnywin you get right now is important in regards to home ice.â€Ã‚

Jimmy Jackson scored his second goal of the year to give theâ€Ã‚˜Cats the early 1-0 lead at 13:21 of the first period.  Bryce Cockburn assisted.  Cockburn would then turn around and make it2-0 with his 12th goal of the season at 15:54 of the firstperiod.  Andrew Contois and Jackson assisted.  OSU would get on the board in the firstperiod at 19:39 when Daymen Bencharski scored a power-play goal.

Mike Stutzel stretched the lead to 3-1 when he knocked homehis 23rd goal of the season at 16:39 of the second period.  â€Ã‚œWe just seem to play much better at home,â€Ã‚Stutzel said.  â€Ã‚œThat is why home ice isso important to us.â€Ã‚ÃƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚‚  Dirk Southernassisted.  Jackson then scored his secondgoal of the night, which came on the power play.  The goal was his third of the season at 8:00 of the third periodto put the â€Ã‚˜Cats up 4-1.  â€Ã‚œI think athome it is important to come out right off the bat in the first period,â€Ã‚Jackson said.  â€Ã‚œThe second goal I justtook my time and saw the guy went down in front of me and stepped aroundhim.â€Ã‚ÃƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚‚  Peter Michelutti and Stutzelassisted.  Southern made it 5-1 at 18:40of the third period with his eighth goal of the season.  Dan Donnette and Jamie Milam assisted onSouthernâ€Ã‚™s goal.  OSU would add a goalat 18:51 of the third period by Doug Andress for the final margin of 5-2.

Craig Kowalski had 18 saves for the â€Ã‚˜Cats on the night.  His counterpart form OSU, Mike Betz, had 17saves.  NMU was 1-6 on the power playwhile the Buckeyes were 1-3.

The two teams play game two of the weekend series onSaturday night (March 1) at the Berry Events Center at 7:05 p.m.



Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director