MARQUETTE, Mich. ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚“ With only two weeks to go in theregular season and the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ But after the 5-2win over the Buckeyes on Friday night the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats are one step closer to homeice.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ With the win NMU is now 17-14-2overall and 13-11-1 in the CCHA.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ OhioState falls to 21-10-3 and 15-8-2.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Moreimportantly the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats are 11-2-1 at the Berry Events Center.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWe are a team built to play on this rink,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚Walt Kyle, NMU head coach, said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œAnywin you get right now is important in regards to home ice.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
Jimmy Jackson scored his second goal of the year to give theÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats the early 1-0 lead at 13:21 of the first period.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Bryce Cockburn assisted.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Cockburn would then turn around and make it2-0 with his 12th goal of the season at 15:54 of the firstperiod.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Andrew Contois and Jackson assisted.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWe just seem to play much better at home,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚Stutzel said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œThat is why home ice isso important to us.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dirk Southernassisted.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Jackson then scored his secondgoal of the night, which came on the power play.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The goal was his third of the season at 8:00 of the third periodto put the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats up 4-1.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œI think athome it is important to come out right off the bat in the first period,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚Jackson said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œThe second goal I justtook my time and saw the guy went down in front of me and stepped aroundhim.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Peter Michelutti and Stutzelassisted.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Southern made it 5-1 at 18:40of the third period with his eighth goal of the season.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dan Donnette and Jamie Milam assisted onSouthernÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s goal.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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 ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats on the night.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ His counterpart form OSU, Mike Betz, had 17saves.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ 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.