March 22, 2003

'Cats Make Statement To Ncaa

 

DETROIT, Mich.  â€Ã‚“The NMU hockey team made a statement to the NCAA Tournament Committee onSaturday in the third place game at the CCHA Super Six. Ohio State and NMU werefighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The â€Ã‚˜Cats showed why they should be invited by defeating the Buckeyes4-1.  NMU now stands at 22-17-2 on theseason while OSU is 25-12-5.  Thepairings for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Sunday, March 23rdat 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) on ESPN.  â€Ã‚œI toldour guys before the game that the puck is going to drop, the best team is goingto win and the best team should advance,â€Ã‚ Walt Kyle, the NMU head coach,said.  â€Ã‚œThat is the way that we lookedat the game.â€Ã‚

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead when R.J. Umbergerscored a goal at 12:06 of the first period. Dirk Southern tied the game with his 11th goal of the seasonat 15:23 of the opening period.  JamieMilam and Jimmy Jackson assisted.  â€Ã‚œWeknew it was going to be a battle from the start,â€Ã‚ Jackson said.  â€Ã‚œBoth teams wanted the game.  We played hard and Ohio State played hard.â€Ã‚

Milam scored a power-play goal at 12:37 of the second periodto give the â€Ã‚˜Cats the lead for good at 2-1 with his fifth goal of theseason.  Juha Alen and Alex Sawrukassisted on the goal.  Bryce Cockburn madeit 3-1 with his 17th goal of the season at 3:20 of the thirdperiod.  Jackson picked up his secondassist on the night.  Mike Stutzel madeit 4-1 with his 27th goal of the season at 12:14 of the thirdperiod.  Cockburn and Peter Micheluttiassisted.

Both teams had 10 power play opportunities.  The â€Ã‚˜Cats had two power-play goals while theBuckeyes had one power-play goal.  OSUhad 32 shots to the â€Ã‚˜Cats 22 shots on goal. Craig Kowalski registered 31 saves on the night.  â€Ã‚œHe (Kowalski) is the key to our hockeyteam,â€Ã‚ Kyle added.  â€Ã‚œHe is a leader onour team.â€Ã‚ÃƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚‚  Both teams were called for13 penalties and 26 penalty minutes.

The â€Ã‚˜Cats season could be over or they could be playing inthe NCAA Tournament.  They will find outlike everyone else on Sunday.

 

 



Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013