MARQUETTE, Mich. – Add another victim to Walt Kyle’s wins in the opening game of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) season. Throw in a shutout by Bill Zaniboni and Darin Olver’s first goal of the season. Mix it all up and you get a Northern Michigan University victory over Ohio State, 2-0.
NMU improves to 4-2-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the CCHA. OSU falls to 1-4-0 and 1-2-0 respectively.
Kyle now in his fifth year behind the NMU bench has beaten Michigan State twice (10-4 in 2002-03 and 3-2 in 2004-05), Bowling Green (2-1 in 2003-04), Lake Superior State (3-1 in 2005-06) and now Ohio State in opening CCHA action. “I thought tonight it was two pretty good defensive hockey teams,” Kyle said. “Ohio State is a good team.”
Nick Sirota’s second goal of the season was all the Wildcats really needed. He scored at 6:44 of the second period for the lead which the ‘Cats never gave up (1-0). “I just happened to find the high short side,” Sirota said. Rob Lehtinen and Dusty Collins assisted.
Olver then added his first marker of the season for insurance at 1:02 of the third period. “Every year it seems to take me five, six, seven games to score my first goal,” Olver said. Pat Bateman assisted.
Zaniboni recorded his fifth career shutout and second of the season by turning away 22 shots. In the third period alone he had 11 saves. “I thought all the way through our guys played unreal,” Zaniboni said. Nick Filion had 14 saves for the Buckeyes.
NMU had four power-play opportunities, but did not score with the extra man. The ‘Cat penalty kill unit shut down OSU’s power play on all five opportunities. For the season the ‘Cats are now 51-54 on the penalty kill (.944). OSU did have 22 shots to 16 for NMU.
The ‘Cats and Buckeyes will tangle for round two of the weekend set tomorrow night (Oct. 28) at the Berry Events Center.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director