MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team picked up its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association sweep of the season on Saturday (Jan. 19) night with a 3-2 victory over the Ohio State University. NMU also extended its unbeaten streak to six and are 5-0-1 in 2013.
“We’re really happy to get the win tonight,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “We’re doing a great job right now and I’m really happy with everyone. We have great leadership and line combinations. We’re getting balanced scoring and we believe in who we are.”
Freshman forward Ryan Aynsley and junior defenseman CJ Ludwig scored goals early in the third period after the Buckeyes tied the game at one in the second.
The Buckeyes turned the puck over in their end and sophomore forward Mitch Jones found Aynsley on the right side. Aynsley went in alone on Hjelle and shot one over his blocker 2:26 into the third.
Ludwig found the open net with a sharp angled shot after he picked up the rebound on the initial shot by senior forward Brian Nugent 2:21 later. It was Nugent’s first point of the season on the assist while junior forward Stephan Vigier added the secondary assist.
With the win, NMU is now 11-10-4 overall and 5-9-4-1 in the CCHA. OSU falls to 8-11-5 and 7-6-3-1 in conference play.
“I still don’t think we are where we are capable of being and we’ll continue to get better,” said Kyle. “What’s behind us is behind us. We need to move ahead and keep winning with 11 regular season games left.”
Junior goaltender Jared Coreau stopped 30 shots for the 13th time this season and outdueled Brady Hjelle, the nation’s leading goaltender heading into the weekend. Hjelle had 18 saves for the Buckeyes.
Sophomore forward Reed Seckel opened the game’s scoring with his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Junior forward Erik Higby extended his point streak to three games with the assist. Senior forward Matt Thurber added his league-leading 19th assist with the other helper.
In the second period, OSU scored a power play goal. Max McCormick shot a puck that trickled underneath Coreau to tie the game. Ryan Dzingel and Sam Jardine assisted on the goal.
The Buckeyes pulled to within one (3-2) with 6:52 left in the game with a power play goal by Curtis Gedig. Dzingel and Tanner Fritz assisted on the second OSU goal.
OSU pulled Hjelle and added the extra attacked but never got a good scoring chance before time ran out.
NMU was 0-for-4 on the power play after four OSU penalties. The Buckeyes were 2-for-5 on the man advantage. The ‘Cats took five minor penalties.
Northern heads north to Alaska next weekend (Jan. 25-26) to take on the Nanooks for the second time this season. NMU won and tied/won shootout with Alaska on Nov. 23-24.
Game Notes: NMU won 4-2 on Friday…NMU finished 2-2 against OSU this season…The last CCHA sweep was Feb. 24-25, 2012 vs. LSSU…Seckel has 17 career goals…Ludwig has five career goals.
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