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MARQUETTE, Mich. The Ohio State men’s hockey team opened the first round of the CCHA playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the host Northern Michigan Wildcats Friday in the Berry Events Center. Seniors Tommy Goebel and Jason DeSantis led the Buckeyes with three points each, on a goal and two assists, as the Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.

The No. 11 seed Buckeyes (12-23-4) and No. 6 Wildcats (15-18-4) will meet in game two at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

The Buckeyes held a 2-1 lead after the first period. Goebel, from Parma, Ohio, opened the scoring at 6:34, as freshman John Albert, the team’s assist leader, led him through the neutral zone. Goebel carried the puck deep into the NMU zone and his backhand shot got past Wildcat goalie Brian Stewart on the short side for his team-best 21st goal of the season. The Wildcats tied the game at 15:39, converting their only power-play chance of the period. Jared Brown took a pass from Matt Siddall and his shot from the left point got through traffic and in to tie the game at 1. Freshman Patrick Schafer put Ohio State back ahead with 1:21 left in the period. Senior defenseman Johann Kroll started the play up ice to freshman Peter Boyd. Boyd passed on to classmate Kyle Reed. His shot was saved, but rookie Patrick Schafer was there to lift the puck into the net for his fourth goal of the year. The Buckeyes were outshot in the period, 7-5. Ohio State had one power-play chance in the period.

Ohio State went ahead, 3-1, on a DeSantis goal at 10:47 of the second period. Goebel picked up a Northern clearning attempt along the wall and held it until he found DeSantis open in the slot. DeSantis made a play to beat his defenseman and then deked the goalie, backhanding the puck over Stewart. Freshman Todd Rudasill made the score 4-1 when he put in the rebound of a DeSantis shot with the Buckeyes on the power play, with Goebel picking up the second assist. Buckeye goalie Joseph Palmer stopped all 11 shots he faced in the period, including two point-blank stops on Matt Butcher, who was all alone in front of the net, while on the penalty kill and the Buckeyes still holding a one-goal lead. The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and converted 1-of-2 chances of their own.

The Buckeyes held their three-goal lead until the Wildcats scored twice in the final 3:53 of the third period, cutting the lead to one. Northern’s Matt Siddall scored after a scramble in front at 16:07. With the teams skating 4-on-4, NMU pulled Stewart for a 5-on-4 advantage and converted at 18:04 when TJ Miller’s shot got through. Palmer made 10 saves in the period, as the Wildcats outshot the Buckeyes, 12-5. Northern ended the game with the net empty, but the Buckeye defense held strong for the win to take the series lead.

The Buckeyes were outshot in the game, 30-18. Palmer made 27 saves in all 60 minutes. Stewart had 14 stops in 56:55.

Each team had one power-play goal in four chances.

Postgame Notes
This is the second-consecutive season Ohio State and Northern Michigan are meeting in the first round of the CCHA playoffs.

DeSantis’ three points marked a career best. He has had seven two-point outings in his career, including two this season.

Goebel’s three points tied his season and career best, last set Jan. 26 at Lake Superior State. He has seven three-point games in his collegiate career. Goebel now has a career-best 35 points. He entered the game with 32, matching the career best he posted as a freshman.

The Buckeyes’ second-period power-play goal ended their scoreless streak on the power play at 16.

Ohio State’s streak of consecutive penalties killed ended at nine. It was just the second time in the last five games the squad allowed a power-play goal.

Boyd is on a three-game point and assist streak, with four assists in the stretch.

                         Hockey Game Box Score (Final)
                        Ohio State Men’s Hockey 2007-08
       Ohio State vs Northern Michigan (Mar 07, 2008 at Marquette, Mich.)

 Ohio State (12-23-4) vs. Northern Michigan (15-18-4)
 Date: Mar 07, 2008  Location: Marquette, Mich.      Arena: Berry Events Center
 Attendance:1788   Start time:7:35 pm   End time:9:45 pm   Total time:2:10   

 Goals by Period       1  2  3  Tot
 ———————————-
 Ohio State……….  2  2  0 –  4
 Northern Michigan…  1  0  2 –  3
 
   1st period – 1, OSU, Tommy Goebel/21 (John Albert/17, Jason
DeSantis/13) 6:34. 2, NMU, Jared Brown/7 (Matt Siddall/15, Erik
Gustafsson/20) 15:39 (pp). 3, OSU, Patrick Schafer/4 (Kyle Reed/8,
Peter Boyd/14) 18:39. Penalties – Matt Siddall, NMU (o-tripping) 9:22;
Nick Biondo, OSU (cross-checking) 14:47; Corey Toy, OSU (roughing atw)
18:49; Mark Olver, NMU (roughing atw) 18:49.

   2nd period – 4, OSU, Jason DeSantis/4 (Tommy Goebel/13) 10:47. 5,
OSU, Todd Rudasill/4 (Jason DeSantis/14, Tommy Goebel/14) 13:54 (pp).
Penalties – Matt McIlvane, OSU (goaltender interference) 1:51; Johann
Kroll, OSU (hooking) 11:12; Jared Brown, NMU (holding) 11:42; Matt
Siddall, NMU (interference) 13:08; Jason DeSantis, OSU (holding)
14:40; Kyle Reed, OSU (roughing atw) 17:44; TJ Miller, NMU (roughing
atw) 17:44.

   3rd period – 6, NMU, Matt Siddall/15 (Tim Hartung/4, Erik
Gustafsson/21) 16:07. 7, NMU, TJ Miller/2 (Erik Gustafsson/22, Mark
Olver/16) 18:04. Penalties – Peter Boyd, OSU (cth high-sticking) 2:15;
Erik Spady, NMU (roughing) 2:15; Alan Dorich, NMU (o-holding) 10:30;
Patrick Schafer, OSU (roughing) 16:34; Matt Siddall, NMU (holding)
16:34.

   Shots on goal – OSU 5-8-5 18; NMU 7-11-12 30.

   Power plays – OSU 1 of 4; NMU 1 of 4.

   Penalties – OSU 8 (16 min); NMU 8 (16 min).

   Goalies – OSU, Joseph Palmer 10-17-4 (60:00 minutes, 30 shots-27
saves); NMU, Brian Stewart 11-13-4 (56:55, 18-14) , EMPTY NET (03:05,
0-0).

   Penalty shots – None.

 A-1788  T-2:10   
 Three stars: 1. Tommy Goebel    2. Jason DeSantis    3. Erik Gustafsson   
 Referee:Kevin Hall  AR:Kevin Langseth; Chris Davis
 Win-Joseph Palmer (10-17-4).  Loss-Brian Stewart (11-13-4). 
 Ohio State leads best of 3 series 1-0