MARQUETTE, Mich. For the second-consecutive year, Ohio State and Northern Michigan will meet in a decisive third game in a CCHA playoff first-round series. Northern Michigan won game two, 4-2, to force game three after Ohio State won the series opener, 4-3, Friday.

The No. 11 seed Buckeyes (12-24-4) and No. 6 Wildcats (16-18-4) will meet in game three at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center, with the winner advancing to the CCHA quarterfinals. A Buckeye win would move the squad into a series with top-seed Michigan.

The teams ended the first period knotted at 1. The Wildcats got on the board three minutes into the game when Nick Sirota scored on his second attempt following sustained pressure by Northern deep in the Buckeye zone. Senior defenseman Jason DeSantis tied the game with his second goal of the weekend. Freshman defenseman Chris Reed carried the puck into the NMU zone and passed to senior Tommy Goebel by the net. Goebel found DeSantis inside the blueline and his shot beat NMU goalie Brian Stewart low. The Buckeyes were outshot in the period, 10-8, with goalie Joseph Palmer making nine saves. The Buckeyes stopped the Wildcats on three power-play chances, while Ohio State was 0-for-1.

Northern scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead into intermission. Phil Fox scored from the right faceoff circle at 1:28. Mark Olver added the Wildcats’ third goal with just 1.1 left in the period, scoring on the power play as his shot from the top of the circle got through. The Buckeyes put six shots on net in the period, with Northern getting 10 shots on net. Ohio State was scoreless on three power-play chances, with the Wildcats converting 1-of-2 chances.

The Wildcats added to their lead with a goal 6:18 into the third when Sirota picked up his second goal of the game, scoring from the near post. Buckeye junior defenseman was awarded a penalty shot with 1:55 remaining in regulation, but his shot was stopped. With the net empty, Kyle Reed deflected a shot by DeSantis into the NMU net to make the score 4-2, with Kyle Hood picking up the second assist. Ohio State outshot the Wildcats, 13-7, in the period. Each team was 0-for-1 on the power play in the period.

Each team put 27 shots on net in the game. Palmer had 23 saves in 58:23 for the Buckeyes, with Stewart making 25 stops in all 60 minutes.

The Buckeyes were unable to convert on five power-play chances. Northern Michigan was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.

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

DeSantis has a team-best five points in the weekend, with three points (1g, 2a) in the opener and a goal and an assist in game two. He now has 20 points on the season, with five goals and 15 assists.

Goebel has three assists and four points in the series and now has 112 career points (53g, 59a).

Reed is the second Buckeye to hit double-digits in goals this year with 10, joining Goebel, who has a team-best 21 tallies.

Biondo’s penalty shot was the Buckeyes’ second this season. Goebel also attempeted a penalty shot Dec. 1 at Michigan.


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

Ohio State (12-24-4) vs. Northern Michigan (16-18-4)
 Date: Mar 08, 2008  Location: Marquette, Mich.      Arena: Berry Events Center
 Attendance:2164   Start time:7:35 pm   End time:9:45 pm   Total time:2:10   

 Goals by Period       1  2  3  Tot
 Ohio State……….  1  0  1 –  2
 Northern Michigan…  1  2  1 –  4
   1st period – 1, NMU, Nick Sirota/17 (Jared Brown/13, Alan Dorich/6)
3:00. 2, OSU, Jason DeSantis/5 (Tommy Goebel/15, Chris Reed/6) 7:03.
Penalties – John Albert, OSU (slashing) 4:44; Nick Sirota, NMU
(cross-checking) 9:22; Johann Kroll, OSU (cth high-sticking) 14:23;
Jason DeSantis, OSU (hooking) 17:31.

   2nd period – 3, NMU, Phil Fox/11 (Matt Butcher/13, Ray Kaunisto/3)
1:28. 4, NMU, Mark Olver/16 (Nick Sirota/16, Erik Gustafsson/23) 19:58
(pp). Penalties – Tommy Goebel, OSU (hooking) 1:39; Billy Smith, NMU
(holding) 3:43; Phil Fox, NMU (boarding) 8:53; Billy Smith, NMU
(kneeing) 15:53; Chris Reed, OSU (tripping) 19:00.

   3rd period – 5, NMU, Nick Sirota/18 (Matt Siddall/16, Erik
Gustafsson/24) 6:18. 6, OSU, Kyle Reed/10 (Jason DeSantis/15, Kyle
Hood/9) 19:44. Penalties – Gregor Hanson, NMU (charging) 1:24; Nick
Biondo, OSU (checking from behind) 15:52; Alan Dorich, NMU (tripping)

   Shots on goal – OSU 8-6-13 27; NMU 10-10-7 27.

   Power plays – OSU 0 of 5; NMU 1 of 6.

   Penalties – OSU 6 (12 min); NMU 6 (12 min).

   Goalies – OSU, Joseph Palmer 10-18-4 (58:23 minutes, 27 shots-23
saves) , EMPTY NET (01:37, 0-0); NMU, Brian Stewart 12-13-4 (60:00,

   Penalty shots – [3rd 18:05] OSU Nick Biondo MISSED.

 A-2164  T-2:10   
 Three stars: 1. Nick Sirota    2. Brian Stewart    3. Erik Gustafsson   
 Referee:Kevin Hall  AR:Kevin Langseth; Chris Davis
 Win-Brian Stewart (12-13-4).  Loss-Joseph Palmer (10-18-4). 
 Best of 3 series tied 1-1. Game 3 Sunday night   
 at 7:35PM