|Buckeyes facing off against NMU|
Ryan Daugherty got Northern Michigan on the board early by blocking a shot at the blue line, which deflected back past the Buckeye defender, and sent Daugherty in on a nice breakaway on the Buckeyes Freshman Goal Tender Colin Olson. Daugherty made a nice move to finish, and put Northern Michigan up 1-0 with 10:17 left in the opening period. The Buckeyes kept the pressure up, out shooting the Wildcats 13-4 in the first period, but were unable to put one in goal.
The second period started out with the same Ryan Daugherty taking a minor penalty for interference, and the Buckeye power play got on track. Riley Simpson, the 5-8 165 lb Freshman, got the Buckeyes on the board with the power play goal, with the assists by Tanner Fritz and Ryan Dzingel. With the game tied at 1, Northern Michigan proceeded to do its apparently customary knucklehead play, when Erik Higby broke his stick on a Buckeye player's head, thereby taking the 5 minute major and game misconduct. Alex Lippincott did not play last night after taking his head shot from NMU the previous evening. This allowed the Buckeye power play to get warmed up before Stephen Vigier went off for tripping, giving the Buckeyes a 5 on 3 power play.
The Buckeyes took advantage of their opportunity, scoring a power play goal at 2:46 gone in the second, when Ryan Dzingel potted a beauty of a goal, with assists going to 6-1, 195 lb Senior defenseman Devon Krogh and to Sophomore Max McCormick, and the Buckeyes had a 2-1 lead. Dzingel spotted the hole from the right point, and uncorked a laser that NMU's goal tender Jared Coreau didn't have a chance to block.
Apparently however, knuckleheadedness is contagious, as at the 5 minute mark of the second period Max McCormick lost his composure and took a minor penalty for grabbing an NMU players face mask and trying to shove his helmet back down to his numbers. Shortly into the penalty kill, 5-10, 195 lb Sophomore Matt Johnson took a high sticking penalty, to hand NMU their own 5 on 3 power play. The Wildcats took advantage, with Scott Macaulay scoring his second goal of the year, with the assists to Stephen Vigier and Ryan Daugherty to tie the score at 2. The teams basically traded chances for the rest of the period, and the second period ended in a 2-2 tie. By this time however, the Buckeyes were out shooting the Wildcats 33-10, but the Wildcats were making their shots count.
The third period started with good flow again, and by 1:50 gone the Buckeyes were on the board again. Alex Szczechura, the 5-9, 175 lb Junior scored his first goal of the year and the game winning goal with assists from Matt Johnson and Chris Crane. While the Buckeyes had to kill off a cross checking penalty, they didn't lose much momentum, and 6 minutes later they collected the insurance goal. Chris Crane, the 6-1, 193 lb Junior scored his second of the year, with assists from 6-5, 212 lb Freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple and Sophomore Tanner Fritz, to complete the night's scoring.
The game ended up with the Buckeyes outshooting Northern Michigan 42-14, and the game got pretty chippy at the end. There is not a lot of love lost between these two squads. The chippiness carried over into the hand shake line, and Chris Crane took a 5 minute major an a game misconduct at the 20 minute mark of the third period for delivering his handshake to the chin of his opponent. That sounds worse than it really was, but at any rate, the NMU folks weren't real happy being on the losing end of this game. The tide really turned in the third, and I'm sure they came out thinking they had a good chance to win the game after the second period.
This game had much more flow to it, and was very entertaining to watch. The Buckeyes complete the sweep of NMU to move to 5th place in the CCHA standings with a record of 3 wins, 1 loss, 2 ties, and 1 shoot out win (3-1-2-1) and 12 points in conference play and 4-3-3 overall. Miami is atop the CCHA with 16 points, followed by Notre Dame and Ferris State tied at second with 15 points, and Alaska at fourth with 13 points.
The Buckeyes remain in the hunt in the CCHA.