In Ohio for the weekend, the Northern Michigan Wildcats dropped a pair of games to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 3-2 and 4-1.
Friday's game was tied 2-2 when the third period began, but an OSU power-play goal by Mathieu Beaudoin midway through the final frame cemented the score. The power play was the biggest aspect of the game, according to NMU head coach Walt Kyle.
"We could have had them," Kyle said. "But their power play beat our power play. That was really the difference in the game."
In Saturday's game, the Buckeyes received a strong effort from netminder Joe Palmer as they completed the sweep of NMU (12-20-2, 9-16-1 CCHA) .
"[Joe] made some tremendous saves," OSU head coach John Markell said. "If they would have gotten one, who knows, the way they were controlling the puck down low. We survived it."
Palmer stopped 30 of 31 shots in the win.
Despite controlling the play throughout large portions of the game, something that Kyle agrees with, the Wildcats mustered just one goal. Zach Tarkir netted the lone marker early in the third to cut the lead to 3-1 before the Wildcats were silenced once more.
The game-winning goal for OSU came within the first minute of the second period, when former Michigan State Spartan Tommy Goebel scored during a 4-on-4 stretch of hockey.
NMU netminder Bill Zaniboni also stopped 30 shots in the loss. For the weekend, Zaniboni allowed seven goals on 72 shots (.903). At the other end of the ice, Palmer allowed three goals on 51 shots.
NMU has a weekend off before finishing their schedule out with a home series against the Miami RedHawks. The Wildcats' special teams continued to struggle over the weekend (1-for-9 PP, 12-for-16 PK) and must improve for a playoff run.
"For us to be successful in the playoffs, we are going to have to find a way to win a special teams game," Kyle said. "We have to, because we don't score a lot of goals."