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Monday, November 24, 2008

Wildcats split with Buckeyes

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

Returning to home ice suited the Northern Michigan Wildcats (3-8-1, 2-7-1-0 CCHA), who earned a 3-1 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday night. But the success didn't last long and the 'Cats dropped a 2-0 decision on Saturday.

In the first period of Friday's game, NMU showed they meant business as they outshout OSU by a 19-5 margin and Mark Olver took advantage of a power play and scored his first goal of the season with some help from Nick Sirota and Eric Gustafsson. Olver put his team ahead by another power-play tally midway through the second period. Gustafsson and TJ Miller were credited with assists on Olver's second goal.

The tide appeared to be turning for the Wildcats when goalie Brian Stewart was replaced by Devan Hartigan (pictured). Hartigan faced most of the Buckeyes' offensive fury, as OSU outshot the home team by a 30-20 margin over the last two periods, but met the challenge. Gregor Hanson widened the 'Cats lead early in the third, and Hartigan hung on for the 3-1 win.

Hartigan finished with 25 saves; Stewart with nine.

Hartigan got the start in Saturday's game and kept his team viable, stopping 28 of OSU's 30 shots. The Buckeyes, working with a 5-0n-3 power play, got on the board midway through the second period and added another goal before the end of the period.

The Wildcats outshot the Buckeyes 14-6 in the final period, but could not score.

NMU will host Ferris State this weekend.

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