Tim Kubick / For The Lantern
The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team dropped a pair of road games over the weekend to Northern Michigan. The Wildcats won with a 3-2 victory on Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich., following a Friday night win, 4-2.
Northern Michigan opened the scoring Saturday night when a number of Wildcats crashed the net following a save by OSU senior goalie Brady Hjelle. Northern Michigan sophomore forward Reed Seckel was credited with the goal at 3:34 of the first. The Buckeyes pulled even on their first of two power play goals with a tally by OSU sophomore forward Max McCormick near the end of the middle period.
Northern Michigan found the net twice in the opening five minutes of the third and would not look back. Junior defenseman Curtis Gedig’s first goal of the season put OSU within one, but the Buckeyes would not score again.
OSU’s fate Friday unfolded in a similar fashion as the Buckeyes fell, despite not being whistled for a penalty Friday night, something the program has not accomplished since 2002.
Even playing at full strength the entire game, the team had no points to show for it in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.
Freshman forward Anthony Greco found the net for OSU in his return to action after missing 15 games due to injury.
His comeback was not good enough for the Buckeyes to earn a win Friday or even possess a lead at any point during the weekend. Still, OSU coach Mark Osiecki said his team played “extremely well.”
The Buckeyes had 18 scoring chances to the Wildcats’ seven chances on Friday night.
“You don’t normally lose games like that,” Osiecki said.
Northern Michigan moved to 6-2-3 at home, a place that features one of the conference’s two Olympic-size playing surfaces.
Northern Michigan now sits eighth of 11 teams in the CCHA. Despite their low ranking, OSU sophomore forward Tanner Fritz said the Buckeyes did not take the Wildcats lightly in preparation last week.
“They’re a hard team … they have a good solid D core,” Fritz said Wednesday.
The Buckeyes return home this weekend to play their first home games since Dec. 15, and some players said they are looking forward to being back on their home ice.
“We got the confidence of being at home for four in a row, hopefully we can take care of business,” said freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple.
OSU opens the home stand Friday against Lake Superior State at 7:05 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.