College Hockey:
Caponigri Hatter Carries Buckeyes Past Wildcats

Series Split Leaves OSU In CCHA Lead

— Paul Caponigri led the Buckeyes with three goals, the squad’s first hat trick in 129 games, and Ohio State beat Northern Michigan, 6-1, Saturday at the Berry Events Center to split the teams’ weekend series.

In the first period, Caponigri got the Buckeyes on the board at 5:59 with an unassisted goal. He picked up a loose puck deep in the NMU zone, skating around a NMU defender who had dropped to block the shot and beating goalie Craig Kowalski low.

Freshman Sean Collins and Dave Steckel assisted. Collins had three assists in the game, his first points as a Buckeye.

Caponigri increased the Buckeye lead to two as he beat Kowalski high at 17:14. Doug Andress and Collins picked up the assists on the goal.

The Buckeyes put 10 shots on net in the stanza, while holding the Wildcats to just two.

The Buckeyes added three goals in the second. JB Bittner scored just nine seconds in as Rod Pelley won the faceoff at center ice and Collins picked it up, passing it to Scott May at the NMU blueline. May passed to Bittner, who beat Kowalski high for his seventh goal of the year.

The Wildcats cut the Buckeye lead to two at 9:06, when Dirk Southern scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal., but Caponigri completed the hat trick, the first of his career, at 13:50 of the second, taking a pass from Dan Knapp and scoring his eighth goal of the season.

Reed Whiting ended the scoring in the stanza, as he beat Kowalski with a shot from the blue line for his first goal of the season. Lee Spector and Daymen Bencharski picked up the helpers on the goal. The Buckeyes had eight shots in the period, the Wildcats four.

Matt Beaudoin scored 2:20 into the third, putting in the rebound of an Andrew Schembri shot for his first career goal. Dave Barton assisted, his first career point.

The Buckeyes improved to 7-4-0 on the year and 6-2-0 in league play, in first place in the CCHA with 12 points. The Wildcats fall to 4-4-0, 3-3-0 in the CCHA.

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