MARQUETTE, Mich. — Despite trailing by two goals after 20 minutes of play, Northern Michigan rallied to top Ohio State, 4-2, Saturday at the Berry Events Center.
Ohio State allowed three second-period goals and an empty-net tally in the third as the Wildcats came back for the win.
The Buckeyes, who were swept by the Wildcats on the weekend, fell to 15-17-5 on the year and ended CCHA play 11-14-3. The Wildcats improved to 20-14-2 and 14-12-2 in the CCHA.
Ohio State ends the regular season in 10th place in the CCHA and will travel to Big Rapids, Mich., to take on Ferris State in the first round of the CCHA playoffs next weekend in a best-of-three series. Northern Michigan earns a first-round bye and will host a second-round series.
Ohio State led, 2-0, after the first period. Andrew Schembri got the Buckeyes on the board, as he took a pass from Tom Fritsche and beat NMU goalie Bill Zaniboni from the right faceoff circle with the teams skating 5-on-3. Sean Collins had the second assist on the goal, which came at 10:12 of the period.
Kyle Hood made the score 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 17:31, carrying the puck behind the Wildcat goal before bringing it front and sliding it under Zaniboni.
The Buckeyes had seven shots on goal in the period, the Wildcats five. Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso kept the Wildcats off the board when he stopped Dusty Collins on a partial breakaway with eight minutes left in the period. Ohio State was 1-for-3 on the power play and had the only extra-man chances in the period.
Northern Michigan scored three times in the second period to end the stanza with a 3-2 lead. The Wildcats tied the game at 2 with two goals in 28 seconds. Jamie Milam scored at 13:55 on the power play, followed by Nick Sirota’s tally at 14:23.
The Wildcats ended the period on Collins’ goal with just 11 seconds remaining — a score on which the Wildcats had an extra attacker with a delayed penalty coming to the Buckeyes.
Northern Michigan outshot OSU in the period, 15-5. OSU was 0-for-1 on the power play, while NMU converted 1-of-2 chances.
The teams were scoreless in the third period until the Wildcats scored an empty-net goal by Darin Olver. Each team had nine shots in the period. OSU was unable to score on two power-play chances in the period, while NMU did not score on its lone chance, which came with under three minutes remaining.
The Buckeyes had 21 shots in the game, the Wildcats 29. Caruso had 25 saves in 59:43. Zaniboni made 19 saves in 59:17.
The Buckeyes converted 1-of-6 power-play chances, while the Wildcats were 1-for-3.