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NMU Hockey Series Snapshot: OhHowIHateOhioState Round I

November 16, 2012 - Matt Wellens

MARQUETTE — The No. 19-ranked Northern Michigan University hockey team begins a two-game series at 7:05 p.m. tonight against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the roomy confines of Value City Arena with Game 2 scheduled for Saturday at the same time in Columbus.

Unlike the Wildcats’ home rink of the Berry Events Center — which is where these two teams will meet again in January — there’s always plenty of leg room at the home of the Buckeyes.

Last weekend, the Buckeyes drew an average of 3,405 fans per night for a two-game series against Alaska — the first home series of the season for OSU — in which Ohio State tied on Friday and lost on Saturday. Those numbers may seem swell to NMU fans, however, Value City Arena seats 17,500, making it the largest rink in college hockey. That mans 80.5 percent of the rink was empty last weekend. In four games, NMU has averaged 3,536 fans per night for 93.1 percent capacity.

This weekend is the second of back-to-back trips to Ohio for NMU, which needs to come back this time with more points than it did from Miami.

NMU has only racked up 5 out of a possible 18 league points through six conference games, leaving the Wildcats in last place in the CCHA, though a six-point weekend could potentially vault NMU into the top half of the league.

Besides talking about the Wildcats standing in the CCHA, the lack of wins on Friday nights — NMU is 1-3-1 on Fridays — and rough start for the penalty kill, Kyle and I talked this week about senior forward Matt Thurber.

Matt Thurber and I talked about Matt Thurber as well. The consensus of Thurber and his coach was that the nation-leading 11 assists from the senior is not good enough when he only has one goal to go with it.

Kyle explained why he’s been so harsh on Thurber this season — remember when Thurber was called out of shape following a 5-2 loss to Notre Dame?

Kyle said he believes Thurber has been great, but knows the senior can take his game to another level.

Meanwhile, in Buckeye land, OSU appears to be picking up where it left off last season. After only winning one game after Jan. 1 last season, the Buckeyes have two wins in eight games to start this season. That’s three total wins in the year 2012. I guess 2013 can’t come soon enough.

Injuries have hit the Buckeyes hard as of late, with freshman defenseman Sam Jardine being lost for 6-10 weeks after the skate of an Alaska Nanook cut his forearm.

Game notes for the Buckeyes can be found here.

Game notes for the Wildcats can be found here.

You can listen to the game live for free via WNMU-FM’s website with Dave Danis of 100.3 FM The Point on the call.

Ohio State offers an online video feed, but it will cost you. A monthly pass would get you both games and is only $9.95. That’s not bad considering NMU charges $7 per game.

I’m in Marquette, not Columbus, this weekend, but you can always give me a follow on Twitter for updates.



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Dave Danis of 100.3 FM The Point shares a shot of Ohio State's Value City Arena on his Twitter account ( on Thursday before the Wildcats' pregame skate. The Buckeyes only drew an average of 3,405 fans per night for a two-game series against Alaska last weekend. The arena seats 17,500 for hockey.