March 18, 2003
No Doubting Tuomas
Northern Michigan, Ohio State advance to quarterfinals

Northern Michigan 2,
Michigan State 1
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-NM Alex Sawruk (7) EV
1:11 K. Gardner
2-NM Kevin Gardner (8) EV
6:05 J. Miller, A. Swanson
Second Period
1-MS Brock Radunske (12) PP
8:20 A. Goldie
Third Period
No scoring
NM: Tuomas Tarkki, 60:00, 35 saves, 1 GA
MS: Dominic Vicari, 59:01, 15 saves, 1 GA
Penalties: NM 4/8; MS 3/6
Power Plays: NM 0-3; MS 1-4
Attendance: N/A

By Mike Eidelbes

Tuomas Tarkki is quickly moving up the list of notable Finns. After making 35 saves in Northern Michigan's 2-1 win against Michigan State in a CCHA Super Six quarterfinal match at Joe Louis Arena, the Ruoma, Finland native probably slid past architect Eero Saarinen, but still ranks behind runner Paavo Nurmi, NHLer Teemu Selanne and all-around good guy Santa Claus.

If the junior goalie can keep his improbable run going for two more days, he'll most certainly be the most popular Finn in Marquette. Tarkki, who entered the month with four career victories to his credit, now has won four straight starts since Craig Kowalski went down with a groin injury including three in the playoffs. In those four games, Tarkki has stopped 28, 39, 29 and 35 shots.

Tarkki's teammates put him in a position to succeed by jumping out to an early two-goal lead. Alex Sawruk scored on a breakaway 1:11 into the game and linemate Kevin Gardner made it 2-0 less than five minutes later.

“I think one of the keys for us...was to come out with a good start," said Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle, whose team opened the playoffs by sweeping Alaska-Fairbanks on the Nanooks' home ice. "That first period was critical because it was going to catch up to us and I think you saw that. I give them a lot of credit, I give our guys a lot of credit.”

Michigan State, which entered Thursday's game with an 8-1-1 mark in its last 10 games, got a second period power play goal from junior Brock Radunske but couldn't tie the game despite owning a 36-17 advantage in shots. The Spartans blew a shot to lock up an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. MSU hasn't missed the NCAAs in back-to-back seasons since 1980-81 -- Ron Mason's first two years behind the MSU bench.

With a 21-14-4 record, Northern Michigan is a long shot to earn an at-large bid. But unlike the Spartans, the Wildcats can control their own destiny starting with tomorrow's semifinal match with regular season champion Michigan. And with a hot goaltender like Tarkki, anything can happen.

I think we’ll be a much better team as the tournament goes by," Kyle said.

Ohio State 6,
Notre Dame 5 (OT)
Team Goal Str
Time Assists

First Period

1-ND Rob Globke (19) EV
5:32 Unassisted
2-ND Aaron Gill (14) EV
6:54 Unassisted
1-OS Rod Pelley (9) PP
13:59 M. Beaudoin, D. Steckel
2-OS Dave Steckel (17) PP
17:30 M. Beaudoin, D. Andress
3-ND Aaron Gill (15) PP
18:40 R. Globke, N. Komadoski
Second Period
3-OS Scott May (15) EV
0:16 M. Waddell
4-ND Aaron Gill (16) EV
4:43 R. Globke (19)
5-ND Mike Walsh (12) EV
10:14 A. Gill, R. Globke
4-OS Matt Beaudoin (6) PP
16:28 T. Strachan, T. Welsh
Third Period
5-OS Matt Beaudoin (7) EV
17:34 D. Andress
6-OS Tyson Strachan (2) EV
9:49 D. Andress, A. Schembri
ND: David Brown, 69:43, 43 saves, 6GA
OS: Mike Betz, 30:42, 14 saves, 5 GA; Dave Caruso (w), 15 saves, 0 GA
Penalties: ND 8/16; OS 8/16
Power Plays: ND 1-5; OS 3-5
Attendance: 6,238


Joining Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament waiting game is Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish find themselves in a precarious postseason position after squandering a pair of two-goal leads before ultimately falling to Ohio State in overtime.

Notre Dame chased Buckeye starter Mike Betz from the game when Mike Walsh scored midway through the second period to take a 5-3 lead. OSU's Matt Beaudoin halved the Fighting Irish edge with a power play goal -- the Buckeyes' third of the night -- with 3:32 left in the second period. He then sent the game into overtime with his second goal witt 2:26 left in regulation.

Freshman Tyson Strachan scored the gam-winner 9:49 into the extra session on a slap shot from the point.

"I thought our boys persevered through a lot and came back from two goals twice," OSU coach John Markell said. "We just kept chipping away”

Caruso was perfect in his relief effort, stopping all 15 shots he faced. Markell refused to declare his starter for Friday's semifinal against Miami.

The normally reliable Notre Dame special teams units were abysmal Thursday, especially against Ohio State's power play. The Fighting Irish entered the game with the league's top penalty killing unit, but gave up three PPGs on five chances.

"Our strength all year has been...penalty killing," Notre Dame coach Dave Poulin said. "To give up six goals and three on power play is obviously disappointing, but we had our chances in overtime. We just couldn’t capitalize on those.”


Ohio State gets in-state rival Miami in one semifinal match. Miami can earn an extra measure of redemption by beating the Buckeyes, who beat the RedHawks on the last day of the regular season to keep them from winning the CCHA regular season title.

Northern Michigan faces Michigan in the other semifinal. The Wolverines scuttle into the Super Six with a 2-3-1 mark over the last three weekends. Tarkki is on fire in goal for the Wildcats, who always seem to play Michigan tough.

Michigan State and Notre Dame are relegated to scoreboard watching for the time being. They'll never say it, but odds are strong that those inside of the Spartan and Irish locker rooms are rooting hard for Colgate in the ECAC, and cheering against Alaska Anchorage, Boston U. and Northern Michigan.

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