After last night’s defensive matchup between Ferris State and Northern Michigan, both teams were looking for another strong start from their goaltenders. Tonight was Mathias Dahlsrom’s night to stand tall as the Wildcats shutout the Bulldogs 2-0.
“You saw two good teams with two really good goalies. It was tough to lose it last night but tonight I think our defensive effort was much better and our management of the puck was better,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle.
Dahlstrom stopped all 24 shots from Ferris as the WCHA’s top goaltender in GAA and save percentage had his third shutout of the year.
“He’s legit,” Kyle said. “He’s my most focused guy and one of the hardest workers. He sees the little things.”
Northern’s first goal came on the power play from Mitch Jones at 3:53 in the second period. Standing at the blue line, he took the pass from Nowick and one-timed it above CJ Motte’s shoulder.
Ferris had the chance to respond back as Kyle Schempp knocked down the pass and had a look. Maschmeyer adjusted quickly to bump the center drafted by the New York Islanders and saved the shot opportunity.
Dahlstrom got lucky later in the period when the puck got popped up in the air by a Wildcat defensemen, then sat in the crease behind Dahlstrom. Dominik Shine was able to clear the puck before it caused damage.
Ryan Kesti had said the night before that the third period was the ’Cats period, and they started it off that way tonight. The Wildcats had four shots in the first four minutes and maintained complete offensive control for the start of the final frame.
After a shot from Shine at the top of the near circle went off the pipe, Payne was able to put in the rebound past Motte for NMU’s second goal of the night. It was Payne’s first goal of the season.
“(The goal) finally came. I’ve been waiting on it for a while,” Payne said. “I’m finally getting into the dirty area and and got a goal in there.”
Northern continued the hard press, but Ferris created a lot of transition hockey to cut into the two-goal deficit. Jones cross checked a Ferris player on top of Dahlstrom, creating a power play opportunity. The Wildcats killed it off, but an elbow by Luke Eibler gave the man advantage right back to the Bulldogs. Ferris had a few looks but couldn’t capitalize.
The power play has been the biggest weakness for the WCHA-favorite, as Ferris State is a miserable 1 for 38 while up a player.
Ferris pulled Motte with 70 seconds to go, but the Wildcats held on for the win. Motte stopped 25 of 27 shots for a 92.6 save percentage.
Payne led the home team in shots on goal with four. Jordan Klimek, Shine and Reed Seckel added three more.
The win gave NMU two points for the WCHA standings, moving them up to fourth in the standings. The Wildcats improve to
Northern Michigan will have the week off before heading to both Alaska schools on the road. They will play Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 21-22 and Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 28-29. Their next home game will be against Bowling Green on Dec. 6-7.