Northern Michigan University Wildcats
The Wildcats are off to a hot start after defeating the Lake Superior State University Lakers 4-2, 3-0 on Friday and Saturday.
“Obviously we are really happy with the weekend. We are trying to keep the mentality that we are off to a really good start but it is only a start. We have some strong leadership on the team and they aren’t going to let us get caught up in it,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle in a press release.
Darren Nowick scored the equalizer and the game winning goal on Friday night. After going down early via a power play goal, the Wildcats scored twice within a minute to take the lead in the second period. Nowick then scored just 13 seconds into the third while John Siemer added an empty netter.
On Saturday, six different ‘Cats scored a point in the victory. Shane Sooth, Siemer and Joseph Manno scored the goals while Robbie Payne, Nowick and Gerard Hanson recorded the assists.
Saturday’s shutout was Mathias Dahlstrom’s fifth career shutout. He had 27 saves Friday and 23 on Saturday for 50 total saves and .962 save percentage.
When the ‘Cats start off this hot, only good things come with it. According to a post from Wildcat Hockey Nation, this is the first time in 11 seasons where the team has started 3-0. As a program, the team has only one losing season starting 3-0 and has an average finish of 22-14-3.
NMU fared better in the USCHO poll, finishing with 56 votes received. Despite seven teams from the WCHA receiving votes in the USA Today poll, Northern was not one of them.
Northern will host winless Alabama Huntsville on Friday and Saturday nights. Games start at 7:07 p.m..
It has been a rough start for the defending MnJHL champs, but the Royales have been improving and their record this weekend showed just that.
The team went 1-1-1, losing 7-2 on Friday, losing in a shootout on Saturday and winning 3-2 on Sunday at the Tri City IceHawks.
After Todd Cooper scored in the first minute of the second period, Tri City responded with two goals in eight seconds to take the lead. A second goal from team leader Cameron Wirick in the third was not enough as the IceHawks notched their 50th win since joining the MnJHL.
The Royales had the lead going into the third on Saturday behind Andrew Dominick’s power play goal, but Scott Conlin responded on a power play halfway through the period to tie it up. Tri City won the shootout 1-0.
Marquette continued to improve on Sunday as Leonid Anikin’s goal from Wirick and Jayson Dahlquist gave the Royales the win.
The road team outshot Tri City every game and had 106 shots on goal for the weekend.
Goalie Bryce Leaf was able to redeem himself on Saturday, stopping 27 of 29 shots on Sunday. Leaf allowed all seven goals on Friday while Luke Thurston was in net on Saturday. Thurston stopped 28 of 30.
Marquette (3-8-1) has the weekend off before heading to St. Louis for a three-game series against the Frontenacs. St. Louis has yet to win a game this season.
NMU Women’s Club
The women’s club team went 2-1 at a tournament in Minnesota this weekend. They defeated St. Scholastica (Duluth) twice (6-3, 4-3 OT) and fell to Rainy River Community College 1-0.
The loss to the ACHA D2 powerhouse was their first loss of the season.
Another slow start for the Wildcats was erased by a potent third period in game 1. Northern scored four goals in the third, all from different players. Carlie Kangas had two goals in the game while Adelle Gustafson got her first of the year for the game winner.
In game 2, NMU needed a late equalizer from Amanda Crandell to tie the game with 2:34 left in regulation. Last year’s leading scorer Loren Holfeld took the pass from Mary Heather Walsh to give Northern the overtime victory.
The game against Rainy River was a statistical wasteland, with only one goal, one assist and three penalties between the two squads. Micah Cabral scored the only goal of the contest with 4:02 left in the game. Brianna Bangle stopped 23 of 24 shots, while the Wildcats could only put 12 shots on goal.
NMU still has D2’s top scoring offense despite the shutout with 26 goals in five games. Forward Sierra Rusinek is leading the nation in points with 14.
The team will have the weekend off before hosting Lake Superior State. It will be their last home games of the calendar year in their road-heavy schedule.
NMU Men’s Club
Grand Valley pummeled the ‘Cats in the first period, outshooting Northern 31-4. Goalie Jeff Ryan allowed only one shot to get by, providing a reasonable 1-0 deficit heading into the second. However two goals in the second from Troy Marrett killed off a Northern comeback.
The Lakers hit another hot start, this time capitalizing on two first-period power plays. GVSU had a 6-0 lead late into the second before a Dallas McLaughlin shot hit the twine finally got NMU on the board.
John Werenka, Dione Potila and McLaughlin all scored in the third to make the game a more respectable 7-4 loss.
Northern will need a short memory as one of the team’s scariest rivals comes to town for Halloween weekend. Northern Illinois is 9-3-1 and on a nine-game winning streak coming into Friday’s matchup. After losing regional non-conference games to Grand Valley and Michigan State, these games are a must win for the ‘Cats.
The Electricians are still searching for their first win of the season, as Marquette went 0-4 at the Beantown Tournament in Boston.
Offense was the biggest problem as the ‘Tros had just one goal the entire stretch, tallied in the final game.
Marquette will host their first home games in a month as they will host the Lake Forest Academy (Ill.).