After a frustrating tie last night, the Northern Michigan University Wildcats returned to their winning ways and beat the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers 4-1.
The Wildcats used a potent third period to shut down UAH, scoring two goals, allowing none and outshooting the Chargers 20-1.
“We talk about winning third periods,” Northern Michigan Head Coach Walt Kyle said. “They came at us pretty hard in the beginning, but after the first, it was pretty lopsided.”
A long stretch of offensive pressure led by Shane Sooth and Dominik Shine, Reed Seckel was able to pound a couple rebound shots in past the Matt Larose to take the lead. Two of the four goals on rebounds.
“Their goalies are superb,” said NMU Captain Ryan Kesti. “No matter how good they are, you get traffic in front of them and they can’t see. As the game progressed, we crashed the puck well.”
Sophomore defenseman Brock Maschmeyer extended Northern’s lead as he found the back of the net from the blue line, courtesy of a pass from Joseph Manno.
Alabama Huntsville responded with an offensive attack during the middle of the second. A diving cartwheel save from Mathias Dahlstrom erupted the crowd to stop a counterattack. Another close attempt hit the pipe and a third shot was deflected by a defenseman past an open net.
Helping UAH out was a five-minute major and game misconduct by John Siemer for contact to the head against Matt Salhany. Siemer’s penalty came during a NMU power play, setting up 41 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey and 4:29 of the penalty kill.
Brennan Saulner found the back of the net 1:17 into the man disadvantage to get on the board. A minor for too many men on the ice forced the game back to 4-on-4 for the rest of Siemer’s major.
Fourth-string center Zach Diamantoni replaced Siemer on the wing on the second line the rest of the game.
Northern was able to finally get a goal in the third as Maschmeyer drove in the rebound from Shine’s shot from the point. Gerard Hanson added a fourth with 10 to go.
Maschmeyer and Hanson’s goals were their first of the season.
“(I) was just trying to hit anything on net,” Maschmeyer said. “Jumping on the rush worked.”
NMU outshot the Chargers 41-23. Six ’Cats recorded an assist, with Shine and Sooth each getting two. All but two Northern players had at least one shot on goal.
Dahlstrom saved 22 of 23 shots for a .957 save percentage. He stopped more shots in the first period than the rest of the game combined.
Even though the games against Huntsville are between two WCHA schools, this series is considered a non-conference game and won’t count for WCHA standings. The Wildcats remain undefeated at 5-0-1 and 2-0 in conference play. They will stay at home next week to face conference favorite Ferris State.
“We’re getting into the meat of the schedule now,” Kyle said. “We have all WCHA games up until Christmas break, so we will get some real tests.”