MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team plays its third game in five nights as the Wildcats host Michigan Technological University on Tuesday (Dec. 4). The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. from the Berry Events Center in the first of two meetings in the U.P. rivalry. The two teams meet again on Feb. 12.
Fans are encouraged to wear purple in honor of Arianna Alioto, an NMU soccer player who drowned Friday. Purple was Arianna’s favorite color.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee encourages fans to bring new stuffed animals for the Teddy Bear Toss that will be held during the first intermission. All stuffed animals will go to the Marine Toys for Tots foundation and will be redistributed to less fortunate children in the area.
NMU is 5-8-3 overall and 2-7-3-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association after a pair of losses at No. 10-ranked Western Michigan. The ‘Cats are tied with Michigan State for ninth place in the CCHA with 10 points. The five wins are over Wisconsin on Oct. 12-13, at Nebraska on Oct. 20, on Nov. 3 over Michigan and Nov. 23 over Alaska.
Senior forward Matt Thurber continues to lead NMU with 11 points on a goal and 10 assists. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (5-6) and junior forward Stephan Vigier (3-8) are also in double digits. Sophomore Ryan Daugherty leads the team with six goals. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 5-8-3 on the season with a 2.78 goals against average and a 91.4 save percentage.
Michigan Tech is 4-7-1 overall and 3-6-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Huskies are 2-2-1 in their last five games and had a loss and tie with Minnesota Duluth. Alex Petan (4-9-13) and David Johnstone (3-8-11) lead MTU’s offense.
NMU is 3-1 vs. opponents from the WCHA so far this season. The ‘Cats opened the season with a sweep of Wisconsin. The following week, NMU split at Nebraska Omaha. A trip to St. Cloud State (Jan. 4-5) and the Feb. 12 meeting with MTU wraps up the non-conference schedule, all against WCHA teams.
Last season, NMU swept the two-game season series with the Huskies, outscoring them 9-3. It will be the 127th meeting between the two schools. NMU leads the series 65-48-13, dating back to 1979. The ‘Cats lead the series in Marquette 35-19-5.
NMU defeated the Huskies 4-1 on Dec. 16 in Marquette and 5-2 on Jan. 21 in Houghton. Coreau picked up the wins both nights. Seckel, junior forward Erik Higby and Thurber scored in last year’s meetings.
NMU was swept for the second time this season in a CCHA road series at No. 10 Western Michigan last weekend. The ‘Cats scored the first two goals of the series in the second period on Friday night but couldn’t capitalize in the next four periods. Junior forward Jake Johnson scored his second goal in three games on Friday. He now has three career goals. Daugherty scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
Coreau made 72 saves in the series at Western Michigan. He had a 2.02 goals against average and a 94.7 save percentage. Coreau has stopped over 30 shots three games in a row and nine times this season. He had 35 saves on Friday and 37 on Saturday.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all hockey games. Wildcat hockey can also be heard on Eagle 107.3 in Escanaba and Eagle 96.7 in Newberry.
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