MARQUETTE, Mich. – Matt Butcher and Mark Olver both picked good times to score their first career goals. Olver scored with less than a second left in regulation to send the Northern Michigan and Western Michigan hockey game to an extra five-minute period. Butcher score the game-winner in overtime with about four seconds left for the 4-3 win.
The win was the Wildcats first Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) win of the season. NMU is 2-8-0 overall and 1-7-0 in the CCHA. Also the win snapped the ‘Cats five-game skid at home and eight-game skid overall. WMU falls to 3-5-0 overall and 1-3-0 in the CCHA.
Nick Sirota, who was named an assistant captain earlier in the day, scored the first goal of the game at 5:10 of the first period on the power play. The goal was Sirota’s team-high seventh of the season. Assisting on the marker was Mark Olver and TJ Miller. The Broncos would take a 2-1 lead in the opening frame on goals by Brian Bicek (10:25) and Jeff Pierce on the power play at 19:29.
Matt Siddall tied the game at two-all with third goal of the season at 14:41of the second period. Sirota and Butcher assisted on the goal. The Broncos took the lead back, 3-2, with a goal by Cam Watson at 7:59 of the third period.
Then the fun really started. NMU scored its third extra-attacker goal of the season at 19:59 of the third period. The goal was scored by Olver for his first career marker. Jared Brown and Billy Smith assisted. For Smith it was his first point in a NMU uniform.
It looked as if the overtime session would end in a tie. Butcher scored his first career goal at 4:56 for the game-winner. Sirota and Erik Gustafsson assisted on the goal.
Brian Stewart went the distance between the pipes for the ‘Cats as he ended the night with 19 saves. Riley Gill had 24 saves for the Broncos. Each side had one power-play goal. NMU had six opportunities while WMU had four. The ‘Cats had a six-shot advantage over the Broncos (28-22).
NMU will be on the road next week at Bowling Green, Ohio to take on the Falcons in a CCHA series (Nov. 16-17).
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