BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team found some spark on Saturday night at Ferris State University to gain a split in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series to pick up two points in the standings. With the 4-1 win the Wildcats snapped its four-game losing skid, improve to 10-15-1 overall on the season and 7-11-0 in CCHA play. The Bulldogs fall to 10-10-2 and 7-8-1 respectively.
Just as last night the first period was scoreless. FSU opened up the scoring with a power-play goal by Blair Riley at 3:05 of the second period for the 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs lead would not last long as Mike Maltese notched his first career goal at 3:17 to tie the game. Tim Hartung and Brant Marple assisted. For Marple it was his first career point as a Wildcat and it was Hartung’s first assist this season. NMU added another goal in the middle frame by Ray Kaunisto for his fifth of the season, which turned out to be the game-winner (2-1) at 10:49. Matt Butcher and Gregor Hanson assisted. Kaunisto has a team-leading three game-winning goals on the season.
The ‘Cats added two more scores in the final frame. Hartung picked up his second point on the night with an unassisted goal at 9:13 for his second of the season. NMU was now up 3-1. Phil Fox scored the final goal of the game (4-1) at 15:03 for his 10th marker of the season. Mark Olver and Billy Smith assisted.
Shots were a little more even than last night. FSU out-shot NMU by a 39-34 count. FSU scored the lone power-play goal on the night on two chances. NMU was 0-5 with the extra skater.
Brian Stewart had another impressive outing as he turned away 38 shots. He was named the first star of the game after picking up the win. Mitch O’Keefe with 30 saves for FSU was tagged with the loss.
NMU will host the USNTDP team in an exhibition game on Saturday night (Jan. 26) at 7:35 p.m.
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Sports Information Director