DETROIT, Mich. – Matt Siddall playing in his final game in a Northern Michigan University hockey uniform led the Wildcats to a 2-1 win over Notre Dame in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Third-Place Game on Saturday (March 22) at Joe Louis Arena. Siddall ended the game with a goal and an assist.
With the win the ‘Cats finish the 2007-08 season with a 20-20-4 overall record. The 20 wins is the fifth time in the past six years, NMU has won 20 or more game. Notre Dame enters the NCAA Tournament with a 24-15-4 record.
"I am so proud of this team. You are 100 percent right. A couple things come to mind. We started out 1-8. We started off 0-7. It was tough. We had a lot of people jumping off the boat. We lost eight seniors and 16 regulars over the last two years. This was the year we were going to grow. This was going to be the tough year. A year ago, we thought we would be a lot better. These guys found a way, and not through us but through themselves, to -- I've used the word resilient all year -- find a way to become a team," said Walt Kyle.
After 27 plus minutes of play the Fighting Irish struck first with a goal by Christian Hanson at 7:32 of the second period. NMU tied the game at 1:15 of the third period on a goal by Tim Hartung for his third of the season. Siddall assisted on the goal. Siddall then scored the game-winning goal a little over two minutes later at 3:31 for his 18th of the season. Jared Brown assisted on the goal.
"It was a tough game for us and a tough game to get up for emotionally after last night. The guys, we talked in the room about finishing off the season on a high note, and we had too much of a chance here to finish the season on a win. I thought we just wanted to start getting pucks in the net a bit more and establish more of a cycle. I was going to help with kind of turning the tides of the game, but it was a good third for sure,” said Siddall.
The Fighting Irish led in the shot count at 40-21. Neither team tallied a power-play goal as NMU was 0-4 and Notre Dame was 0-5.
NMU used two goaltenders in the game. Reid Ellingson began first in goal as he played a little over 30 minutes and recorded 14 saves. Derek Janzen played the remainder of the game and had 25 saves as he picked up the win. "I think any goalie will tell you that he wants to start the game, but watching Reid (Ellingson) go out there and play the way he did started to make me feel confident in myself that all three of us," said Janzen. Jordan Pearce backstopped the Fighting Irish with 19 saves.
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