During the Northern Michigan University hockey team’s recent playoff run at the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (March 19-20), four players had to be creative to keep up with their academic studies.
The quartet was required to take an economics exam, which normally would not have been a problem for the NMU student-athletes who travel with their university-issued notebook computers. However, the players ran into wireless problems.
So sophomore defensemen Al Dorich and TJ Miller and freshmen forwards Phil Fox and Nick Kosinski (pictured left to right), along with assistant coach John Kyle, searched the Renaissance Center complex for enough wireless power to allow all four players to log on simultaneously and take the online test.
“The only place that had wireless Internet where I could get them all together to log in for the test turned out to be on the floor in front of the valet center at the Ren Center. The lady in the window (Michelle, I think) was helping me proctor the guys. You should have seen the faces of the people coming in to drop off their keys. It was pretty funny,” said Kyle.
Despite the unusual testing environment, the four players “all did pretty well,” said Tawni Ferrarini, their economics professor. “I was impressed with the lengths they went through to get the test taken on time.”
At the tournament, the Wildcats lost 6-4 to No. 1 nationally ranked Michigan in Friday’s semifinal game, watching a 3-2 lead slip away with about seven minutes remaining in the third period. On Saturday, Northern beat No. 5 ranked Notre Dame 2-1 in the third-place contest. Both Michigan and Notre Dame have advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four.
The young NMU squad finished the year with a 20-20-4 overall record and was sixth in the CCHA regular-season standings with a 12-13-3 league mark. To advance to the CCHA Championship, the ’Cats beat Ohio State in the first round of the playoffs at home and 2007 defending national champion Michigan State in East Lansing in the second round.
“This team is talented – on the ice and off. We’re very proud of how hard they worked as players and as students,” said head coach Walt Kyle.
The team’s annual award banquet is Wednesday, April 16, at the NMU University Center. For more information, contact the NMU Athletic Department at 906-227-2107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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