OMAHA, Neb. – For the second week in a row the Northern Michigan University hockey team was playing a series in the Central time zone. This week the Wildcats were at the University of Nebraska-Omaha to face the Mavericks in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) set. The Wildcats coming off its first sweep of the season last week at Wisconsin dropped the first game of the weekend by a score of 4-3. NMU was playing a CCHA game for the first time in over a month.
With the loss the ‘Cats drop to 5-13-3 overall and 2-10-3-2 in the CCHA. UNO improves to 13-6-3 and 8-4-3-2 respectively.
The Mavericks got on the board first with a goal by Joey Martin at 9:53 of the first period. A little less than eight minutes later the ‘Cats tied the score when Tim Hartung notched his third goal of the season at 17:05. Mike Maltese and Blake Cosgrove assisted on the goal.
In the second period the Mavericks took the lead once again at 15:26 when Matt Ambroz made the score 2-1 in favor of the home team. The lead would not last long as Mark Olver scored NMU’s second short-handed goal of the season at 18:38 to tie the score at two-all. The goal was his seventh of the season. Alan Dorich and Erik Gustafsson assisted on the goal.
The third period saw UNO score twice to take the game. NMU did add a late goal. Rich Purslow turned the lamp on twice for the Mavericks in the period. His first goal (3:41) gave UNO the lead for good at 3-2 before adding another marker at 17:52 on the power play (4-2). Nick Sirota scored an extra-attacker goal, for his fourth of the season, at 18:15 for the final margin. Ray Kaunisto and Jared Brown picked up the assists.
Penalties were hard to come by Friday night. NMU was called for one while UNO was whistled for three. NMU was shutout in its lone power play opportunity while UNO was 1-3 with the extra skater. The ‘Cats had two more shots than the Mavericks (35-33) for the game. Brian Stewart was between the pipes for the ‘Cats tonight as he had 29 saves in the loss.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow night (Jan. 10) for the second game of the series.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director