MARQUETTE, Mich. – It must be something when the calendar turns to a New Year that the Northern Michigan University hockey team comes alive. For 2009 so far the Wildcats have picked up 10 of a possible 12 points. NMU is now 4-1-1 with the shootout win tonight against the Alaska Nanooks. The ‘Cats scored two second period goals, but could not hold onto the lead as the Nanooks scored later in the second period and in the third to tie the game at two-all. The teams skated to a scoreless overtime period.
NMU is 7-13-4 overall on the season and 4-10-4-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Alaska is now 11-9-6 and 9-8-5-3 respectively.
Erik Gustafsson scored his second goal of the season at 3:47 to give the ‘Cats the early lead. Gregor Hanson and Phil Fox assisted on the goal. Ray Kaunisto made the count 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season 39 seconds later (4:26). Tim Hartung and Blake Cosgrove assisted. Alaska got on the board on a goal by Brandon Knelsen at 17:43. Braden Walls tied the game with his ninth goal of the campaign at 8:16 of the third period.
The score was still tied 2-2 after the five-minute overtime period. Mark Olver was the first skater in the CCHA shootout. He made his shot. Knelsen, Hanson and Ryan Hohl missed their shots. Gustafsson made his to give NMU the shootout win, 2-0.
Brian Stewart gave NMU another solid effort between the pipes with 29 saves. Scott Greenham for the Nanooks turned away 21 shots. Alaska had the shot advantage on the night 31-23. NMU was 0-4 on the power play while the Nanooks were 0-5.
The ‘Cats are back on the road next week as they travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on the Western Michigan Broncos (Jan. 30-31).
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director