KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Entering Friday’s game against the Western Michigan University Broncos the Northern Michigan University hockey team had scored one power-play goal in the four previous games. That quickly changed in the first period when the Wildcats scored two of its three goals with the extra skater. NMU added another power-play marker later to hold on to win the game by a score of 6-5.
NMU has now won five of its seven games since the beginning of 2009. The ‘Cats are now 8-13-4 overall and 5-10-4-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The Broncos are now 7-14-6 and 4-10-5-1 respectively.
Phil Fox scored an even-strength goal 2:48 into the first period to give NMU the early 1-0 lead. It was his fifth goal of the season. Gregor Hanson and Mark Olver assisted on the goal. Hanson made the score 2-0 with his seventh goal of the season at 4:50 which was on the power play. Olver and Nick Sirota assisted. WMU cut the NMU lead in half (2-1) with its own power-play goal by Max Campbell at 9:57. Olver ended the first period scoring with NMU’s second power-play goal at 11:56 for his ninth of the season. Erik Gustafsson and Hanson assisted. After 20 minutes of play, NMU held a 3-1 lead.
The Broncos opened up the second frame on a goal by Kyle O’Kane for a 3-2 score at 2:35. A little less than two minutes later the ‘Cats would go up by two goals (4-2) when Mike Maltese knocked home his second goal of the season at 4:25. Blake Cosgrove and Ray Kaunisto assisted. Justin Florek gave the ‘Cats a 5-2 lead when he scored his fourth goal of the season at 13:34. Assisting were Olver and Gustafsson.
Jared Brown scored NMU’s third power-play goal of the night at 3:41 of the third period for a 6-2 lead. Gustafsson and Hanson assisted on Brown’s fifth goal of the season. WMU would make it close as they scored three goals in the period. Chris Frank scored at 7:26 and was followed by two goals from Cam Watson at 11:05 and 18:59 for the final margin (6-5).
Hanson (1-3) and Olver (1-3) each ended the game with four points. Gustafsson ended the night with three points all on assists.
NMU had nine power-play (3-9) opportunities on the night while WMU had five (1-5). Brian Stewart had 30 saves for the game. His counterpart for WMU, Riley Gill, turned away 26 shots. The home team ended the contest with three more shots than NMU (35-32).
The two teams will skate the second game of the weekend set tomorrow night (Jan. 31) at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. The puck will drop at 7:35 p.m.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director