MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team took the first game of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) best-of-three first-round series against the Michigan State University Spartans Friday evening at the Berry Events Center.
NMU improves to 15-15-5 overall on the season while MSU falls to 10-22-5.
MSU struck first with a power-play goal by Brett Perlini at 10:55 of the first period. The ‘Cats scored the next four goals to take a 4-1 lead. Ben Lindemulder scored his second goal of the season at 11:10 of the opening frame for a tied game. Tyler Gron picked up the lone assist on the goal. Gron then turned around and scored his fourth goal of the season at 17:50. Blake Cosgrove and Justin Florek picked up the assists.
The second period saw Mark Olver light the lamp at 4:10 for his 14th marker of the season (3-1). The Swedish imports assisted on the goal (Gregor Hanson and Erik Gustafsson). Near the end of the period, Billy Smith scored NMU’s fifth short-handed goal of the season which was his third of the season for the 4-1 game. The goal was unassisted.
The Spartans tried to get back in the game with two third-period goals. MSU scored a goal by Kurt Kivisto 5:07 into the period. A little over five minutes later, Gustafsson added a marker at 10:51 for his fourth of the season. Jared Brown and Florek gave the helper. MSU scored an extra-attacker goal with 48 second left in the game (19:12) by Daultan Leveille for the final margin.
MSU had 21 shots as Brian Stewart turned away 18 of the shots. Jeff Lerg had 24 saves on NMU’s 29 shots on the night. NMU was 0-4 with the extra skater while MSU was 1-7.
The two teams will play the second game of the best-of-three series tomorrow night (Saturday, March 7) at 7:35 p.m.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director