March 22, 2009
DETROIT, Mich. – Derek Janzen getting a start between the pipes responded with a solid performance of 31 saves as he backstopped Northern Michigan University to a 2-0 win over the Alaska Nanooks in the third-place game at the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship. For Janzen it was his first career shutout. "I think the main thing was I really went to bed last night preparing for this game, because I wanted to send our seniors out on a good note. I'm very close with them; I'm roommates with two of them and very close with the other three. I just wanted to win it for them and as the game went on, it got easier and easier, and the puck looked bigger to me," said Janzen.
The Wildcats for the second consecutive year captured the third-place game and finish the season with a 19-17-5 overall record. Alaska ends the season with a mark of 17-16-6.
"I think this is a very difficult game to play, actually, it's a brutal game to play. We've played in this game so many times I think you could name it after me. I give our guys a lot of credit, because it comes down to a pride game and it comes down to a game where we play a lot of guys who don't see a lot of ice time during the regular season, play a lot of guys that have played minimal minutes, guys that are going to come back and be a big part of our team down the line,” said Walt Kyle. “I was very happy with the effort and really proud of the team, not only tonight, but throughout the whole season, to see where they are today from where they came from is quite an accomplishment."
After playing scoreless hockey for over two periods of play, Tyler Gron scored the first goal of the game at 5:58 of the third period. Derek May, in his final game as a Wildcat, assisted on Gron’s fourth goal of the season. Nick Sirota, playing in his final game in a NMU uniform scored an empty-net goal at 19:48 for the final margin. For Sirota it was his 12th goal of the season and seventh of the post-season. Chad Johnson for the Nanooks had 26 saves for the game.
The Nanooks had a slight shot advantage against the ‘Cats at 31-28. Each team had three power-play chances and could not score with the extra skater.
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