MARQUETTE, Mich. - Matt Butcher has a thing for overtime goals against Michigan State. During the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoffs at the end of the 2007-08 season he scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Michigan State to send the Wildcats to The Joe. Tonight the ‘Cats and Spartans found themselves in an overtime situation and Butcher scored his third overtime goal of his career to give NMU the 3-2 win.
With the win the ‘Cats split the weekend series with Michigan State. NMU is now 6-6-4 overall and 5-4-3-0 in the CCHA. MSU falls to 10-6-2 and 7-3-2-0 respectively.
It looked like it was going to be another defensive struggle. NMU struck first with TJ Miller’s first goal of the season at 14:16 of the first period. Ray Kaunisto and Butcher assisted. Also in the first period the NMU penalty kill unit, killed a five-on-three MSU power play.
MSU tied the game in the second period on a goal by Dustin Gazley at 9:39. Butcher scored his first goal of the night at 15:32 of the second period for his second of the season for a 2-1 lead for the home team. Erik Spady assisted. At the 13:48 mark of the third period MSU tied the game at two-all on a goal by Corey Troop.
Butcher scored the game-winner at 3:59 of the overtime period (3-2) on an assist from Spady and Miller. It was his third goal of the season and second of the night.
Brian Stewart turned in another outstanding performance as he recorded 24 saves. NMU outshot the Spartans by a 33-26 count.
NMU was 0-5 on the power play while MSU was 0-6.
The ‘Cats stay in the U.P. next week (Dec. 11-12) with a trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. for two games against the Lake Superior State Lakers.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director