DETROIT, Mich. – It took the Northern Michigan University hockey team since 1999 to reach the championship game of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship. Today the Wildcats faced the Michigan Wolverines for the title. Entering the weekend in the Motor City the ‘Cats were the third seed while the Wolverines were the fourth seed. The two teams split in Ann Arbor during the 2009-10 regular season with NMU taking the Friday night game (3-1) and the home team Saturday’s game (5-4).
Michigan scored once in the second period and once in the third to take the game and the championship 2-1. NMU falls to 20-12-8 overall on the season while Michigan improves to 25-17-1.
The first period was scoreless, but Michigan had more than double the shots at 15 to seven for the ‘Cats. Towards the end of the period (18:30), Luke Glendening from Michigan was called for a checking for behind penalty (five-minute major) and was also given a game misconduct. The ‘Cats could not cash that in as Erik Gustafsson was called for a slashing penalty (19:22) and an interference call was whistled on TJ Miller (19:45) to end the period.
Michigan’s Louie Caporusso broke the scoreless game with a power-play goal with 20 seconds left in the second period (19:40). For the second 20 minutes of play the ‘Cats were outshot once again, but the gap had narrowed to 11-8. Caporusso made the score 2-0 with his second power-play goal of the night at 8:53 of the third period. NMU did not waste much time getting back into the game when Andrew Cherniwchan scored his 12th goal of the season at 10:47 for a 2-1 game. Justin Florek assisted on the goal. The third period shot total was in favor of Michigan (9-3) and for the game it was 35-18. The Wolverines scored both of its goals on the power play in six opportunities. NMU was shutout in five power play chances.
Brian Stewart recorded 33 saves for the game. Shawn Hunwick for Michigan responded with 17 saves.
Ray Kaunisto and Erik Gustafsson were both named to the CCHA All-Tournament Team.
NMU ranked ninth in the latest PairWise Rankings according to uscho.com will know its fate tomorrow Sunday (March 21) in regards to NCAA tournament play.
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Sports Information Director