Justin Florek scores NMU's first goal
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team was playing in an NCAA Regional for the first time since 1999. NMU found itself in two holes during the game, first at 2-0 then 3-1 towards the middle of the second period. Erik Spady picked the right time to score his first goal of the season as he tied the game with a little over three minutes left in regulation to send the game into overtime. The game was extended for a little more than a period as St. Cloud defeated the Wildcats in double-overtime 4-3 to end the season for NMU.
The ‘Cats end the 2009-10 season with an overall record of 20-13-8 while St. Cloud will play in the regional championship tomorrow night (March 27).
The Huskies struck first with a goal at 8:14 by Travis Novak. St. Cloud made the count 2-0 a little more than four minutes later when Ryan Lasch scored a power-play goal at 12:25. NMU made it on the scoreboard with a power-play goal of its own by Justin Florek for his 12th of the season. Jared brown and Erik Gustafsson assisted on the goal. Shots in the first period were in favor of St. Cloud, 17-6, who was playing about 90 miles from its campus.
St. Cloud struck on a power-play goal 12:52 of the second period by Garrett Roe for a 3-1 score. Less than four minutes later (16:12), Ray Kaunisto cut the Huskies lead to one once again (3-2) with his 18th goal of the season. Kaunisto’s goal was unassisted. During the second period the ‘Cats outshot the Huskies 13-6.
The third period saw the ‘Cats come out with energy as they attacked and crashed the net. Over the second and third periods the ‘Cats outshot the Huskies 27-14 which includes 14-8 in the third period. That paid dividends for NMU when Spady tied the game at three-all at 16:11 which stood for the remainder of regulation to send the game into overtime. Picking up the assists on the game-tying goal were Mark Olver and Florek.
The first overtime period went scoreless as the Huskies had chances with 22 shots to 12 for the Wildcats. NMU did dodge a bullet in the first extra period as they were whistled for three penalties. Tyler Gron was called for obstruction-holding at 19:17 as the ‘Cats killed off the penalty for the remainder of the first overtime. But St. Cloud wasted little time in the second overtime period as Tony Mosey scored the game-winner 23 seconds into the period.
For the game the Huskies had 54 shots to 46 for the ‘Cats. St. Cloud scored three of its four goals on the power play (3-7) while the ‘Cats were 1-5. Brian Stewart ended the game with 50 saves while Mike Lee of St. Cloud had 42.
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