Press Box

Mark Olver
Mark Olver


MARQUETTE, Mich. – The 2009-10 edition of the Northern Michigan University hockey team advanced to the championship game of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournaments for the first time since 1999. NMU also played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. 
The Wildcats ended the season with an overall record of 20-13-8 and a 13-9-6-3 mark in conference play, which was good for fourth place. NMU lost to Michigan (2-1) in the CCHA Championship Game after downing Ferris State (5-4, OT) in the semifinals. NMU ended the season with a loss to St. Cloud State (4-3, 2OT) at the NCAA West Regional in St. Paul, Minn. 
Once again the Wildcats had two different parts to its season. Before Christmas the ‘Cats were 7-8-4 and in 2010 the team was 13-5-4. At one point of the season the ‘Cats were sitting in 10th place in the CCHA standings. For the 22 games in 2010 the team averaged 3.4 goals/game and gave up 2.2 goals/game. Mark Olver led the ‘Cats in points (49), goals (19) and assists (30). He led the CCHA in conference games with 35 points and 17 goals. Teammate Erik Gustafsson led the CCHA in defenseman scoring with 22 points on a goal and 21 assists. His assists were second in the conference. As a team the ‘Cats were second in the CCHA in conference games in scoring offense (3.07), had the top power-play offense 27/124 (.218) and combined special teams (161/284, .567). NMU’s combined special teams play for all games led the nation (232/417, .556).
Five different ‘Cats recorded three game-winning goals during the season (Olver, Justin Florek, Ray Kaunisto, Matt Butcher and Phil Fox). Eighteen of the 36 power-play goals came off the sticks of Andrew Cherniwchan, Florek and Olver as they all had six each. Olver also had a team-high two shorthanded goals. Kaunisto spent the most time in the sin bin as he had 39 penalties for 78 minutes. 
Looking to next year, returning for the ‘Cats are Greger Hanson (16-22-38), Florek (12-23-35) and Cherniwchan (12-16-28).      
Brian Stewart saw the majority of the time between the pipes for the ‘Cats during the season. He was 18-11-7 with a 2.43 goal-against average and a .927 save-percentage. Reid Ellingson saw action in 11 games as he ended the campaign at 2-2-1 with a 2.39 goal-against average and a .919 save-percentage. He also returns for the ‘Cats. 
Olver was named the CCHA Player of the Month for February. Gustafsson picked up the CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman Award for the second consecutive year. Olver and Gustafsson were both named to the All-CCHA First Team.  
2009-10 Results
Ryerson (exh.) – W/11-2
at Michigan Tech (Superior Cup) – L/3-5
at UM-Duluth (Superior Cup) – W/3-1
Bemidji State – T/3-3 (OT)
Bemidji State – L/0-5
Miami – L/3-4
Miami – L/1-2
at Ohio State – W/1-0
at Ohio State – L/4-5
at Notre Dame – W/3-2
at Notre Dame – T/2-2 (OT)
(Notre Dame wins shootout, 2-1)
Nebraska-Omaha – W/5-1
Nebraska-Omaha – W/6-3
at Alaska – T/3-3 (OT)
(Alaska wins shootout, 2-1)
at Alaska – T/4-4 (OT)
(Alaska wins shootout, 2-1)
Michigan State – L/0-1
Michigan State – W/3-2 (OT)
at Lake Superior – L/1-5
at Lake Superior – L/3-6
Michigan Tech – W/2-1
Dodge Holiday Classic
vs. Clarkson – W/4-0
at Minnesota – W/4-2
at Michigan Tech – T/1-1 (OT)
Bowling Green – W/6-0
Bowling Green – T/3-3 (OT)
(NMU wins shootout, 2-0)
at Nebraska-Omaha – L/2-7
at Nebraska-Omaha – L/3-5
Alaska – T/2-2 (OT)
(NMU wins shootout, 2-0)
Alaska – W/3-2
at Ferris State – T/3-3 (OT)
(NMU wins shootout, 1-0)
at Ferris State – W/4-0
Western Michigan – W/7-2
Western Michigan – W/2-1
at Michigan – W/3-1
at Michigan – L/4-5
Lake Superior – W/2-1
Lake Superior – W/3-0
CCHA Playoffs
Alaska – W/4-3
Alaska – W/5-1
CCHA Championship
vs. Ferris State – W/5-4 (OT)
vs. Michigan – L/1-2
NCAA West Regional
vs. St. Cloud State – L/3-4 (2OT)
### NMU ###    

Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director