MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Hockey Wildcats (6-7-2, 5-4-1-0 CCHA) are hosting the Western Michigan Broncos (7-4-3, 3-3-2-1) at the Berry Events Center for a pair of CCHA conference games on Friday and Saturday, December 3-4. Both games start at 7:35 p.m. (EST). The ‘Cats are 3-3-0 at home so far in 2010-11 and haven’t played at home since they hosted Bowling Green on November 12-13.
The ‘Cats and Broncos met last in February 2010 when the ‘Cats swept the Broncos in Marquette. The ‘Cats won 7-2 (Feb. 19) and 2-1 (Feb. 20). Those two wins extended their current win streak against the Broncos to five games. The ‘Cats are 43-19-6 all-time over the Broncos and 27-8-5 at home against them.
The Wildcats will look to junior goaltender Reid Ellingson from Cloquet, Minnesota, to perform well against the Broncos. Ellingson recently posted his second career shutout as he had 37 saves in last Friday’s game against Bemidji State. He made another 34 stops in Saturday’s loss to finish the weekend with a .973 save percentage. Bemidji’s third goal on Saturday was into an empty net. Overall, Ellingson stands second in the league in save percentage (.929), while ranking sixth in goals-against average (2.28) and saves (313).
Through 15 games played the Wildcats have three players with double digit points. Tyler Gron leads the Wildcat offense with seven goals and six assists for 13 points. Andrew Cherniwchan has five goals and six assists for 11 points while Justin Florek has five goals and five assists for 10 points. Florek leads the team in power-play goals with three while Cherniwchan has the lone Wildcat short-handed goal on the season.
The Western Michigan Broncos will come to town with after splitting with the Miami RedHawks (Nov. 26-27). Under the direction of first year head coach Jeff Blashill, a familiar face will be behind the Bronco bench as former NMU assistant coach Rob Facca now coaches the Broncos. The Broncos are led on the offensive front by senior center Max Campbell who has six goals and eight assists for 14 points. In goal the Broncos have been starting sophomore Nick Pisellini who has a .912 save percentage and 2.19 goals against average in the 2010-11 season.
Weekend events include a Blue Line Club Luncheon (Dec. 3), the Rotary Hat and Mitten Toss (Dec. 4), and a Blue Line Club Fourth Period Party (Dec. 4).The Blue Line Club luncheon is at 11:45 a.m. on Friday (Dec. 3) at the NMU University Center, isopen to the public and the cost of the luncheon is $9 per person. Fans are asked to bring un-used hats and mittens the Saturday (Dec. 4) game and throw them out on the ice during the first intermission to be donated to the Rotary Hat and Mitten Toss. After Saturday’s game fans are invited to River Valley Bank on Washington Street in Marquette for a Fourth Period Reception.
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