MARQUETTE, Mich.— Northern Michigan scored goals on its first three shots and cruised to a 3-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association victory tonight at the Berry Events Center. Three different players scored goals and Reid Ellingson made 27 saves in net to help the Wildcats improve to 7-7-2 overall and 6-4-1 in the CCHA.
“Our guys were ready to go tonight,” said head coach Walt Kyle. “We got some bounces to get the early lead. It was a really good game after that.”
Senior Phil Fox scored just 29 seconds into the game. Fox and line mate Erik Higby worked a 2-on-1 that ended with Fox’s low wrist shot past Bronco goalie Nick Pisellini.
NMU added another goal two and a half minutes later from Higby, and WMU pulled Pisellini in favor of Jerry Kuhn. The ‘Cats went on the power play following the second goal, and Tyler Gron buried a loose puck in front of Kuhn for a 3-0 Northern Michigan lead with just 4:08 gone in the first period.
The hosts held a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
WMU’s Greg Squires poked the puck past Ellingson on the power play early in the second period for its lone goal of the game.
The teams skated scoreless for the remaining 35 minutes. The Broncos brought out the extra attacker for the final three minutes, but could not solve Ellingson.
Fox, Higby and Gron all finished with a goal and an assist in the contest.
NMU finished 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while WMU was 1-for-6 on the power play. Final shot totals were 25 for the Wildcats and 28 for the Broncos.
Western Michigan fell to 7-5-3 overall and 3-4-2-1 in the CCHA with the loss.
The teams will face off again tomorrow night to wrap up the series.
Faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m.
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