MARQUETTE, Mich. – The third time proved to be the charm for the Northern Michigan University hockey ‘Cats as they defeated the Michigan Tech Huskies, 6-2, in non-conference hockey action on Friday, Dec 17. The win for the ‘Cats was the first over the Huskies on the season as Michigan Tech beat the Wildcats, 4-3 in overtime, on October 8, and the two teams tied, 4-4, on October 12. With the win the ‘Cats improve to 9-8-3, 7-5-2-0 CCHA, while the Huskies are now 3-11-2, 1-10-1 WCHA.
The ‘Cats and Huskies went scoreless in the first period. The second perior however, was an entirely different story. In the second period Wildcat freshman Wade Epp fired a shot from the left point past the Husky defense to give the ‘Cats the 1-0 advantage. The Huskies struck back just seven minutes later when Milos Gordic tied the game a 1-1. Epp scored his second goal of the night, and his career, at 15:33 of the second period to put the ‘Cats back in the lead, 2-1. The Wildcats went on to add two more goals in the second period as Brian Nugent had a goal off of a break out pass by CJ Ludwig, and Kyle Follmer squeezed in a goal just before time expired to give the ‘Cats a 4-1 lead going into the third period. The Huskies struck first in the third period as Alex Macleod scored his fifth goal of the season at 6:16, but the ‘Cats kept the pressure on and finished the game with two power-play goals at 8:06 and 15:31 by Stephan Vigier and Phil Fox, respectively. Vigier’s goal was his first of the season and career.
The ‘Cats had a balanced scoring attack as five players scored two points on the night; Wade Epp (2 goals), Phil Fox (1 goal, 1 assist), CJ Ludwig (2 assists), Justin Florek (2 assists), Greger Hanson (2 assists). The ‘Cats outshot the Huskies, 26-24, which is the first time in over a month that the ‘Cats have outshot an opponent. The ‘Cats outshot Bowling Green 40-16 on November 13.
Freshman goaltender Jared Coreau went the distance for the ‘Cats and had 22 saves on 24 shots in 59:58 played with two goals against, bettering his record to 4-2-1. Kevin Genoe and Josh Robinson split time in goal for the Huskies. Genoe took the loss for the team as he had 15 saves on 19 shots. Robinson had five saves on seven shots.
The ‘Cats will take the next week off before they come back to prepare to face the University of Denver. The ‘Cats play in Denver, Colo., on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 31-Jan. 1.