DENVER, Colorado – For the second night in a row, the Northern Michigan University hockey Wildcats jumped out to a two-goal lead against the Denver Pioneers. In the end the Pioneers fought back as the two teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in Denver, Colo., on Saturday, Jan. 1. The Wildcats are now 9-9-4, 7-5-2-0 in the CCHA, while the Pioneers are 13-5-3, and 9-3-2 in the WCHA.
Wildcat forward Tyler Gron opened the scoring as he put one past Pioneer goaltender Sam Brittain at 4:47 of the first period. Teammate Erik Higby beat Brittain again under three minutes later. Justin Florek and Kyle Follmer assisted on Grons goal while Phil Fox and Florek assisted on Higby’s. Unfortunately for the Wildcats they were not able to score any more goals on the night and the Pioneers we able to strike back with two goals of their own.
Freshman goaltender Jared Coreau came up big for the Wildcats as he recorded 44 saves on 46 shots in the overtime tie. Kyle Ostow scored a short-handed goal on Coreau at 10:24 of the second period and David Makowski scored one on the power play at 10:02 of the third period. Pioneer goaltender Sam Brittain had 11 saves on 13 shots.
The Wildcats had just 13 shots on goal in the 65 minutes of play while the Pioneers had 46. For the second consecutive night the ‘Cats tallied more penalties and penalty minutes than their opponent. The ‘Cats had 12 penalties for 24 minutes while the Pioneers had seven penalties for 14 minutes.
Next weekend (Jan. 7-8) the Wildcats host Notre Dame in a two-game series at the Berry Events Center. Both nights the teams will face-off at 7:35 p.m. and tickets for the games are available through the NMU Ticket Office. Weekend events include a Blue Line Club Luncheon at the University Center (Jan. 7) and a Fourth Period Party at Hudson’s (Jan. 8).