KALAMAZOO, Mich.– Tied 2-2 entering the third period, Northern Michigan gave up three goals to No. 17 Western Michigan and went on to lose, 3-5, Friday night from Lawson Ice Arena.
NMU (11-12-4, 9-8-2-0 CCHA) was coming off a weekend sweep of Ferris State but couldn’t win its third consecutive Central Collegiate Hockey Association game. Western is now 13-6-8 overall and 7-5-7-4 in the CCHA.
Each team scored one goal in each of the first two periods. Ryan Watson opened the scoring for Western at 15:03 in the first period.
Phil Fox scored his seventh goal of the season as he tied the game with a power-play goal from Andrew Cherniwchan and Tyler Gron at 18:53 of the first.
Matt Tennyson put the Broncos up by one again, this time in the second period on a power-play goal at 6:15 after Justin Florek took a cross-checking penalty.
The Bronco’s Danny DeKeyser picked up five-minute major for contact to the head and Florek got redemption as he scored an equalizer on the power-play at 11:02 of the second. It was Florek’s eleventh goal of the season with assists going to Kyle Folmer and Gron as he picked up his second assist of the night.
Western’s three goals in the third period were all even strength goals. Greg Squires scored the game-winner 45 seconds into the third. Ross Henry added a goal and Mike Leone got an empty net goal to seal the victory for the Broncos.
Both goaltenders made 21 saves as Western outshot NMU, 26-23. CCHA Goaltender of the Week Reid Ellingson got the start for NMU. Jerry Kuhn was in net for the Broncos.
Both teams had six penalties apiece.
The Wildcats and Broncos face off Saturday (Jan. 29) night at 7:35 p.m. in the second game of the series and the fourth of the season between the two teams.
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