MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Wildcat hockey team will wrap up the 2010-11 regular season with a weekend series against the 10th ranked University of Michigan inside the Berry Events Center. NMU will skate against the Wolverines for the first time this season on Friday (Feb. 25) and Saturday (Feb. 26) night. The puck will drop each night at 7:30 p.m. The last time these two teams met was back on March 20, 2010 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Championship game when Michigan defeated the ‘Cats 2-1. Andrew Cherniwchan scored the lone Wildcat goal.
Michigan was picked to finish first in the CCHA coaches’ preseason poll and was fourth in the media poll. Currently the Wolverines sit in second place behind Notre Dame by one point. NMU is two points behind fourth-place Western Michigan and one point ahead of Ferris State and Alaska who are tied for sixth place. The top five teams in the final CCHA standings will earn a first round bye, making this weekend’s series very important for the ‘Cats.
NMU is 18-33-5 all-time against Michigan and haven’t beaten the Wolverines at home since Oct. 17, 2008 (2-0), which was the last time the two clubs met at the BEC.
The ‘Cats are coming off a weekend split with Bowling Green, losing in the shootout Friday night and sneaking away with a 3-2 win on Saturday.
NMU is averaging 2.40 goals per game and just 23.8 shots on goal per game. Tyler Gron leads the ‘Cats in goals (16), assists (15) and points (31). Justin Florek is second in points with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points. Phil Fox moved into third-place on the team in goals (11) after picking up three over the weekend.
Reid Ellingson was in the pipes last weekend. Ellingson stopped 58 shots and has 670 saves on the season. His .920 save percentage on the season puts in him in a tie for sixth-place CCHA.
Carl Haqelin leads U of M in all categories this season. Haqelin has recorded 15 goals, 27 assists. His 42 points rank him fourth in the CCHA. Louie Caporusso is second on team with 24 points and has nine goals on the season, while Matt Rust has 16 assists.
The Wolverines have Shawn Hunwick. He is ranked ninth in the conference with a 2.40 goals-against-average season. Hunwick’s record this year sits at 14-7-4 and he has a .919 save percentage this season.
The Blue Line Club will be held at Noon on Friday (Feb. 25) at the Upfront and Company. The luncheon is open to the public and costs $10 per person. Prior to Friday night’s game there is a club member social, with a cash bar in the Wildcat Room. The social is from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. and during intermissions. Before Saturday’s contest there will be pre-game festivities in honor of this year’s senior class which includes: Jared Brown, Andrew Fernandez, Phil Fox, Greger Hanson, Nick Kosinski, Mike Maltese, Robert Skinner and Erik Spady. Following Saturday’s game, there will be a fourth period party at the Landmark Inn.
If you can’t be at the games this weekend, be sure to tune in to 100.3 FM “The Point” as Dave Danis brings you all the action from the Berry Events Center.
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