MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan hockey team completed the sweep of the St. Cloud State Huskies on Saturday (Oct. 15) night with a 3-2 win at the Berry Events Center. The Wildcats scored the first two goals of the game and had balanced scoring attack to move to 3-1-0 on the season.
“We beat a very good team it was great to get the sweep,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff.”
Sophomore forward Stephan Vigier put the ‘Cats on the board 2:26 into the first as he took a pass in front of the net from freshman defenseman Mitch Jones and shot over the glove side of St. Cloud goaltender Ryan Faragher. Senior forward Andrew Cherniwchan got the secondary assist.
“I thought the Cherniwchan line was our top line tonight,” Kyle said. “They scored the early goal and generated a lot of opportunities all night long.”
St. Cloud (1-3-0) took a minor penalty for too many men on the ice and NMU’s senior forward Justin Florek capitalized with his fourth goal of the season 10:27 into the first. Florek tipped in a blast from the point by junior defenseman Kyle Follmer. Junior defenseman Scott Macaulay picked up the secondary assist on the power-play goal.
“We had a balanced scoring attack tonight,” said Kyle.
The Huskies closed the gap to one goal as Joey Holka buried the puck past NMU’s sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau with two second left in the second period. There was a scramble in front of the net before Holka finished off the play.
In the second period, sophomore forward Erik Higby scored his first of the season after catching a lead pass from sophomore forward Jake Johnson and shooting it top shelf over Faragher to make it 3-1. Macaulay picked up his second assist of the game and fourth of the season.
St. Cloud scored one more goal late in the third after pulling its goaltender and adding the extra attacker. Jared Festler scored the goal with less than a minute to go.
Each team took only two penalties in the game. NMU had seven penalty minutes and St. Cloud had four minutes.
Freshman defenseman Jake Baker received a 5-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct early in the first period.
“Losing Baker so early was tough,” Kyle said. “We played smart hockey and were able to play a man short all night.”
Coreau got the win between the pipes for NMU, stopping 25 shots. Faragher had 20 saves for the Huskies.
NMU starts Central Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend as the University of Michigan comes to the Berry Events Center. The puck will drop at 7:35 p.m. both Friday (Oct. 21) and Saturday (Oct. 22) night.
Game Notes: The last time NMU swept St. Cloud in Marquette was Feb. 1993…Eight different Wildcats scored over the weekend…Justin Florek has scored in 3-of-4 games this season…Goaltenders Jared Coreau (1-1-0) and Reid Ellingson (2-0-0) each got a win in the series…Attendance was 2,836 at the Berry Events Center.
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