MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 17 Northern Michigan hockey team hosts the top team in the country, the University of Michigan, this weekend to open Central Collegiate Hockey Association play. The puck is set to drop at 7:35 p.m. on both Friday (Oct. 21) and Saturday (Oct. 22) night.
NMU (3-1-0, 0-0-0 CCHA) is ranked No. 17 in the latest United States College Hockey Online Top 25 poll after it series sweep over St. Cloud State last weekend. The Wildcats won 5-2 on Friday (Oct. 14) night and 3-2 on Saturday (Oct. 15) night. NMU scored four straight goals after St. Cloud took an early lead in Friday’s game and both teams added another in the third period. The ‘Cats scored two goals in the first period on Saturday before the Huskies cut the lead to one before the end of the first. NMU added a goal in the second and St. Cloud a goal in the third.
Michigan is 4-0 after victories over Niagra (Oct. 4), a sweep of Bentley (Oct. 7-8) and a 10-3 defeat of St. Lawrence (Oct. 13). Five players have scored two goals on the season for Michigan and goaltender Shawn Hunwick is 3-0 between the pipes.
Michigan leads the all-time series 35-18-5, dating back to 1981. The Wolverines lead the series in Marquette 12-6-3 and hold a four-game winning streak. NMU last defeated the Wolverines in Feb. 2010 and last defeated Michigan in Marquette in Oct. 2008. NMU is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games against Michigan. NMU is 1-9 in its last 10 meetings against Michigan in Marquette.
The two teams met at the Berry Events Center for the final series of the regular season in 2010-11. Michigan swept the series to clinch the CCHA regular season. The Wolverines won 3-2 on Friday (Feb. 25) and 5-0 on Saturday (Feb. 26).
Eight different Wildcats scored the eight goals in the series against St. Cloud. Four ‘Cats have four points on the season. Senior forward Justin Florek has four goals, junior defenseman Kyle Follmer has a goal and three assists, while junior defenseman Scott Macaulay and junior forward Matt Thurber have four assists.
NMU goaltenders senior Reid Ellingson and sophomore Jared Coreau have split time in net. Ellingson has played in the Friday night games and Coreau on Saturdays. Ellingson is 2-0 with 54 saves. He holds a 1.92 goals against average and a 93 percent save percentage. Coreau is 1-1 with 50 saves. He holds a 2.53 goals against average and a 91 percent save percentage.
Both games can be heard on100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats.
The Blueline Club will host a weekend warm-up at Upfront and Company at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 20). There will also be a fourth period reception at Hudson’s Classic Grill on Saturday (Oct. 22).
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