MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 14 ranked Northern Michigan hockey team hits the road this weekend for its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association series at No. 7 Western Michigan. Game time from Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo is set for 7:05 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 28) and Saturday (Oct. 29).
The Wildcats climbed in the polls after the series against the University of Michigan last weekend. NMU is No. 14 in the United States College Hockey Online poll and the USA Today College Hockey Poll.
Senior forward Justin Florek was named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week after scoring a goal and having four assists last weekend. Florek leads the team in points with five goals and four assists.
NMU defeated Michigan 5-3 on Friday (Oct. 21) night and the two teams tied 3-3 on Saturday (Oct. 22). The Wolverines picked up the extra conference point with a shootout win (1-0).
Western Michigan is ranked No. 7 this week. The Broncos are 3-0-3 and 1-0-1 in the CCHA. The first two wins came in a series sweep of Alabama-Huntsville. They tied Union in back-to-back games and then had a win and a tie at Alaska last weekend to begin CCHA play. The Broncos won the shootout on Saturday in Alaska.
The ‘Cats leads the all-time series 41-21-7, dating back to 1976. The series in Kalamazoo favors NMU 16-13-1 and NMU is 6-3-1 in the last 10 meetings.
The Broncos swept Northern last season in Kalamazoo in January and the teams tied on Friday and NMU won on Saturday in Marquette in early December. The Broncos outscored NMU 16-10 in the four meetings last season. Senior goaltender Ellingson was 1-0-1 and sophomore net-minder JaredCoreau was 0-1 between the pipes.
Florek, along with senior forwards Andrew Cherniwchan and Tyler Gron, have each played eight games against Western Michigan. Florek has five goals and two assists against the Broncos. Cherniwchan has two goals and four assists and Gron has three goals and seven assists in their eight games.
Five different NMU players scored on Friday night and three Wildcats scored their first career goals. 11 players have scored goals in NMU’s six games this season. Freshmen Dylan Walchuk and Mitch Jones and junior transfer Matt Thurber scored against Michigan for their first goals.
All hockey games can be heard on 100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats.
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