MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 17 Northern Michigan hockey team opened its Central Collegiate Hockey Association weekend series against No. 4 University of Notre Dame with a 2-2 tie on Friday (Nov. 4) from the Berry Events Center.
Sophomore forward Reed Seckel scored the lone shootout goal at the end of overtime to give the Wildcats the extra conference point. NMU is now 4-3-2 overall and 1-2-2-1 in the CCHA.
NMU and Notre Dame now have an even all-time record of 22-22-7, dating back to 1981. The teams have met 21 times in Marquette and have an even record of 9-9-3.
“I was happy with how resilient we were,” said NMU coach Walt Kyle. “They are one of the best teams in the country. They are a very well coached team and have a ton of talent.”
Sophomore forward Ryan Kesti scored his first collegiate goal at 6:02 of the first period to give the ‘Cats an early lead. Senior forward Tyler Gron picked up the lone assist.
Notre Dame (5-2-1, 3-1-1 CCHA) answered with two goals. Mike Voran scored his second of the season before the end of the first with the assist going to Billy Maday.
Maday gave the Fighting Irish the lead 3:36 into the second period with a power-play goal from Anders Lee and Riley Sheahan.
Senior forward Justin Florek scored the equalizer for NMU 6:41 into the second. Junior forward Matt Thurber fed Seckel on the right side of the net and Florek blasted the rebound past Notre Dame goaltender Mike Johnson.
Neither team was able to score in the extra session as each team had a shot on goal and NMU’s junior forward Kory Kaunisto hit the pipe.
The shootout went three rounds. Notre Dame’s TJ Tynan, Sheahan and Maday all were stopped by senior goaltender Reid Ellingson in the shootout. Senior forward Andrew Cherniwchan and Florek were the other Wildcat shooters to miss before Seckel’s winner.
Ellingson had 25 saves for NMU while Johnson had 19 for the Irish.
Northern took five penalties and Notre Dame capitalized on one of the power-plays. Notre Dame took two penalties and the ‘Cats were 0-for-2 on the power-play.
The two teams meet for the series finale at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 5). Saturday’s game will be the second annual Pink Experience game. NMU is partnering with VAST and the Marquette General Foundation on a fundraiser to benefit the Marquette General Cancer Center.
Game worn pink jerseys will be auctioned off after the game with a minimum bid of $100. Pink Terrible towels and pink wristbands will be available for $1 and there will be a silent auction for a pink hockey stick. All net proceeds will go toward the purchase of new stereotactic breast biopsy equipment at Marquette General Hospital.
Game Notes: It was NMU’s fourth overtime this season…NMU is 1-1-1-1 in the overtime this year…Florek scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season…Florek now has 41 career goals…Thurber picked up his team-leading seventh assist of the season…Attendance was 3,794.
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