MARQUETTE, Mich. – Senior forward Tyler Gron scored his second goal of the game with under seven minutes left in the third to bring No. 20 Northern Michigan to within a goal of the Michigan State Spartans. The ‘Cats pulled senior goaltender Reid Ellingson but weren’t able to score the equalizer before Lee Reimer put the nail in the coffin with an empty-net goal in a 4-2 Spartans win.
Friday (Nov. 18) night’s loss was the first of the season for the ‘Cats in the friendly confines of the Berry Events Center. NMU is now 4-5-3 overall and 1-5-3-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
“I was happy with the effort tonight,” said NMU coach Walt Kyle. “As a coach you have to sit back and evaluate quality of play and at the end of the night I thought we had enough chances to win.”
Michigan State’s (7-4-0, 4-3-0 CCHA) Torey Krug scored his fourth of the season 2:37 into the game when he found himself alone with Ellingson on a breakaway. Brent Darnell and Brock Shelgren picked up the assists.
Gron scored his first of the game and fifth of the season 9:19 into the first period. Sophomore forward Erik Higby took the initial shot and Gron put home the rebound. After an official’s review the goal was credited and sophomore forward Stephan Vigier picked up the secondary assist.
The Spartans added a goal before the end of the second (17:34) and scored early in the third (0:36). Tim Butterly scored the second period goal and Mike Merrifield scored on a tip-in to put MSU up two goals in the third.
Gron skated the length of the ice with the puck and blasted a shot past MSU goaltender Will Yanakeff to bring the ‘Cats to within one.
NMU took fewer penalties than its opponent for only the second time this season. The ‘Cats took five penalties for 12 minutes while the Spartans had six penalties for 12 minutes.
The ‘Cats outshot its opponent for the third time this season, generating 27 shots on net to the Spartans 24.
Ellingson 20 saves and Yanakeff had 25.
The two teams hit the ice at 7:36 p.m. to wrap-up the CCHA series on Saturday (Nov. 19). The game will be aired on Fox Sports Detroit Plus. Charter cable customers can tune into channel 88. The game will also be on channel 664 for DIRECTV customers and 445 on DISH Network.
Game Notes: NMU is now 3-1-3 at the Berry Events Center…Gron has 37 career goals…Attendance was 3,286.
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