SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan hockey team had its four-game win streak snapped on Saturday (Dec. 10) evening by No. 15 Lake Superior State from Taffy Abel Arena. The Lakers scored three goals late in the third to win 6-3 after the Wildcats had tied it up.
NMU battled back to tie the game, after three goals by LSSU in the first period, with three goals of its own in the third period. LSSU forward Domenic Monardo scored two goals late in third and Kyle Jean added an empty-net goal to seal the victory.
Northern is now 8-7-3 overall and 5-6-3-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. LSSU is 11-7-2 and 6-7-1-1 in the CCHA.
Junior defenseman Kyle Follmer took a shot that squeaked past LSSU goaltender Kevin Kapalka to tie the game at three with 5:10 left in the third. Junior forward Kory Kaunisto picked up his second assist of the game on the goal. It was Follmer's second of the season.
Sophomore defenseman Wade Epp scored at 9:26 to bring the ‘Cats to within one (3-2). He got control of a rebound and shot it from the top of the circle for his first of the season. Assists went to Kaunisto and senior forward Justin Florek.
NMU’s first goal came from junior forward Matt Thurber. Sophomore defenseman Austin Handley fed a perfect cross-ice pass to a wide-open Thurber who buried his second goal of the season 4:16 into the third.
LSSU got on the board early and often in the first period with three goals. The first two came on the power-play. Kyle Haines found the back of the net at 8:10 after a shot by Kellan Lain bounced all the way back to the blueline. Haines blasted it past NMU senior goaltender Reid Ellingson.
Dan Radke found himself alone with Ellingson in front of the net and scored at 16:20. Only 13 seconds later, Kyle Jean picked up a loose puck that Ellingson wasn’t able to handle to give the Lakers the three goal lead.
Sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau replaced Ellingson after the third goal. Ellingson had nine saves in the first period. Coreau finished with 18 saves on the night and Kapalka had 44 saves for the Lakers.
Both teams took six penalties for 12 minutes. The Lakers were 2-for-4 with the extra attacker and the ‘Cats were 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
The two teams will meet for the final series of the regular season in Marquette on Feb. 24-25. Each year, the teams battle for the Father Cappo Cup. The team with the most goals in the series receives the cup.
NMU hosts non-conference Michigan Tech at 7:35 p.m. Friday (Dec. 16) from the Berry Events Center.
Game Notes: NMU won 2-1 on Friday (Dec. 9)… Fans threw teddy bears on the ice after the first LSSU goal…Coreau made 55 saves on the weekend…Attendance was 2,572.
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