MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 20-ranked Northern Michigan hockey team travels to East Lansing to begin a five-game January road trip with a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series against No. 18 Michigan State. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. both Friday (Jan. 13) and Saturday (Jan. 14) nights from Munn Ice Arena.
NMU is 10-7-4 overall and 6-6-4-2 in the CCHA. The Wildcats are tied with Miami for fifth-place in the conference. The ‘Cats have only one loss in their last nine games and climbed back into the national rankings at No. 20 this week. The last time the ‘Cats were in the top 20 was the week of Nov. 14.
Fox Sports Detroit will broadcast Saturday night’s game. Ken Daniels will do the play-by-play with Darrin Elliot on color commentary and Shannon Hogan as the sideline reporter. Charter Cable customers in the Marquette area and the Upper Peninsula can find the game on channel 33. The game will be on channel 663 for DIRECTV customers and 430 for DISH Network. The full channel list can be found at: foxsportsdetroit.com/pages/channelfinder/
Michigan State is ranked a few spots ahead of the Wildcats in the USCHO poll but have four fewer points in the CCHA standings in the ninth spot. The Spartans are 11-9-2 overall and 6-7-1-1 in the conference. Recently, MSU has dropped three straight after a loss in the championship game of the Great Lakes Invitational (Dec. 30) and a Miami sweep last weekend (Jan. 6-7) from Munn Ice Arena.
Senior forward Tyler Gron has seven goals in eight games against the Spartans. Senior forward Andrew Cherniwchan has three goals and senior captain Justin Florek has two in 10 games. Junior defenseman Kyle Follmer and junior forward Brian Nugent are the only other Wildcats to score against the Spartans
The two teams split in Marquette on Nov. 18-19. MSU handed NMU its only home loss with a 4-2 win on Friday. Gron scored both goals for the ‘Cats. On Saturday, NMU bounced back with a 2-1 win. Florek scored in the second and Nugent added the game-winner in the third.
Northern trails the all-time series 28-33-3 and is 8-20-2 in East Lansing. The ‘Cats won both games at MSU last season and have 10 wins in the last 15 meetings.
NMU is 2-6 on the road this season and 1-5 on the road in CCHA play. The ‘Cats split at non-conference Wisconsin (Oct. 7-8) to start the season and were swept in CCHA road series at Western Michigan (Oct. 28-29) and at Ohio State (Nov. 11-12). The lone conference road win came at LSSU on Dec. 9. NMU is being outscored 27-16 on the road. Sophomore forward Stephan Vigier has six of his nine goals away from Marquette.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all hockey games. An online stream is available at: wnmufm.org/sportsstream
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