MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team scored three unanswered goals after Michigan Tech tied the game at two and went on to defeat the Huskies 5-2 on Saturday (Jan. 21) evening from the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. With the win, the Wildcats swept the season series with the Huskies for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
“It was a good game in this great college hockey rivalry,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “It was a great crowd and it was good for us to take the them out early. Michigan Tech is a good team.”
NMU is now 11-8-5 on the season and finished 5-1-0 against Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams with the final non-conference game of the season. The Wildcats defeated Tech 4-1 on Dec. 16 in Marquette.
Senior forward Tyler Gron had four points with a goal and three assists. Senior forward Justin Florek had two goals and junior defenseman Kyle Follmer had a goal and two assists.
“It was a great atmosphere tonight and an awesome win for Northern and for our senior class,” Florek said. “We haven’t won here in our careers and it couldn’t feel better.”
Florek scored his second goal of the game on a five-on-three power-play at 13:47 of the second period to put the ‘Cats in the lead for good. It was his eighth power-play goal and 13th tally of the season. Assists went to Gron and Follmer.
Junior forward Matt Thurber extended his point streak to three games with his eighth goal of the season 41 seconds into the third period. Gron and sophomore defenseman CJ Ludwig picked up the assists. Thurber was on a two on one with redshirt freshman Reed Seckel and shot it himself, finding the upper corner of the MTU net.
Gron added an empty-net goal to seal the Wildcat victory with an assist from Follmer.
Sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau got the win between the pipes for Northern, stopping 28 MTU shots in front of a crowd of 3,708. He is now 7-3-2 on the season.
Florek opened the game’s scoring with his 12th of the season from sophomore forward Stephan Vigier and freshman defenseman Jake Baker at 4:00. Vigier found Florek in front of the net by himself and he capitalized after one move.
Follmer tipped in a shot from Gron with the secondary assist from redshirt freshman Reed Seckel for his third of the season to make it 2-0.
Tech (11-12-1) scored two power-play goals to even the score at two. David Johnstone scored both Husky goals in the second period. Blake Pietila and Steven Seigo assisted on the first goal at 8:35. Pietila picked up his second assist of the night and Ryan Furne added a helper on the second goal at 10:28.
Josh Robinson got the start for the Huskies and was pulled after the first two NMU goals. He had two saves. Kevin Genoe has 17 saves in relief and is 1-3 on the year.
NMU was 1-for-8 on the power-play. MTU was 2-for-7.
The Wildcats finish their five-game January road trip and get back to Central Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend at Miami.
Game Notes: 2007-08 was the last time NMU went unbeaten against MTU in a season…2005-06 was the last time they swept the season series…The last time and NMU player had four points was Jan. 15, 2010 when Greger Hanson had two goals and two assists vs. Bowling Green.
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