MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 19-ranked Northern Michigan hockey team continues its five-game January road trip in Oxford, Ohio over the weekend. The Wildcats look to complete the season sweep with the Miami after sweeping the RedHawks from Marquette in early December.
The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 27) and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 28) from the Steve Caddy Ice Arena in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association series.
NMU is 11-8-5 overall and 6-7-5-2 in the CCHA. The Wildcats are in ninth-place in the conference and climbed back into the top 20 this week, coming in at No. 19 in the USCHO.com top 20 poll. The ‘Cats were last ranked on Jan. 9 (No. 20). NMU has only two losses in their last 12 games.
Miami is 14-10-2 overall and 10-8-2 in the CCHA. The RedHawks are tied with Western Michigan for second-place in the conference standings and are ranked No. 17 this week after being No. 20 last week. The RedHawks swept WMU last weekend and had three players named CCHA players of the week. Miami has recently won 5-of-6.
Northern swept Miami in the first series between the two schools on Dec. 2-3. The ‘Cats won 2-1 on Friday and 5-1 on Saturday. NMU scored four power-play goals on the weekend. Senior forward Tyler Gron had a goal and four assists in the series while senior forward Justin Florek had two goals and an assist. Sophomore forward Stephan Vigier had two goals and freshman defenseman Jake Baker added a goal and an assist. Goaltenders senior Reid Ellingson and sophomore Jared Coreau each picked up a victory on the weekend. Coreau had 25 saves on Friday and Ellingson stopped 28 shots on Saturday.
Florek has eight points (4-4) in 11 games against Miami. Gron has six points (1-5) in 10 games and junior defenseman Kyle Follmer has three points (2-1) in five games. Vigier (2), Baker (1) and redshirt freshman Reed Seckel (1) are the only other ‘Cats to score against the RedHawks.
NMU leads the all-time series 34-19-3 and leads 11-8-2 in Oxford. Miami outscored the ‘Cats 13-1 in a series sweep in Oxford in October of last season.
Walt Kyle is in his 10th season on the bench for the Wildcats. His all-time record is 187-161-43. He has led NMU to six 20-win seasons and the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. The ‘Cats have been to the CCHA Tournament at Joe Louis Arena seven times under Kyle.
Northern is 3-7-1 on the road this season and 1-6-1 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 36-27 on the road.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all hockey games. An online stream is available at: http://wnmufm.org/sportsstream
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