MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan hockey team scored four straight goals at the end of the first period and into the second and went on to defeat Lake Superior State 5-3 on Saturday (Feb. 25) night from the Berry Events Center. With the win, NMU clinches home ice for the first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament and won the Cappo Cup over the Lakers.
NMU is now 16-12-6 overall and 11-11-6-3 in the CCHA. The ‘Cats entered the weekend tied for eighth-place in the conference but the sweep put NMU in sixth. Bowling Green State will come to the Berry Events Center next weekend for a rematch of last season’s first round series.
“I think it’s great to have home ice,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “Our league is so tight. There’s a group at the top and everything else is up for grabs.”
Northern’s five seniors were honored on the ice before the game. All five saw action has goaltender Reid Ellingson, and forwards Justin Florek, Tyler Gron and Andrew Cherniwchan all started the game. Goaltender Devan Hartigan came in relief of Ellingson with 7.5 seconds left in the game for his first regular season action since the 2008-09 season.
“We’ve been really good in this building and hopefully that’ll carry over into next weekend,” Kyle added.
Junior defenseman Scott Macaulay had a career night with four assists. He assisted on the first two NMU goals and assisted on two goals in the second period. Junior defenseman Kyle Follmer, junior forward Matt Thurber and freshman forward Ryan Daugherty all added a goal and an assist.
Gron opened the game’s scoring with his 16th of the season from Macaulay and redshirt freshman Reed Seckel on 4-on-4 play at 10:22 of the first period. He took a backhanded shot that went over Lakers goaltender Kevin Kapalka’s glove.
LSSU (16-15-5, 11-13-4-4 CCHA) answered with a breakaway goal by Stephen Perfetto at 16:39 of the first when NMU was on the power-play.
Daugherty’s goal was at 17:42 of the first when he snuck in a shot as NMU was coming off the man advantage. Macaulay and Follmer assisted on Daugherty’s second of the season.
Freshman defenseman Mitch Jones scored a power-play goal after his shot trickled in past Kapalka at 4:58 of the second. Seckel and Thurber assisted on his fifth of the season.
Thurber’s goal was on the power-play from Macaulay and Daugherty two minutes (6:58) after Jones’ goal. It was his 10th.
Follmer took a blast from the blueline that went over Kapalka’s blocker and into the net for his fourth of the season at 19:18 of the second period. Macaulay and Seckel assisted.
The Lakers added two goals in the third period to cut the lead to two. Colin Campbell scored from Zach Trotman and Fred Cassiani. The second was a shorthanded goal at 4:57 by Cassiani. Perfetto assisted.
Ellingson finished the game with 33 saves for his fifth win of the season. Kapalka (15-12-5-4) had 18 saves in the first two periods and was pulled for Kevin Murdock in the third. Murdock had 11 saves.
“Ellingson did a great job tonight,” said Kyle. “His last two starts have been outstanding. He made a huge save on a shorthanded breakaway.”
Northern outscored LSSU 16-12 in the four games this season to win the Cappo Cup.
Next weekend’s series against Bowling Green is a best-of-three series. Games will be Friday-Sunday (March 2-4) at 7:35 p.m. from the Berry Events Center. Tickets are $16 for general admission, $5 for students and $5 for fans 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased at: http://webb.nmu.edu/Tickets// at any NMU ticket outlet or by calling 906-227-1032.
Game Notes: NMU finished 10-2-5 at the Berry Events Center in the regular season…NMU was 10-for-10 on the penalty kill…NMU was 3-1 against LSSU this season…BGSU defeated NMU in the first round of the CCHA Tournament a year ago.
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