October 24, 2012

Hockey Hosts No. 9 Notre Dame in Home-Opener

Junior forward Erik Higby.
Junior forward Erik Higby.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 16-ranked Northern Michigan University hockey team plays its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association series and first series at the Berry Events Center on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 26-27) against No. 9 Notre Dame. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. both nights.

NMU is 3-1 after a non-conference weekend split at Nebraska Omaha and ranked No. 16 in this week’s USCHO.com poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. The ‘Cats lost their first game of the season 5-2 on Friday but bounced back with a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Freshmen Darren Nowick and Ryan Aynsley picked up their first career goals in the Green and Gold sweater. Nowick scored in the second period on Friday and Aynsley scored in the second frame on Saturday. Senior Matt Thurber has an assist in all four games this season and one goal. Thurber had a goal and two assists against Wisconsin and an assist on both nights at UNO. Sophomore Reed Seckel has three points in the three games he’s played this season. Seckel scored against Wisconsin and on Friday at UNO and assisted on Aynsley’s goal on Saturday.

Notre Dame is ranked No. 9 in this week’s USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The Fighting Irish are 3-1 on the season after a non-conference weekend split with Minnesota Duluth. Notre Dame lost 3-1 on Friday and bounced back with a 4-1 victory on Saturday. The weekend before, the Irish won the IceBreaker Tournament with a 1-0 win on Friday over Maine and a 3-1 win in the championship game over Nebraska Omaha.

The two teams met twice at the Berry Events Center in 2011-12. NMU was ranked No. 17 and Notre Dame was ranked No 4. The two teams tied 2-2 on Friday and 1-1 on Saturday. The ‘Cats won the shootout 1-0 both nights to earn the extra CCHA points. Saturday night was a sellout for the Pink Experience.

NMU and Notre Dame have met 52 times and have an even all-time record of 22-22-8 and are 9-9-4 in Marquette. The first meeting was Oct. 20, 1981 when NMU won 3-2.

The ‘Cats were 11-4-5 at home last year and outscored their opponents 68-50. There were two sellouts last season when 4,260 fans packed the Berry Events Center on Oct. 22 against Michigan and Nov. 4 against Notre Dame

The Blue Line Club will host a luncheon at noon on Friday at Wildcat Room inside the Berry Events Center. NMU coach Walt Kyle and Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson will be the featured speakers. Cost is $12.50. There will also be a fourth period reception at Vango’s after Saturday’s game sponsored by Mathews Floor Fashions and Vango’s.

Fans are also invited to the postgame press conference inside the Wildcat Room both nights.

100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, carries all hockey games. Wildcat hockey can also be heard on Eagle 107.3 in Escanaba and Eagle 96.7 in Newberry.

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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information
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