MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 20-ranked Northern Michigan University hockey team picked up its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association win on Saturday (Nov. 3) night with a 4-3 victory over the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan. Like Friday night, the Wildcats entered the third period with a three-goal lead but unlike Friday NMU wouldn’t surrender its lead in front of a sold out Berry Events Center crowd.
“I thought it was a real good win,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “They’re a real good team and you can’t let them breathe. I thought we let them crawl back into it with a bad penalty and a tough break along the wall. Overall, I thought we played much better tonight than last night.”
NMU is now 4-3-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the CCHA. Michigan is 3-3-1 and 1-2-1-1 in the conference.
The ‘Cats jumped out to a 3-0 lead to begin the game. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel came back after a viscous hit on Friday night to score two goals. He scored the game’s first goal 4:04 into the first as he rebounded his own shot. Senior forward Matt Thurber picked up his first of three assists on the night.
“Reed was outstanding today,” Kyle said. “That was an incredible hit he took on Friday and he was adamant that he wanted to play. We had to make sure we were safe on it but he was cleared and did a great job.”
Senior defenseman Scott Macaulay made it 2-0, scoring his first of the season with assists going to freshman forward Justin Rose and Thurber at 16:29. Macaulay put a move on U-M goaltender Steve Racine to get him down and found the back of the net.
At 5:54 of the second period, freshman forward Cohen Adair scored his team-leading fifth of the season and second of the weekend as he tipped in a pass from Thurber. Rose also assisted on the goal.
“Thurber has been really good,” Kyle said “He’s got his stuff together and he’s so strong along the wall. He’s been a very great playmaker.”
The Wolverines finally got on the board 7:37 into the second as Kevin Lynch found the back of the net from Alex Guptill and Mac Bennett.
Seckel scored his second of the game with under four minutes left in the second. Sophomore Ryan Daugherty and junior forward Stephan Vigier assisted on Seckel’s fourth of the year.
NMU led 4-1 entering the third period. The ‘Cats led 4-1 on Friday and surrendered three U-M goals including one with under a second left on the clock.
Michigan pulled to within two with a power play goal by AJ Treais on a blast from the blue line. Another shot from the blue line found the back of the NMU net 46 seconds later by Bennett to cut the lead to one at 4-3. From there, junior goaltender Jared Coreau shut the door with seven saves in the third.
U-M outshot NMU 29-22. Coreau finished with 26 saves and is 4-3-1 on the season. Racine (3-1-1) had 18 saves for the Wolverines.
Both teams took seven penalties for 14 minutes. Michigan was 1-for-2 on the man advantage and NMU was 0-for-2.
The ‘Cats travel to Ohio for their next two series, starting with a trip to Miami next weekend (Nov. 9-10).
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