MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team travels to Kalamazoo, Mich. this weekend for a meeting with the No. 10-ranked Western Michigan University Broncos. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. both nights from Lawson Arena.
NMU is 5-6-3 overall and 2-5-3-1 in the CCHA after an overtime win and tie with a shootout win over Alaska last weekend. The ‘Cats are tied with Michigan State in ninth place in the CCHA with 10 conference points.
Senior forward Matt Thurber continues to lead NMU with 11 points on a goal and 10 assists. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (5-5) and junior forward Stephan Vigier (3-7) are also in double digits. Seckel, sophomore Ryan Daugherty and freshman Cohen Adair each have five goals. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 5-6-3 on the season with a 2.89 goals against average and a 90.8 save percentage.
Western Michigan is 6-3-1 overall and 3-2-1-1 in the CCHA for a tie in seventh place with Michigan. The Broncos are ranked No. 10 in this week’s USCHO.com top 20 poll and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine’s top 15 poll. Dane Walters (3-5) and Mike Cichy (2-6) lead the team with eight points each. WMU had last weekend off after a split at Alaska on Nov. 16-17.
A season ago, NMU was swept in its first CCHA road series of the season at Western Michigan. The Broncos won 4-2 on Oct. 28 and 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 29. Stephan Vigier scored all four NMU goals on the weekend.
Senior captain Scott Macaulay is this week’s CCHA Gladiator Defenseman of the Week. He had a goal and an assist in the Wildcats 4-3 overtime win on Friday and added an assist in the 2-2 tie on Saturday. On Friday, he scored the game-winner 52 seconds into overtime, shorthanded. He also assisted on Senior forward Kory Kaunisto's second period tally. Macaulay added an assist Saturday on Vigier's first period goal.
Vigier has four goals in six games against the Broncos. Junior forward Erik Higby has a goal and five assists. Senior defenseman Kyle Follmer has three assists and junior defenseman Wade Epp has two assists in their careers against WMU.
The ‘Cats lead the all-time series 41-23-7, dating back to 1976. The series in Kalamazoo favors NMU 16-15-1. The ‘Cats have lost four straight and last defeated the Broncos on Dec. 3, 2010 in Marquette and Jan. 31, 2008 in Kalamazoo.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts 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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