MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team looks to pick up its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association road win this weekend (Dec. 14-15) in the final series of 2012 at Lake Superior State University. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and 7:05 p.m. on Saturday from Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. It will be the second and third games in a row against an Upper Peninsula team and the first two games in the season total goal battle for the Cappo Cup.
NMU is 6-8-3 overall and 2-7-3-1 in the CCHA after a win over Michigan Tech on Dec. 4. The Wildcats are tied for ninth place in the CCHA with 10 points. Junior forward Stephan Vigier (3-9) and senior forward Matt Thurber (1-11) lead NMU with 12 points. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (5-6-11) is also in double digits. Sophomore Ryan Daugherty leads the team with six goals. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 6-8-3 on the season with a 2.68 goals against average and a 91.6 save percentage.
Lake Superior State is 8-10 overall and 5-7 in the CCHA. The Lakers snapped Miami’s eight-game unbeaten streak with a 1-0 shutout victory last Saturday and are seventh in the CCHA standings. Domenic Monardo (6-7) and Nick McParland (4-9) lead the Lakers with 12 points each.
NMU was 3-1 against LSSU last season, outscoring the Lakers 16-12. The two teams split on Dec. 9-10 in the Sault and NMU swept LSSU in Marquette.
Thurber has three goals in four games against LSSU while senior defenseman Kyle Follmer and Vigier each have two goals. Daugherty, junior defenseman Wade Epp, sophomore defenseman Mitch Jones, senior defenseman Scott Macaulay and Seckel each have a goal.
The ‘Cats lead the all-time series 60-33-10, dating back to 1976 and are 23-22-6 in the Sault. NMU is 6-4 in the last 10 games.
NMU won its only game of the week with a 2-1 non-conference win over U.P.-rival Michigan Tech on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The ‘Cats scored goals in the first and second periods to defeat the Huskies for the fourth game in a row. JCoreau had 25 saves, including 11 in each of the last two periods. Junior defenseman CJ Ludwig and junior forward Erik Higby each scored their second goals of the season. Freshman forward Darren Nowick picked up his first collegiate assist on Higby’s goal.
NMU is 2-for-7 on chances in its threes shootouts. Michigan defeated NMU 1-0 in the shootout on Nov. 2 and Miami won the shootout 2-0 on Nov. 10. NMU defeated Alaska 2-0 on Nov. 24. Freshman forward Ryan Aynsley and Jones have capitalized on their only chances in the shootout. Follmer, Higby, senior forward Kory Kaunisto, Thurber and Vigier have missed their only chances for the ‘Cats. Opponents are 3-for-8 on Coreau.
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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