MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey opens 2013 with its final non-conference series of the season at St. Cloud State University this weekend (Jan. 11-12). The puck drops at 8:37 p.m. Friday and 8:07 p.m. Saturday from the National Hockey and Event Center.
Following Friday night’s game, NMU Alumni and friends are invited to a post-game gathering at Old Chicago 4040 2nd Street South (adjacent to Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Quality Inn) in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
NMU is 6-10-3 overall and 2-9-3-1 in the CCHA. The Wildcats are tied with Bowling Green for 10th place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with 10 points. The six wins are over Wisconsin on Oct. 12-13, at Nebraska on Oct. 20, on Nov. 3 over Michigan, Nov. 23 over Alaska on Dec. 4 over Michigan Tech.
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 6-10-3 on the season with a 2.78 goals against average and a 91.4 save percentage.
St. Cloud is 12-8 overall and the top team in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association at 9-5. The Huskies are ranked No. 15 in this week’s USCO.com Top 20 Poll. Nine players are in double digits led by Drew LaBlanc (6-22=28) and Nic Dowd (9-15-24). Ryan Faragher has started 19 games (11-7-0) in net and has a 2.40 goals against average and 90.7 save percentage. The Huskies have won four of the last five and split with RIT last weekend.
The Wildcats swept the series last season in Marquette. It was NMU’s home-opener. The ‘Cats won 5-2 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday. Eight different players scored for NMU on the weekend.
St. Cloud leads the all-time series 21-17-1. The ‘Cats have won only one of the last seven meetings in Minnesota and are 3-14-1 overall.
NMU is 4-1 vs. opponents from the WCHA so far this season. The ‘Cats opened the season with a sweep of Wisconsin. The following week, NMU split at Nebraska Omaha. NMU defeated MTU on Dec. 4 in the first of two meetings between the two teams. A trip to St. Cloud State (Jan. 4-5) and the Feb. 12 meeting with MTU wraps up the non-conference schedule, all against WCHA teams.
NMU was 1-3 during the month of December, including 0-3 in CCHA play. The win was at home on Dec. 4 over Michigan Tech while the three losses were on the road. Western Michigan defeated the ‘Cats on Dec. 1 and LSSU swept NMU in Sault Ste. Marie. The three goals in the month were scored by sophomore defenseman Jake Baker, junior forward Erik Higby and junior defenseman CJ Ludwig. Coreau had 114 saves with a 2.27 goals against and 93.4 save percentage.
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