ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team exploded for a season-high six goals on Friday (Jan. 4) night to earn coach Walt Kyle his 200th career victory. Five different Wildcats scored goals as NMU defeated No. 15-ranked St. Cloud State 6-2 in the opening game of the non-conference series from the National Hockey Center.
With the win, NMU is now 5-1 against opponents from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and snapped a two-game skid to move to 7-10-3. The Huskies are 12-9.
After the home team scored the only goal of the first period, NMU buried three goals in each of the final two periods.
Ben Hanowski opened the game’s scoring 10:45 into the first. Jonny Brodzinski and Drew LeBlanc assisted on the tally.
Northern answered with two goals to take the lead. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel scored his sixth of the season from senior forward Matt Thurber and junior forward Erik Higby 2:17 into the second.
Senior defenseman Scott Macaulay gave NMU the 2-1 lead less than a minute later (2:58) with his fourth from freshmen forwards Ryan Aynsley and Darren Nowick.
The Huskies tied the game up with a goal by Cory Thorson.
The ‘Cats answered with four goals, including a power-play tally by sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty, the only special teams goal of the game. NMU hadn’t scored in its last 17 power-play chances, dating back to Dec. 4 against Michigan Tech. Junior defenseman CJ Ludwig and junior forward Vigier assisted on the Daugherty goal.
Seckel added his second of the night early in the third period (1:10) from Thurber and Higby.
Ludwig scored his third of the season 10 minutes (11:49) later from freshman forward Cohen Adair and senior forward Kory Kaunisto.
Senior defenseman Kyle Follmer also got on the board with his first of the season with 2:22 left. Higby and Thurber assisted for their third points of the game.
Junior goaltender Jared Coreah stopped 21 shots for the ‘Cats, earning his seventh win of the season. Rasmus Reijola had 20 saves for the Huskies.
St. Cloud was 0-for-5 on the man advantage after five minor NMU penalties. The ‘Cats were 1-for-2 on the power play.
The two teams meet at 8:07 p.m. (EST) on Saturday to wrap up the series.
Game Notes: NMU last won at St. Cloud on Oct. 16, 2004…NMU’s five WCHA wins are over Wisconsin (Oct. 12-13), Nebraska Omaha (Oct. 20), Michigan Tech (Dec. 4) and tonight…NMU scored four goals in four previous games for the team-high…NMU swept St. Cloud in Marquette last season…Seckel’s two goals tie a career-high…Higby’s three assists are a new career-high.
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