MARQUETTE, Mich. – The NMU hockey team wraps up the regular season this weekend against Lake Superior State. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (March 1-2) nights from the Berry Events Center.
The five seniors will be honored at the Blue Line Club Luncheon on Friday at noon in the Wildcat Room and before Saturday’s game. The annual Silent Auction is being held on Friday night and there will also be a 4th Period Party at Buffalo Wild Wings after Saturday’s game.
NMU is 14-16-4 overall and 8-14-4-1 in the CCHA. The Wildcats sit in 10th place in the CCHA with 29 points. The ‘Cats split last weekend at Bowling Green and enter the weekend two point behind Michigan for ninth place and three points behind LSSU for eighth.
Senior forward Matt Thurber (5-26) leads NMU with 31 points. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (12-10=22) and junior forward Stephen Vigier (7-13=20) also have over 19 points. Seckel leads the team with 12 goals while sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty has 10. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 14-16-4 on the season with a 2.65 goals against average and a 91.8 save percentage.
LSSU is 15-18-1 overall and 8th in the CCHA at 10-15-1. The Lakers swept Alaska on Feb. 15-16 and were swept by Miami last weekend (Feb. 22-23). Domenic Monardo (18-11=29) and Nick McParland (6-15=21) lead the offense while Kevin Murdock is 9-11-0 between the pipes with a 2.46 goals against average and a 93.1 save percentage.
The Lakers swept the ‘Cats on Dec. 14-15 in the Sault and lead the total goal series for the Cappo Cup, 6-1. Jake Baker scored the only goal of the weekend for his lone tally of the year.
NMU leads the all-time series 60-34-10. The ‘Cats lead the series in Marquette 37-11-4. NMU swept the Lakers in last year’s final series of the regular season.
Northern’s five seniors are Kyle Follmer, Kory Kaunisto, Scott Macaulay, Brian Nugent and Matt Thurber.
Defenseman Kyle Follmer (St. Paul, Minn.) has scored 13 goals and tallied 51 assists from the blueline in 148 career games. He had a career and team-high 22 assists last season. Follmer is +19 in his career and has totaled 159 blocked shots. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and was a Preseason CCHA Second Team selection this year.
Forward Kory Kaunisto (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) has 17 points in his four-year career on seven goals and 10 assists. He has appeared in 117 games and has a career-high four goals this season. Kory has many ties to NMU as his older brother Ray played for the Wildcats and his uncle Joe Shawhan is an assistant coach.
Captain Scott Macaulay (Winnipeg, Man.) has nine goals and 44 assists in his four years at Northern from the blueline. He is a two-time captain and was awarded the team’s Tom Laidlaw Best Defenseman award in 2010-11. Macaulay had four assists in a game vs. LSSU last season and has totaled 114 blocked shots in 138 career games.
Forward Brian Nugent (Victoria, B.C.) has nine goals and six assists in 106 career games. Four of Nugent’s goals are game-winners and three of his goals are against Michigan State. He received the team’s Jim Mussatto Memorial Fitness Award last season.
Forward Matt Thurber (Beaver Dam, Wis.) has 16 goals and 45 assists in his two years with the Wildcats. He leads the CCHA in assists with 26 this season and his tied for fifth in overall points in the league. Thurber is also +16 in 65 career games. He played 43 games for the Wisconsin Badgers, recording 11 points on two goals and nine assists.
NMU split at CCHA series at Bowling Green State over the weekend. The Wildcats won 5-2 on Friday and fell 5-3 on Saturday. The last time NMU lost at Bowling Green was Nov. 15, 2008. Jared Coreau had 37 saves on Friday and 25 on Saturday. He has had over 34 saves eight times this season. The ‘Cats finished 5-13-1 overall on the road and 2-11-1 in conference action.
Four players picked up three points on the weekend as Ryan Daugherty (1G-2A), Erik Higby (2G-1A), Mitch Jones (1G-2A) and Stephan Vigier (1G-2A) supplied the offense. CJ Ludwig and Matt Thurber added had two assists each.
Brian Nugent has two goals and three assists in the last four games. Erik Higby has four goals and two assists in the last five games.
Matt Thurber has nine multiple points games this season. His 26 assists lead the CCHA and is tied for fourth in the nation. Jared Coreau has over 30 saves in 17 games this season. NMU is 7-0-1 when scoring more than four goals. NMU is 0-9-1 when allowing four or more goals.
NMU is 7-3-3 at the Berry Events Center this season and 6-3-3 in CCHA play. The six wins are over Michigan (Nov. 3), Alaska (Nov. 23), Michigan Tech (Dec. 4), Miami (Jan. 11), Ohio State (Jan. 18-19) and Ferris State (Feb. 9). Matt Thurber has 13 points (1G-12A) and Stephan Vigier has 10 points (4G-6A) on home ice.
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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