MARQUETTE, Mich. ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚“ It was Senior Night at the BerryEvents Center on Saturday night before the hockey game with Notre Dame.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ One senior stepped up and had a big game inthe Wildcats 4-1 win over the visiting Notre Dame Fighting Irish.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The win clinched home ice for the firstround of the CCHA Playoffs, which will start next Friday (March 14) and is abest two-of-three series.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU is now18-16-2 on the season and 14-13-1 in the CCHA.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Notre Dame falls to 15-15-6 and 13-12-3.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ What does home ice mean to a team like NMU.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œIn my opinion real beneficial to us as weplayed well here all year,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Walt Kyle, head coach of NMU, said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œAny team plays better at home.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ But we have been stronger at home than onthe road.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
Bryce Cockburn one of the seven seniors honored before thegame tallied his second career hat trick in the Berry Events Center and histhird overall career hat trick.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œI amjust happy that we won,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Cockburn said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWe needed home ice advantage for the playoffs.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dirk Southern scoredthe opening goal of the game to give the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats the early 1-0 lead at 18:51 ofthe first period.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The goal was hisninth of the season as Andrew Contois and John Miller assisted.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Cockburn would score the next three goals ofthe game.
His first goal and his 13th of the season came at17:09 of the second period on the power play which made the score 2-0.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Fellow seniors Chris Gobert assisted alongwith Peter Michelutti.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Goal number twocame at 8:27 of the third period for his 14th of the season.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats were rolling at this at this stageof the game 3-0.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Southern and fellowsenior Mike Stutzel assisted on the goal.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ His third and final goal of the game came at 12:29 of the third period,which was his 15th of the season to make the score 4-0.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œFor Bryce (Cockburn) to come in on a nightlike this and do what he did is outstanding,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Kyle added.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Nathan Oystrick and Stutzel assisted.
John Wroblewski would get the Fighting Irish on the boardwith his 17th goal of the season at 14:26 of the third period.
Craig Kowlaksi was bidding for his ninth career shutout, butfell short in his quest. ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œIt is huge that we got home ice,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Kowalski said.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œWe are not a very good road team.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ He did end up with 34 saves on thenight.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚œK-wall stood on his headtonight,ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Cockburn added.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Morgan Ceyhad 19 saves.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU had 23 shots for thegame while Notre Dame had 35.ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚‚ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ On thepower play the ÃƒƒÃ‚ƒÃƒ‚Ã‚¢ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚€ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats were 1-4 while the Fighting Irish were 0-5.