EAST LANSING, Mich.ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚“ What a difference 24 hours can make.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Friday night the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats suffered a 7-2 defeat to the Michigan StateSpartans, but on Saturday night it was a different story as NMU won a 6-5 gamethat went into overtime.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Alex Sawrukscored the game-winning goal with less than 25 seconds left in the overtimeperiod for the win.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
The ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats are now 9-8-1 overall and 7-7-0 in the CCHA.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ MSU is 11-10-1 and 8-5-1in the conference.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
So, how did the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats get to thewin?ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Michigan State struck first on ashorthanded goal at the 2:16 mark of the first period.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Kevin Gardner would score the first of histwo goals on the night on the power play at to tie the game at one-all.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Geoff Waughand Alan Swanson assisted on the goal.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The Spartans would score once again in the period to take the 2-1 leadafter the first 20 minutes of play.
The second period saw the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Catsscore two goals in a span of a little over a minute.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dirk Southern scored a power-play goal forhis sixth of the season at totie the game at two-all.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Jamie Milam andNathan Oystrick assisted on the goal.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Alan Swanson would give the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats the 3-2 lead with his own power-playgoal at , which was his fourthgoal of the season.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Milam and JohnMiller assisted.
The Spartans answered with twogoals of their own in quick fashion.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ They scored at and 17:09 of the period to take the 4-3 lead aftertwo periods.
MSU went up 5-3 when A.J. Thelenscored a power-play goal at ofthe third period.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ NMU was not done asthey scored two goals to send the game into OT.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Rob Lehtinen scored his second goal of the season at to get the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats within one at 5-4.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dave Bonk and Milam assisted on thegoal.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ With less than a minute left inregulation, the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats pulled Craig Kowlaski in favor of the extraattacker.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ The plan worked as KevinGardner tied the game at five-all with his second goal of the night and fourthof the season at of theperiod.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Dirk Southern and Geoff Waughassisted.
That set-up the extra period as theÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats only had two shots on goal in the overtime period.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ But the second shot was the one that countedas Sawruk took a rebound from GardnerÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™sshot at for the win.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Sawruk was named the first star of thegame.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚
NMU ended the game with 36 shots toMSUÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚™s 23.ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ It was only the second timethis season that the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats out-shot an opponent in a game.
NMU scored three power-play goalsin seven opportunities on Saturday night as the ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats penalty kill unit heldMSU to one power-play goal in five chances. ÃƒƒÃ‚‚Ãƒ‚Ã‚ Kowalski registered 18 saves on the night.
The ÃƒƒÃ‚¢Ãƒ‚Ã‚€Ãƒ‚Ã‚˜Cats are back home this comingweekend (January 9-10) when they face Miami.