Press Box


MADISON, Wis. - The Northern Michigan University hockey team found out on Saturday night what it was like to play the topteam in the country.  For the fourth time the Wildcats played the University of Wisconsin in the championship game of the Badger Showdown.  The â€Â˜Cats arestill looking for their first Badger Showdown title after UW won the game onSaturday night, 5-1.  With the loss the â€Â˜Cats are now 10-9-1 on the season. The Badgers improve to 16-2-2.


UW jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the â€Â˜Cats put a number onthe scoreboard.  Joe Pavelski had the Badgers on the board with his 12thgoal of the season at 12:54 of the opening stanza.  The home team added twomore goals in the second period.  Jeff Likens scored his first goal of the seasonwith a power-play marker at 3:32 of the middle frame.  Less than three minuteslater, teammate Adam Burish scored his sixth goal of the season (6:13).  â€ÂœTheywere very impressive tonight,â€Â John Olver, one of the interim co-head coaches,said.  â€ÂœThey force you to make decisions a lot quick than we are accustomed to. The decisions that we made tonight early were not good ones.â€Â


Nathan Oystrick scored a power-play goal at 13:13 of thesecond period to cut the lead to 3-1.  Dirk Southern and Andrew Contoisassisted on the goal.  UW added two more scores in the third period for thefinal margin.  Ben Street made the score 4-1 with his fifth goal of the seasonat 5:49.  Tom Gilbert scored the final goal of the game at 9:08 for his fifth ofthe season.  â€ÂœThey forced us to make mistakes tonight and turn the puck over,â€ÂOlver added.  â€ÂœThere was very little open ice.â€Â


NMU had two shots in the first period and ended the gamewith 20.  The Badgers doubled-up the shots with 42 for the game which included17 in the first 20 minutes of play.  The â€Â˜Cats had four power-playopportunities while the home team had six. Bill Zaniboni picked up the loss forthe â€Â˜Cats, but had 37 saves on the night.  Brian Elliott backstopped theBadgers with 19 saves.  Mike Santorelli and Oystrick were selected to theall-tournament team. 


The â€Â˜Cats will find their way back into conference play nextweek as they travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami for a weekend set.


Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director