Press Box


MARQUETTE, Mich. â€Â“ The Northern Michigan University hockey team will makes its fifth straight trip to Joe Louis Arena for theCCHA Championship thanks to a 3-2 win over the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Saturday night.  This is the Wildcats fourth trip under Walt Kyle. The â€Â˜Cats are currently 22-14-2 on the season.  The Mavericks fall to 20-14-6. Ã¢Ã‚€Ã‚œThey have an opportunity to earn a spot to play for a championship right now,they deserve that,â€Â Walt Kyle said.  â€ÂœThey understand they have not doneanything special yet. We hope there are bigger and better things to come.â€Â Theseniors have now advanced to The Joe all four years. Ã‚ 


After playing a scoreless 20 minutes of hockey NMU scoredthree goals in the second frame and held on to down the Mavericks.  The secondperiod has been the most successful period for the â€Â˜Cats this season.  NMU hasnow scored 48 of its 114 goals in the second frame.  NMU has now won six gamesin a row going into the CCHA Championship.


Pat Bateman gave the â€Â˜Cats the 1-0 lead with his ninth goalof the season at 1:41 of the period.  Mike Santorelli and Darin Olver assistedon the goal.  Jamie Milam made the count 2-0 on a power-play goal for hiseighth of the season at 5:22.  Nathan Oystrick and Dirk Southern assisted.  Theâ€Â˜Cats third goal of the frame came from Andrew Contois on a short-handed markerat 12:03 for his 15th of the season.  â€ÂœLucky goal and that time ofthe game it gave us a three-goal lead,â€Â Contois said.  Southern assisted.  â€ÂœWegot up by three and we just laid back.  That is something that we do not liketo do,â€Â Kyle said.


UNO tried to make the game interesting with two power-playgoals in the third period.  Kaleb Betts scored at 12:05 to cut the NMU lead to3-1.  Alex Nikiforuk made the scored 3-2 with his 13th goal of theseason at 15:21.  UNO pulled its goaltender with a little over a minute left inthe game, but the â€Â˜Cats held on.


The Mavericks had seven power play opportunities for thegame.  NMU just had three.  UNO outshot NMU 15-3 in the third period and 30-18for the game.   Bill Zaniboni turned away 28 of UNOâ€Â™s shots.  Jerad Kaufmannhad 15 saves for the game.


NMU will play on Friday, March 17 at Joe Louis Arena.  Theopponent and time has yet to be determined.




Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director