THIS WEEK’S GAMES...
The Northern Michigan University hockey team will open up the season in Green Bay, Wis. against the defending NCAA I National Champions, the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
The Wildcats own a 22-43-5 slate against UW. In Marquette the ‘Cats have a winning edge at 11-8-5. On the road in Madison the home team has dominated NMU through the year at 9-30-0. On neutral ice the Badgers have the edge at 2-5-0.
The past two meetings between the ‘Cats have been at the Badger Showdown. Last year in Madison, UW down the ‘Cats, 1-5, and in 2002 in Milwaukee, it was 1-3. NMU has dropped the past four meetings and eight of the past nine to the Badgers. NMU’s last win over the Badgers was a 4-1 decision on Jan. 11, 1997.
There will be other events surrounding the Green Bay weekend.
Friday, Oct. 6 there will be a post-game reception at the Resch Center, outside the main entrance. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Beverages will be available for purchase.
Saturday, Oct. 7 a pre-game tailgate party will be held outside the main entrance of the Resch Center. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. (CT) and will feature the NMU coaches, Wildcat Willy, NMU cheerleaders and the NMU Pep Band. Admission is $5 per person for Blue Line Club, Wildcat Club and NMU Alumni Association members. Non-members are $10.
RECENT NORTHERN MICHIGAN GAMES...
Northern Michigan 5 vs. University of Toronto 2 - Sept. 30, 2006
The Wildcats opened the 2006-07 season with an exhibition game against the University of Toronto. Mike Santorelli opened up the scoring with a goal at 12:35 of the first period. Darin Olver added another goal later in the period (18:50). Andrew Sarauer added a power-play goal at 6:51 of the second frame to give the ‘Cats the 3-0 lead. UT added a marker at 10:35 for a 3-1 game. Santorelli added his second marker of the game for the 4-1 lead at 7:45 of the third period. UT made it 4-2 before Nick Sirota scored the final goal of the game at 13:36.
Northern Michigan 2 vs. Michigan 3 - March 18, 2006 (CCHA Consolation Game)
Matt Ciancio scored his first goal of the season at 5:30 of the first period as NMU jumped ahead of the Wolverines. UM would tie the game with a goal at 10:54 of the opening period and then take the 2-1 lead with a goal at 16:01 of the second period. Darin Olver tied the game at two-all with his 15th goal of the season at 16:16 of the second period. UM’s game-winner cane at 8:19 of the final frame.
Northern Michigan 2 vs. Miami 5 - March 17, 2006 (CCHA Semifinals)
NMU scored two first-period goals to take the quick 2-0 over the RedHawks. Mike Santorelli scored at 14:14 (Pat Bateman and Nathan Oystrick) to get the ‘Cats on the board. Bateman then scored the second goal at 16:56, unassisted.
Miami would score three in the second period and two in the third for the win. NMU did have the shot advantage at 21-18.
Northern Michigan 3 vs. Nebraska-Omaha 2 - March 11, 2006 (CCHA Second Round)
The Wildcats wrapped up the series with a three-goal outburst in the second period and held on for the win. The second period has been the most productive for the ‘Cats this season. Goals were scored by Pat Bateman (1:41) and Andrew Contois. Contois scored twice in the period at 5:22 and a short-handed marker at 12:03. UNO scored twice in the final frame on two power-play goals. Bill Zaniboni turned away 28 shots.
Northern Michigan 4 vs. Nebraska-Omaha 1 - March 10, 2006 (CCHA Second Round)
Three power-play goals in the first period set the tone for the game. Matt Siddall gave the ‘Cats the 1-0 lead with his sixth goal of the season at 4:06 of the period. The Mavericks tied the game with a power-play goal by Bill Thomas (16:22). Dirk Southern scored the final goal of the period which gave the ‘Cats the lead for good (2-1) at 17:57. Rob Lehtinen scored twice for the final margin. He scored at 8:40 of the second period and at 7:00 of the third period. Bill Zaniboni had 25 saves.
Northern Michigan 4 vs. Ohio State 2 - Feb. 25, 2006
Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two goals in the first period. But the ‘Cats would answer with three goals in the middle frame. Jamie Milam scored first with a power-play goal at 13:55. Nick Sirota (14:23) and Dusty Collins (19:49) added goals in the period. Collins’ goal was with an extra attacker. Darin Olver (19:23) added an empty-net goal in the third period. Bill Zaniboni turned away 19 of OSU’s 21 shots.
Northern Michigan 4 vs. Ohio State 1 - Feb. 24, 2006
The Buckeyes struck first with a goal at 14:53 of the first period. The ‘Cats tied it up less than two minutes later on a goal by Pat Bateman (16:06). NMU would strike for two in the second period by Jamie Milam (10:15) and Nathan Oystrick (16:24). Andrew Contois added a third period marker for the final margin. Bill Zaniboni had 30 saves. OSU did have more shots with a 31-25 edge.
Northern Michigan 5 vs. Lake Superior State 1 - Feb. 18, 2006
The ‘Cats took care of the Lakers for the second night in a row with a convincing victory in Marquette. Mike Santorelli got the ‘Cats on the board first with a goal at 14:38 of the first period. The Lakers lone goal of the evening came at 4:08 of the second period. The rest of the way was all NMU as the home team scored four goals in the second period (Nathan Oystrick, Matt Siddall, Santorelli and Nick Sirota). Bill Zaniboni had 23 saves on the night.
NORTHERN MICHIGAN NOTES...
A Look At The Badgers...
The Badgers enter the season as the defending NCAA I National Champions and are ranked preseason number one in the USCHO.com/CSTV Poll.
UW finished the 2005-06 season with a 9-1-0 streak. Brian Elliott returns in goal as he was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Hat Trick Finalist and a First Team All-American. Elliott was 27-5-3 during the 2005-06 season with a 1.55 goals against average and a .938 save percentage.
Ross Carlson (11-12-23) returns as the top scorer. UW lost seven of its top scorers from last year.
For the first time in Berry Events Center history back-to-back capacity crowds of 4,260 were on hand against Michigan (11/11-12/05). The 2005-06 season saw capacity crowds three times as the other time was against Michigan Tech (10/21/05).
Eight times over 4,000 people have attended a hockey game at the Berry Events Center.
The first game with over 4,000 fans was against Lake Superior State (3/3/01) as 4,039 people went through the gates. The second time was 4,052 against Notre Dame (1/24/04). Three of the top six crowds were during the 2004-05 season against Michigan Tech as 4,216 (2/17/05) people went through the gates, 4,197 were at Michigan Tech (11/6/04) and 4,163 saw the Michigan State game (10/23/04).
NMU has nine NHL draft picks on the roster, the second-highest among CCHA teams. The ‘Cats who have been drafted: Matt Butcher (VAN), Dusty Collins (T.B.), Spencer Dillon (FLA), TJ Miller (N.J.), Darin Olver (NYR), Mike Santorelli (NSH), Andrew Sarauer (VAN), Matt Siddall (ATL) and Zack Tarkir (N.J.). Olver, second-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2004 (36th overall), is the highest draft choice in school history.
Tidbits on Walt Kyle...
Walt Kyle has guided the Wildcats to Joe Louis Arena and the CCHA Championships in each of his four seasons behind the bench. He has guided the ‘Cats to 20 or more wins each season and needs 13 wins to reach 100 in his career.
Darin Olver could become only the second player in NMU history to lead the ‘Cats in scoring all four years. He had 32 points as a freshman, 43 as a sophomore and 35 last year as a junior. Gary Emmons was the first ‘Cat to accomplished this in his NMU career. He played for NMU from 1983-87.
Olver has nine career game-winning goals, just four short of the NMU record held by Steve Bozek and Roger Trudeau.
Four of the top seven scorers from last year have departed the team. Dirk Southern was second on the team with 34 points (11-23). Andrew Contois had a team-high 16 goals.
NMU will play at least four games on neutral ice this season. The two in Green Bay, UMass-Lowell in Omaha in the first game of the Maverick Stampede and will face Notre Dame in Ft. Wayne, Ind. on Dec. 29.
For the first time in a couple of seasons there is no battle for time in front of the net. Bill Zaniboni is the top returner. He appeared in 34 games last year, going 18-12-2 with a 2.31 GAA and a .916 save-percentage.
Brian Stewart is a freshman netminder from Burnaby, B.C. could see some ice time.
Josh Hatinger a senior has yet to see any ice time in his NMU career is the other goaltender.
The NMU defensemen corps lost three letterwinners. Nathan Oystrick and Geoff Waugh are gone. Zach Tarkir and Matt Maunu are the top two defensemen returning.
Eleven of the 27 players on the NMU roster played their junior hockey in the British Columbia Hockey League.
Nick Sirota is the lone player from Wisconsin on the roster. He is from Beaver Dam.
NMU will stay in the WCHA as they go home-and-home with the Michigan Tech Huskies. Friday night (Oct. 13) the action will be in Houghton before moving to Marquette on Saturday (Oct. 14).
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Sports Information Director