MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team opens the regular season with a non-conference series with the University of Wisconsin from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. this weekend. The puck is set to drop at 8:05 p.m. Eastern both Friday and Saturday nights. It is the second year in a row the two teams opened the regular season.
Mingle with Wildcat Willy, the NMU cheerleaders and Wildcat fans at the NMU special events. There will be a postgame reception after Friday night’s game inside Shopko Hall. H’orderves will be served with a cash bar. Saturday, there is a pregame tailgate party inside Shopko Hall, starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are$15 for adults and $10 for kids. A full buffet will be available with cash bar.
NMU shutout Brock University in an exhibition game on Oct. 7 to open the 2012-13 season. Sophomore defenseman Mitch Jones scored a power-play goal in the first. Freshman forward Cohen Adair scored in his first game in the Green and Gold with a third period goal. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau and freshman Michael Doan split time between the pipes, stopping a combined 19 shots.
Wisconsin is ranked No. 15 in this week’s USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The Badgers defeated the US Under-18 Team 5-0 in an exhibition game on Oct. 6. Wisconsin enters the season returning 15 of its top 16 scorers, as well as its two goaltenders, while adding a small, but talented freshman class. The Badgers were picked to finish in fourth place in the WCHA by a panel of 25 media members. Junior forward Mark Zengerle, a 2012 Third-Team All-WCHA pick, grabbed a spot on the Preseason All-WCHA.
The Badgers lead the all-time series 45-25-6 and have outscored the ‘Cats 312-254. NMU and Wisconsin split their season-opening series in Madison in 2011-12. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel scored the game-winner in overtime in the season-opener on Friday for the 3-2 win. Senior forward Kory Kaunisto scored in Saturday’s 3-2 loss. Coreau started the second game, allowing three goals with 25 saves. NMU held a 2-0 lead in both games.
The two teams opened the 2006-07 season at the Resch Center. Friday night’s game was a 3-3 tie while the Badgers won 3-0 on Saturday.
NMU was picked eighth in both CCHA Preseason Polls. In the coaches’ poll the Wildcats were tied with Bowling Green in a tie for eighth with 43 points. The media selected the ‘Cats ahead of Alaska and Lake Superior State for 389 points and eighth place. Senior defenseman Kyle Follmer was named to the CCHA Preseason Second Team.
Walt Kyle is in his 11th season on the bench for the Wildcats. His all-time record is 192-165-45. He has led NMU to six 20-win seasons and to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. The ‘Cats have been to the CCHA Tournament at Joe Louis Arena seven times under Kyle. 2011-12 was the shortest season under Coach Kyle with 37 games.
Senior defenseman Scott Macaulay is the team captain. He was the co-captain last season. Junior forward Stephan Vigier and sophomore forward Reed Seckel are the assistant captains.
Online streaming of the games will be available through the NMU website. 100.3 FM “The Point” is the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats. Wildcat hockey can also be heard on Eagle 107.3 in Escanaba and Eagle 96.7 in Newberry.
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