MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team continues its season-long four-game home stand with a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series with the Ohio State University. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night (Jan. 18-19) from the Berry Events Center against the Buckeyes.
The Blue Line Club will host a luncheon at the Wildcat Room inside the Berry Events Center on Friday at noon. There is also a 4th Period Party for all fans at the Ramada Inn after Saturday night’s game.
Saturday’s game is being sponsored by Downtown EyeCare. They are teaming up with Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter and fans are encouraged to bring canned cat food, rawhide bones (Made in USA), cash donations, stuffed toys, chew toys, Econo Foods slips, paper towels, NMU premium and Kong toys for donation to the shelter. There will be donation boxes at all of the entrances at the game and UPAWS will also have tables set up around the Berry with more information on their organization. For more information visit upaws.org.
NMU is 9-10-4 overall and 3-9-4-1 in the CCHA. The Wildcats currently sit in 11th place in the CCHA with 14 points. The eights wins this season are over Wisconsin on Oct. 12-13, at Nebraska on Oct. 20, on Nov. 3 over Michigan, Nov. 23 over Alaska, on Dec. 4 over Michigan Tech, Jan. 4-5 at St. Cloud and Jan. 11 vs. Miami.
Senior forward Matt Thurber (1-17) leads NMU with 18 points. His 17 assists are tied for the overall CCHA lead. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (8-8=16) and junior forward Stephen Vigier (4-9=13) also have over 12 points. Seckel (8) and sophomore Ryan Daugherty (8) lead the team in goals. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 9-10-4 on the season with a 2.59 goals against average and a 92.1 save percentage.
Ohio State is 8-9-5 overall and tied for fourth in the CCHA at 7-4-3-1 and 25 conference points. Ryan Dzingel (9-8=17) and Tanner Fritz (3-12=15) lead the Buckeyes offense while Brady Hjelle (6-4-4, 1.44, 95.2) is putting up solid numbers between the pipes. OSU is coming of a split at Ferris State and is 1-4 in the last five games.
NMU dropped a pair of games at Ohio State on Nov. 16-17. The ‘Cats lost 2-0 on Friday night and 4-2 on Saturday. Jared Coreau had 33 saves on Friday and 38 on Saturday. Ryan Daugherty and Scott Macaulay scored for NMU.
NMU trails the all-time series 36-37-3 against OSU. NMU and OSU have met 76 times, dating back to 1977 when the ‘Cats lost 3-2 in Columbus on Jan. 14. NMU leads the series in Marquette 26-11-2 and swept the last series from the Berry Events Center in Oct. 2010.
Last weekend, NMU earned four out of a possible six CCHA points with a win and tie with No. 6 Miami from the Berry Events Center. The ‘Cats defeated the RedHawks 2-1 on Friday with goals from Vigier and freshman forward Darren Nowick. Senior forward Kory Kaunisto, junior forward Erik Higby and Daugherty scored in the 3-3 tie on Saturday. Miami won the shootout 1-0 in five rounds.
Coreau finished the weekend against Miami with 72 saves, a 1.92 goals against average and a 94.7 save percentage. In NMU's 2-1 win over No. 6 Miami on Friday, he had a season-high 43 saves. Coreau stopped 29 shots in Saturday's 3-3 tie.
NMU has played in five overtime games and are 1-0-4-1. The one win came over Alaska (Nov. 23). The lone shootout win was the next night against the Nanooks. Senior defenseman Scott Macaulay has the only overtime game-winning goal.
Thurber has six multiple points games. Five of Seckel’s eight goals have been scored in the third period. NMU is 4-2-3 at home and 3-2-3 in CCHA play. NMU is 4-0-1 when scoring more than three goals. NMU is 5-0-2 when leading after two periods.
100.3 FM “The Point”, the official radio station of the NMU Wildcats, broadcasts all hockey games. Wildcat hockey can also be heard on Eagle 107.3 in Escanaba and Eagle 96.7 in Newberry.
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