MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University hockey team scored three goals in the third period to pull away from Alaska-Anchorage for the a 5-3 win. Sophomore goalie Derek Dun earned his first career win in the victory saving 23 shots on the night. NMU improves to 10-9-6 on the season with a 7-8-4 mark in WCHA play, while the Seawolves fell to 7-12-4 with a conference record of 4-11-2.
“Dun is an unbelievable person and I’m proud of him,” said head coach Walt Kyle on the performance of Dun. “He comes every day and he works hard. It takes a lot to come out and perform like that today and I really liked the way he competed.”
Senior captain Ryan Kesti opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the contest when he snuck a wrister under the glove of UAA goaltender Olivier Mantha from the high slot. The goal was the fifth of the season for Kesti, third consecutive game with a goal, while junior defensemen Ryan Trenz and Barrett Kaib were credited with assists.
Shortly after, a collision at the net would knock NMU starting goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom from the game and put Dun in the crease for the first time this season with 17:55 left in the period.
The Seawolves were able to knot the game up later in the period at the 13:16 mark when Austin Azurdia found the back of the net on a breakaway with an assist to Tad Kozun. The two teams rode the 1-1 score into the first intermission.
Northern Michigan was only able to get five shots on net in the period but held the UAA power play scoreless on three chances.
The Wildcats were able to get on the board first in the second period when sophomore forward Gerard Hanson buried his third goal of the season at the 4:35 mark. Hanson scored off the rush with freshman forward Zach Diamantoni and sophomore forward Sami Salminen receiving assists.
Anchorage then was able to capitalize on a breakaway when Brad Duwe blocked a shot at the left point and then took it the distance for his second goal of the season. This would be the finally tally of the period to put the score at 2-2 heading into the final period.
NMU was able to outshoot the Seawolves in the period 12-10 as Dun saved nine shots in the period.
Northern Michigan once again scored quickly to start the third period, just 1:04 ticked off the clock, as sophomore forward Shane Sooth scored on the power play. Sophomore forward John Siemer sent a puck at the net from the left circle that created a mess at the net, which was cleaned up by Sooth. Senior defender Mitch Jones also earned an assist on the play.
The Seawolves once again answered nearly a minute later when Austin Coldwell scored his fourth goal on the year with 17:39 remaining on the clock.
NMU then went on the power play after Anchorage was caught with too many men on the ice where sophomore defenseman Brock Maschmeyer was able to tally his team-high eighth goal of the season sneaking the puck below the blocker of Mantha. Salminen started the play when he snuck the puck away from the boards behind the net to Sooth who passed it along to Hanson before feeding Maschmeyer for the score.
With 5:23 left in the game, freshman defender Zach Urban sent a shot from the right point that deflected off junior forward Darren Nowick that found Salminen with an empty net in front of the crease for the fifth NMU goal of the night.
Anchorage had no answer for the two NMU goals giving the Wildcats the 5-3 victory.
Anchorage finished the game with the shots advantage at 28-24 but the NMU penalty kill held the Seawolves scoreless on six opportunities on the power play.
“I loved how we competed tonight,” commented Kyle. “We’d score a goal and they would score a goal and that’s frustrating as a player. Our penalty killing was really good tonight, but it was really our effort tonight.”
Northern Michigan closes out the series against Alaska-Anchorage tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7:07 p.m. in the Berry Events Center.
(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)