(Courtesy NMU Athletics)
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The No. 17 Northern Michigan hockey team remained
unbeaten at the Berry Events Center after a 1-1 tie with the No. 4
University of Notre Dame in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association series finale on Saturday (Nov. 5) night.
The Fighting Irish led most of the game before senior forward Andrew
Cherniwchan scored the equalizer 1:20 into the third period. Senior
goaltender Reid Ellingson stood tall all night, stopping 44 Irish shots.
“Reid did a great job tonight,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “They (Notre Dame) came harder at us tonight like we knew they would. They threw some shots at us and Reid stood tall at the end when we were tired.”
Senior forward Tyler Gron scored the lone goal in the 3-round shootout as the Wildcats picked up the extra conference point for the second night in a row.
NMU (4-3-3, 1-2-3-2 CCHA) had its second sellout of the season as 4,260 fans turned out for the series finale and the second annual Pink Experience. The Wildcats and referees wore pink jerseys that were auctioned off after the game with a minimum bid of $100. All proceeds went to Marquette General’s Cancer Center. Pink towels and wristbands were also sold for $1. Notre Dame used pink hockey tape and wore pink skate laces.
Bryan Rust scored the lone Notre Dame (5-2-2, 3-1-2-0 CCHA) goal 11:29 into the first period. Rust picked up the loose puck from the middle of the circle and looped around the net for his first of the season.
Cherniwchan scored early in the third to tie the game. He caught a pass from sophomore forward Erik Higby while streaking up the left side of the ice and buried it top-shelf over Irish goaltender Mike Johnson. It was Cherniwchan’s second goal of the season as junior defenseman Kyle Follmer picked up the secondary assist.
Ellingson’s 44 saves included 17 saves in the second period and 15 in the third. NMU had 22 shots on goal with Johnson stopping 21.
NMU was penalized six times for 12 minutes. Notre Dame was 0-for-5 on the power-play. The Irish took three penalties for six minutes. The ‘Cats were 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
Irish forwards Anders Lee, TJ Tynan and Rust all had their shootout chances stopped by Ellingson. Cherniwchan missed the ‘Cats first shootout try. NMU and Notre Dame have an even all-time record of 22-22-8. The two teams won’t meet again in the regular season.
The ‘Cats hit the road next weekend for a CCHA series at Ohio State. The puck will drop at 12:05 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 11) and 7:05 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 12) from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.