(Courtesy of NMU Athletics)
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan hockey team hosts Alaska Fairbanks in a pair of Central Collegiate Hockey Association games on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 6-7). The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. from the Berry Events Center both nights.
NMU is 9-7-3 overall and 5-6-3-2 in the CCHA. The ‘Cats are tied with Michigan State for sixth-place in the conference. Coach Walt Kyle’s team enters the series after defeating the Russian Red Stars 3-2 in an exhibition game last Friday night.
Alaska is 7-9-2 overall and 4-8-2 in the CCHA. The Nanooks only played two games in December, earning a split with Michigan and haven’t played since Dec. 3. Alaska won three of its four games before a seven-game winless streak. Fairbanks has won four of the last six games.
NMU leads the all-time series 26-6-10, dating back to 1989. The ‘Cats were undefeated in the first 16 meetings. NMU is 14-1-5 in games played in Marquette and hasn’t lost to the Nanooks in the last 12 meetings.
The two teams me in Fairbanks last season. Alaska won the shootout after a 1-1 tie on Nov. 19. Gron had a goal and Reid Ellingson had 34 saves. Andrew Cherniwchan and Justin Florek scored on Nov. 20 as the ‘Cats won 2-1. Ellingson had 41 saves on Saturday.
Senior forward Tyler Gron was named RBC Player of the Month and sophomore goaltender Jared Coreau was named Gongshow Goaltender of the Month. Gron tallied three goals and five assists in the three games he appeared in. He had at least two points in all three games and NMU won all three games. The Wildcats finished 4-1 in December. Coreau appeared in four of NMU’s five games and was 3-1-0 in December. E had a 1.35 goals against average and a 95.6 save percentage during the month.
The ‘Cats finished the month of December with a record of 4-1-0. A home sweep of Miami (Dec.2-3) opened the month with 2-1 wins each night. A split at Lake Superior State (Dec. 9-10) and a win against Michigan Tech rounded out the regular season of play. NMU closed out the year by defeated the Russian Red Stars 3-2 in an exhibition game on Dec. 30.
The Blueline Club hosts its annual club recognition night in the Wildcat Room at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 5). There will be a fourth period reception at Coco’s Restaurant after Saturday night’s game.
100.3 FM “The Point,” the official station of NMU Wildcats, will broadcast the games.