MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University opened up a home-and-home series in the Berry Events Center with No. 8 Michigan Tech that ended in a 3-3 tie. The Wildcats move to 8-6-5 overall and 5-6-4 in conference play, while Michigan Tech is now 15-5-1 on the season with a 10-2-1 WCHA ledger. Northern Michigan scored two goals in the first period but the Huskies scored twice in the third to force the tie.
“It’s a hard series, it was a hard game, but we competed like heck,” commented head coach Walt Kyle.
NMU opened the scoring at the 9:43 mark when sophomore defenseman Brock Maschmeyer scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play from the point. Sophomore forwards Dominik Shine and Gerard Hanson each earned assists on the goal, while MTU Tyler Heinonen was serving two minutes for a goaltender interference penalty.
Tanner Kero from Tech evened the score when Matt Roy dumped the puck ahead to Alex Petan who crossed the puck over to Kero in the slot who then buried the puck. The goal was Kero’s ninth on the season coming a mere 23 seconds after the Northern Michigan goal at the 10:16 mark.
In the final minute of play, Maschmeyer lit the lamp for his second time in the period. Junior forward Joseph Manno passed the puck to a streaking Maschmeyer who powered it past the glove of the Tech goalie to give NMU a 2-1 lead before the first intermission.
The second period was quiet with no goals and the score still at 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats. Michigan Tech held the shots advantage after two by a margin of 20-12 but the penalty kill of NMU held the Huskies scoreless on three power play opportunities.
A major penalty on Cliff Watson of Michigan Tech at the beginning of the third period put Northern Michigan back on the power play. Shine would net his fifth goal of the season on the power play to extend the Northern lead to 3-1 at the 4:12 mark of the period. Nowick found himself with an open window from the left circle after passes from Hanson and Maschmeyer, who each earned assists on the goal.
The Huskies would come back after senior forward Ryan Kesti was sent to the box for a 5-minute kneeing penalty. Heinonen started the charge, making up for his earlier penalty, scoring at the 13:24 mark, while Petan would get his second assist on the night.
While Kesti was still on the box for the major, senior defenseman Jake Baker would be sent to the box for a two-minute cross-check to give MTU the 5-3 advantage. Shane Hanna took advantage of the two-man advantage at the 15:51 mark with Davind Johnstone receiving an assist and Petan getting his third. The Hanna goal put the score at 3-3 and ultimately sent the game to overtime.
In the overtime, each team put a shot on net but the game would end with a 3-3 tie.
“I didn’t like the way we lost it there in the third,” said Kyle. “I don’t like losing third periods, but we took some dumb penalties and we have to be better than that. You’d like to win the game and the guys’ effort was there. We always judge effort and the quality of play and they were both there.”
Sophomore goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom finished the game with 28 saves, while Maschmeyer led the team with four shots to go along with his three point night. The Wildcats scored multiple power play goals for the second consecutive game finished this contest 2-3 with a man advantage.
Northern Michigan finishes the series with Michigan Tech tomorrow, Saturday, January 10th in Houghton, Mich. at 7:37 p.m.
(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)