NMU, Michigan skate to 4-4 tie

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich.- – The No. 20-ranked Northern Michigan University hockey team skated to a 4-4 tie with the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan on Friday (Nov. 2) night from the Berry Events Center. The Wildcats entered the third period with a 4-1 lead but the Wolverines battled back and tied the game with less than a second left on the clock. U-M earned the extra Central Collegiate Hockey Association point with a 1-0 shootout win at the end of the 5:00 overtime period.

“We’re really disappointed in the result of the game,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “I thought we started slowly and played really well at the end of the first and into the second. I thought we played well through 11-12 minutes of the third but had some guys make some mistakes that cost you games.”

NMU is now 3-3-1 overall and is still searching for the first conference win at 0-2-1. Michigan is 3-2-1 overall and 1-1-1-1 in the CCHA. The two teams meet for the series finale at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 3).

The ‘Cats opened the second period down by a goal. Junior forward Erik Higby tied the game 42 ticks into the frame with his first of the season. Freshman forward Cohen Adair fed senior forward Matt Thurber in front of the net and Thurber slid the puck across to Higby for the one-timer.

Junior defenseman Wade Epp gave NMU the lead 8:54 into the second with a wrist shot from the blue line for his first of the year. Assisting on the goal was freshman defenseman Ryan Trenz and junior forward Stephan Vigier.

NMU finished the period with two more power-play goals. Sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty picked up his fourth of the year as he tipped in a pass from junior forward CJ Ludwig at 13:54. Also assisting on the goal was sophomore defenseman Mitch Jones.

Less than two minutes later (15:37), Adair scored his fourth of the season on the man advantage with assists going to senior defenseman Scott Macaulay and Thurber.

“Our special teams were pretty good,” Kyle added. “Our penalty kill can be better but our power play moved it good and got some great opportunities.”

U-M’s three goals in the third period were scored by Kevin Lynch, Mike Chiasson and AJ Treais. Lynch scored on the power-play at 8:12. Chiasson also scored on the power-play at 13:08. Treais tied the game with less than one second remaining as the Wolverines pulled the goalie and added the extra attacker.

Michigan had six shots in the overtime period. Treais was the only player to score in the shootout. Treais went first followed by Higby, Alex Guptill, Thurber, Lindsay Sparks and senior defenseman Kyle Follmer.

The Maize and Blue opened the game’s scoring on a goal by Mac Bennett 15:38 into the first period.

Entering the weekend, NMU was only 2-for-22 on the man advantage. The ‘Cats were 3-for-6 on Friday night. Michigan was 2-for-5 on the power play.

Junior goaltender Jared Coreau (3-3-1) had 31 saves on the night, including 13 in the first period and six in overtime. Steve Racine is undefeated (3-0-1) in net for the Wolverines as he had 24 stops.

NMU took seven minor penalties. U-M had nine penalties for 29 minutes. Jacob Trouba received a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game disqualification. He must sit out Saturday’s game.