NMU Hockey team ready for MSU

Courtesy of NMU Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team plays its second and third games of the week at Michigan State this weekend (Feb. 15-16) in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series from East Lansing. The puck drops at 6:35 p.m. on Friday and 7:35 p.m. Saturday from Munn Ice Arena. Saturday is Hockey Day in Michigan.

Friday night’s game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Dan Kelly (play-by-play), Rob Andringa (color) and Lisa Byington (sideline) will call the action. Find the channel at:

Fox Sports Detroit will air Saturday’s game with Ken Daniels (play-by-play), Larry Murphy (color) and Shannon Hogan (sideline) calling the game. Find the channel at:

The annual Wildcat Night Across the Country is on Saturday. Viewing parties have been  setup across the country for NMU’s game at Michigan State. The party in Marquette is at Buffalo Wild Wings. The full list can be found at: https://www.nmu.edu/alumniassociation/wildcatnight

NMU is 12-14-4 overall and 6-12-4-1 in the CCHA. The Wildcats currently sit in 10th place in the CCHA with 23 points. The ‘Cats are coming off an 8-2 loss at Michigan Tech on Tuesday and a series split with Ferris State on Feb. 8-9.

Senior forward Matt Thurber (3-22) leads NMU with 25 points. His 22 assists lead the CCHA and is seventh in the nation. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel (10-8=18) and junior forward Stephen Vigier (5-12=17) also have over 16 points. Seckel leads the team with 10 goals while sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty has nine. Junior goaltender Jared Coreau is 12-14-4 on the season with a 2.60 goals against average and a 91.8 save percentage.

MSU is 8-19-3 overall and 11th in the CCHA at 6-15-1. The Spartans enter the weekend after a series split at Bowling Green and are 1-4 in their last five games. Matt Berry (11-9=20), Brent Darnell (7-9=16) and Matt DeBlouw (6-10=16) lead the offense. Jake Hilebrand is 5-13-2 between the pipes with a 2.21 goals against average a 93.4 save percentage.

NMU was 1-2-1 against Michigan State last season. Northern trails the all-time series 28-34-4 and is 10-19-3 in East Lansing.

NMU played its final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday at Michigan Tech. The Huskies scored four goals in each of the first two periods and defeated the Wildcats to snap NMU’s four-game winning streak in the series. Junior forwards Erik Higby and Jake Johnson scored for the Green and Gold. Sophomore defenseman Jake Baker had a pair of assists.

NMU finished 6-2 vs. opponents from the WCHA. The ‘Cats opened the season with a sweep of Wisconsin. The following week, NMU split at Nebraska Omaha. NMU defeated Michigan Tech on Dec. 4 in the first of two meetings between the two teams. The ‘Cats swept St. Cloud (Jan. 4-5) and wrapped up the non-conference schedule with a lost at MTU on Feb. 12.