MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan University hockey team opened up the season with a sweep of Wisconsin in Green Bay. Now, they have their attention turned towards conference play.
The Wildcats were no doubt happy with their opening series sweep of the Badgers, but those games are now in the past. NMU’s journey in the WCHA begins this weekend at Lake State. The Lakers and Wildcats will once again battle for the Cappo Cup.
Lake State has had a rough start to the season, losing their first six games against Robert Morris, Michigan Tech, and Notre Dame. NMU is thrilled that they’ve started the season with two straight wins, but they know that they still have a long way to go to get to where they want to be at.
“It’s a start, it’s just a start,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle. “Now we have to move forward. We’re playing for league points now against a team that competes extremely hard and has had good success against us over the last several years in their building. We’re going to have to be ready for a real battle.”
“I think some of us have really enjoyed playing there,” said NMU Co–Captain Ryan Kesti. “It can be a tough rink to play in. The atmosphere may or may not be good, but it’s a in–state rival and a U.P. rival. A lot of guys really get up for these games and it’s for the Cappo Cup, so it’s a big deal.”
“I think that it’s important to not let it get to our heads,” said NMU forward Dominik Shine about the team’s early success this season. “It’s a big win, but at the same time it’s only two games. We play almost 40 games this season, so we haven’t done much yet. I hope we can stay humble and get some more wins.”
“We know that they’re going to come out strong,” said Wildcats forward Darren Nowick. “They like to hit, they’re fast paced, so we just have to keep up with them.”
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of the Cappo Cup will be team that scores the most goals during the four–games that the Lakers and Wildcats will play against each other this season.