No. 3 Mavericks too much for NMU

MARQUETTE, Mich. — No. 3 Minnesota State used a three-goal second period to take a 4-1 win over the Northern Michigan University hockey team Friday at the Berry Events Center in the opening outing of their two-game Western Collegiate Athletic Conference series.

The loss dropped NMU to 8-6-3 with a 5-6-2 league record. The Mavericks improved to 14-4 with a 11-2 WCHA mark.

Bryce Gervais scored an even-strength goal for MSU to take a 1-0 lead at the 12:43 mark of the opening period. Matt Leitner and Zach Palmquist recorded assists on the play.

NMU senior captain Ryan Kesti evened the score for the Wildcats at the 5:34 mark of the second on assists from junior Joseph Manno and junior Cohen Adair. It was the second goal of the season for Kesti.

The Mavericks answered with a pair of goals just nine-seconds apart at the 8:32 and 8:41 marks, respectively. Brett Stern scored the first on an assist from C.J. Franklin before Teddy Blueger scored an unassisted goal just nine seconds later.

Casey Nelson picked up a power play goal on an assist from Leitner at the 14:57 mark to cap the scoring in the second period.

“I think they kicked us around good,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle. “They are a really good team, I didn’t think we responded and we weren’t really good defensively and I thought even emotionally we weren’t as good as we need to be. They had a lot of time and space and took advantage of it. I can’t tell you one area of the game I was really happy with.”

MSU outshot the Wildcats 37-20 including a 17-7 advantage in the opening period.

Junior goalie Michael Doan took the loss for the Wildcats with 33 saves in the outing while Cole Huggins picked up the win with 19 saves for the Mavs.

NMU and Minnesota State will complete their WCHA series on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. at the Berry Events Center. The Wildcats will be hosting Youth Sports Day at the game. All youth are encouraged to wear their team uniform or a t-shirt for a sport they play for free admission with a paid adult admission.

(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)