MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey program fought hard Wednesday night, looking to avenge their previous night’s loss as they upended the Chargers of the University of Alabama Huntsville, 8-2, in game two of the conference series.
At 4:36 of the first period the Wildcats hit twine as sophomore AJ Vanderbeck gave NMU the 1-0 lead with 15:24 to play in the opening frame.
Just 56 seconds later the Wildcats extended the lead to two-goals when Mikey Colella scored his first collegiate goal, with assists to Joseph Nardi and Andre Ghantous as the three secured their respective point-streaks early.
The Wildcat dominance continued as Vanderbeck scored his second of the night at 7:12 of the opening period as NMU took the 3-0 lead with just under 13 minutes left to play in the first.
Griffin Loughran found the back of the net to conclude the Wildcat’s four-goal first period with 2:01 left to play in the frame. The Wildcats would carry their four-goal lead into the first intermission, outshooting their opponent 12-5.
After a hot start in the first period, the Wildcat offensive efforts refused to let up as Mike Van Unen made it a 5-0 game with 13:42 to play in the middle period.
Brandon Schultz highlighted the box score at 10:48 of the second period as he fired one top shelf to make it a 6-0 game.
UAH broke the shutout bid at 14:07 of the middle frame as a shot fired from the far circle beat DiMatteo glove side for their first goal of the period as NMU held a 6-1 lead.
After two periods the Wildcats continued to outshoot the Chargers, 25-14, while leading 6-1 on the scoreboard.
The Wildcats would score another early in the third period, a power play goal courtesy of Andre Ghantous at 3:36 of the final period, giving NMU the 7-1 lead.
With under two minutes to play in regulation the Chargers struck for a second time, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to five-goals with 1:47 to play, as a two-on-one rush found UAH beat DiMatteo high blocker side.
Tim Erkkila scored the first goal of his career at 18:51 of the final period to wrap things up for the final 8-2 tally.
Rico DiMatteo picked up his fourth win of his collegiate career as the Wildcats improved to 8-12-0 and 6-4-0 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association contests.