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Wednesday January 19, 2022
Northern Hockey Wildcats Lose Two Close Games



MARQUETTE, Mich. (Berry Events Center) –
 Alex Ierullo scored twice and Mattias Sholl made a career-high 35 saves to propel the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team to a 4-3 victory at Northern Michigan University.  The win stands as BSU third straight and allowed the Beavers to sweep the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Series.

Nine different BSU players logged at least one point in the back-and-fourth victory, but it was Austin Jouppi who cast the deciding goal to clinch the game and the Beavers inaugural CCHA series sweep.

The Wildcats put the Beavers in a 2-0 hole early, getting goals from Michael Colella (8:31) and Andrew Ghantous (15:28)  before 16 minutes ran off the clock, but the Beavers came charging back to knot the score before the end of the period.

Alex Ierullo scored his second goal of the season with help from Elias Rosén and Will Zmolek at the 17:39 mark of the first period. Fifty second later (18:29), BSU’s leading scorer Tyler Kirkup netted his fifth goal of the season to even the score.

The score remained 2-2 through the first 16 minutes of the second period, but Ierullo struck again, his second of the night, to give the Beavers a 3-2 lead at the 16:40 mark of the frame.

The lead would last only 1:55. At the 17:25 mark of the second, Lukas Sillinger was escorted to the box for slashing, setting NMU up with its third power-play opportunity of the night. The Wildcats needed just 70 seconds to convert. AJ Vanderbeck slipped the puck past the BSU goaltender Sholl to lock the score at 3-3 before the teams entered the second intermission.

In just his fifth collegiate appearance, Jouppi picked a great time to pick up his first point as a Beaver. Brad Johnson and Owen Sillinger set up the sophomore’s game-winner at the 8:49 mark of the third. Sholl and the BSU defense took care of the rest.

Outshooting BSU 38-27 in the game, NMU also won the power-play battle. The Wildcats held BSU without a goal on two man advantage opportunities, while they were 1-for-3 on the power play.

Sholl improved to 2-1-0, picking up his second victory of the series, stopping 49 of the 52 shots he faced.

The Beavers (3-3-0) return to Sanford Center next weekend to continue league play by hosting Bowling Green State University. The series will get underway at 7:07 p.m. Friday before a 6:07 p.m. puck drop Saturday.


MARQUETTE, Mich. (Berry Event Center) – Tied 4-4 midway through the third period, Bemidji State University freshman Jakub Lewandowski found the back of the net to propel the Beavers to victory a 5-4 at Northern Michigan University to open the series and Central Collegiate Hockey Association season.

Five different BSU players scored goals, while Mattias Sholl turned aside 14 shots in 29:55 minutes in his collegiate debut. Lukas Sillinger led the way for BSU collecting a goal and an assist and Eric Martin recorded a career-high two helpers in the victory.

The Beavers skated out of a first period that featured five goals scored, with a 3-2 lead. At the 8:38 mark, BSU’s leading goal scorer Tyler Kirkup netted Bemidji State's first power-play goal of the season. Martin and Brad Johnson were credited with assists on the play.

After a Wildcats’ power-play tally, Kyle Looft found the back of the net for his second goal of the season at the 12:56 mark of the frame. NMU evened the score, at 2-2, at the 14:59 mark, but senior captain Ethan Somoza potted BSU’s second power-play marker of the night at the 16:10 mark to put BSU back in front.

Northern Michigan won the second period. The Wildcats outshot the Beavers 12-11 and netted a pair of power-play goals on four opportunities in the frame. Hank Crone’s goal at the 10:05 mark put NMU up 4-3 and marked the end of the night for Michael Carr.

The goaltending change sparked BSU. Sillinger pulled the Beavers back into the game tying the score with his first goal of the season just 2:04 into the third period. At the 11:03 mark of the frame, Sillinger and Martin set up rookie Lewandowski for game-winning heroics.

Each team finished the game with three power-play goals on five man advantage opportunities.

Sholl totaled nine saves in 29:55 of action to earn the victory in relief and improve to 1-0-0. He followed Car who stopped nine shots and was tagged with all four of the Wildcats’ goals.

The following stories were written by NMU Sports Information.


The Northern Michigan University hockey program fell in a close battle to No. 19 Bemidji State University, 4-3, Saturday to move to 2-3-0 on the season and 2-2-0 in conference play.

The Wildcats lit the lamp twice early in the first period but a pair of Beaver goals 50 seconds apart late in the opening frame left the two teams knotted at 2-2 after 20 minutes.

The two teams skated evenly throughout the middle period of play, with the Beavers eventually breaking the stalemate at 16:40 of the second.

The Wildcats were determined to fight on and, less than two minutes later, AJ Vanderbeck tied things back up with his second power play goal of the weekend.

A Beaver shot took an odd bounce partway through the third period to give them the lead and eventual go-ahead tally.

NMU held the edge on the offensive side in shots, firing 38 pucks on net while allowing only 27. The Wildcats also hit two pipes in the third period en route to the 4-3 final.

  • Andre Ghantous swiped the puck off a BSU defenseman in the neutral zone and fed a pass back to Mikey Colella in the slot who fired a shot high over the blocker of the Beaver goaltender for the first goal of the night.
  • Ghantous then net his first goal of the season after carrying the puck along the boards and into the offensive zone. With two defenders sticks on him, the Glendale, Calif. native beat the glove of the Beaver goalie to make it 2-0 at 15:28 of the first. Ben Newhouse picked up the lone assist on the goal.
  • On the power play, the Wildcat unit went to work with a tic-tac-toe set up from Hank Crone and Hampus Eriksson for the AJ Vanderbeck goal. Crone stood outside the near circle and fired a pass across ice to the far face-off dot where Eriksson quickly passed it back to Vanderbeck at the top of the circle for the one-timer to tie things at 3-3.
  • The Wildcats outshot the Beavers 38-27 in the contest, including a 12-8 edge in the final frame along with two pipes in the final minutes of play as they looked to find an equalizer.
  • AJ Vanderbeck led the team in shots on net, firing six on the BSU netminder while Mikey Colella had five.
  • Andre Ghantous added to his season point total with a goal and an assist as the junior wrapped up the weekend with a team-high four points (1-3-4).
  • With six individuals highlighting the box score Saturday night, five individuals extended their point streaks. The team leader in goals and points, AJ Vanderbeck now holds a four-game streak of five goals and four assists for nine points. Hank Crone also owns a four-game stretch at 3-5-8. Colella (2-1-3), Ghantous (1-3-4) and Hampus Eriksson (0-3-3) all hold two-game streaks heading into next weekend.
  • Along with his four-game point streak, Vanderbeck has scored at least one goal in each of his last four outings for a team best five goals on the season.
  • While going one-for-three on the power play, the Wildcats successfully killed off both of the Beavers' attempts.The Wildcats travel to Mankato, Minnesota, to face off against preseason CCHA favorite Minnesota State University - Mankato.

The last time NMU traveled to face the Mavericks, they skated away with a 5-1 victory and berth in the WCHA Championship game. Puck drop for Friday night is set for 8:07 p.m. ET.


MARQUETTE, Mich. - Despite a strong offensive night, the Northern Michigan University hockey team dropped a close 5-4 battle with 19th-ranked Bemidji State University Friday night.

The game inside the Berry Events Center saw three lead changes and four ties as the two teams dueled for the coveted three points in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play.

The Beavers drew first blood with a power play goal at 8:38 of the first period before the Wildcats' own Mikey Colella found twine on the NMU power play less than two minutes later.

The two teams would trade a pair of even-strength goals but the Wildcats trailed at the end of the first period, 3-2, while being outshot 14-7. 

Vincent de Mey got things back for NMU with a power play tally at 7:42 of the second period to knot things back up at 3-3 before Hank Crone soon after capitalized on the man-advantage, giving NMU their first lead of the night.

The Beavers scored early on in the third period to tie things up again before a power play goal midway through the final period sealed the Wildcats' fate as they eventually dropped the 5-4 final.

Two netminders appeared in goal for the Wildcats Friday as Charlie Glockner and Nolan Kent combined for 30 saves, while the Wildcats' offense posted 27 shots on net at the other end of the ice. 

  • A lethal top line for the Wildcats last season, Joseph NardiAndre Ghantous and Mikey Colella combined for the first Wildcat goal of the night at 10:01 of the first period. Nardi set up a feed to Ghantous who skated it over the blue line and into the Wildcat zone. He sent the puck cross ice to Colella who ripped a shot off inside the far circle for the 1-1 tally. 
  • With both teams skating five-a-side, AJ Vanderbeck found the back of the net at 14:59 of the first. He sent the puck over to Hank Crone who stood at the near boards by the Wildcat bench where he tapped it back to Vanderbeck. As two defenders closed in on him, Vanderbeck found the right shooting lane and fired one high past the stick of BSU's Carr.
  • Again on the power play, the Wildcats found twine when Vincent de Mey gathered a rebound and backhanded one home from the bottom of the left circle at an intense angle. Colella and Ghantous earned assists on the power play tally.
  • The Wildcats saw their first lead of the night when Hank Crone lit the lamp with the man-advantage, to make it 4-3. The junior picked up a pass from Hampus Eriksson and carrying it up the far boards, faked out three defenders en route to the goal. Tangled up in the stick of a BSU defender, Crone managed to get the puck lifted and over the shoulder of the Beavers' Carr.
  • The two teams combined for six power play goals in the contest as both NMU and BSU went three-of-five with the man-advantage.
  • Vincent de Mey led the team in shots on net, boasting five in the contest along with the first goal of the season for the senior. He fired five pucks on BSU netminders in the contest.
  • Ben Newhouse blocked five shots for a team-high as the Wildcats boasted 19 blocked shots in total Friday.
  • Following Friday night's game, three Wildcats are currently riding point-streaks. Linemates Hank Crone and AJ Vanderbeck both boast seven points in their last three contests. Vanderbeck also continues his goal-streak, extending that to three games as well with four goals and three assists in his last three outings. Captain Joseph Nardi is currently on a two-game run with an assist in back-to-back contests.

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