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Wednesday January 19, 2022

The Northern Michigan University hockey celebrated the 30th anniversary of the national championship win over Boston University by hosting the BU Terriers this weekend in Marquette. Northern won Saturday night, 6-2, after winning Friday's opener, 5-3.

These stories were written by NMU Sports Information


It was one for the history books. Eerily similar to the team and game in which they were celebrating, the Wildcats defeated Boston University, 6-2, Saturday behind a hat trick and final goal scored by an individual donning "Plandowski" on his sweater, the Northern Michigan University hockey team completed the weekend sweep.
The Wildcats opened with a three-goal first period, including two goals by sophomore Mikey Colella and a power play tally from AJ Vanderbeck.
Minutes after the Wildcats opened the scoring, the visiting Terriers answered back to knot things at 1-1.
Two late power play goals gave NMU the 3-1 advantage heading into the first intermission.
A slew of penalties within the first few minutes of the second period, with both teams managing to kill off the opposition's chances.
Trevor Cosgrove scored the lone goal of the second stanza, finding the back of the net at 14:33 of the period to make it a 4-1 game.
The Terriers continued to fight in the third, sneaking one past sophomore netminder Rico DiMatteo for the 4-2 mark.
Adding to his already impressive night, Colella found the back of the net once more to complete the hat trick and record a career-high night in both goals and points.
Fans there Saturday, who were in St. Paul 30 years ago, can vividly remember the "Beaufait to Plandowski, and Plandowski scores!" broadcast call from the 1991 championship game. Andre Ghantous brought the celebration full circle as he skated up the ice adorned in Darryl Plandowski's #15 sweater to score the final goal of the game - an empty net tally with 1:46 to play.
DiMatteo spent 60 minutes in net for the Wildcats, Saturday evening, stopping 34 of 36 shots faced en route to the victory and weekend sweep. In total, he made 61 saves on the weekend to improve his season record to 4-4-0 between the pipes.
A battle at center ice found the puck on the stick of Andre Ghantous who fed a pass over to Mikey Colella at the blue line who skated it in the hashmark and sent the puck home for the first goal of the evening. Hampus Eriksson also picked up an assist on the play.

Colella broke the stalemate again at 17:53 of the first period when his shot on the power play found the back of the net. Trevor Cosgrove ripped a shot on net which ricocheted off the pads of the BU netminder and out to Ghantous who sent a quick feed to Colella who scored from the bottom of the right circle to make it 2-1 in favor of NMU.

AJ Vanderbeck net the Wildcats' third goal of the night, another power play tally, when he found his own rebound in the top of the slot and fired the shot through traffic into the back of the net. Hank Crone and Ben Newhouse both earned assists on the goal.

Picking up a pass from Colella on the power play, Trevor Cosgrove ripped a shot from the point high glove-side, beating the BU netminder to make it a 4-1 game partway through the second period.

Again on the power play, Ghantous carried the puck into the zone before passing it over to Colella to complete his hat trick campaign, making it 5-2, Wildcats, midway through the third period.

After posting four assists on the night, Ghantous found the back of the net at 18:14 of the third to conclude his career-high night with five points total. With the Terriers opting for the extra attacker, the Wildcat forward intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and skated in for the empty net goal to make it the 6-2 final.

Andre Ghantous led the team with a career-high five points in the contest, recording four assists and a goal in the win.

Mikey Colella scored his first-career hat trick Saturday while picking up an assist for a four-point night.

Seven individuals recorded at least one point on the evening, including Ghantous (1-4-5), Colella (3-1-4) and Trevor Cosgrove (1-2-3) who all boasted multi-point games.

Hank Crone, AJ Vanderbeck, Hampus Eriksson and Ben Newhouse each recorded a point in the victory.

The Wildcats posted 25 shots Saturday, led by four individuals with three - Colella, Vanderbeck, Joseph Nardi and Vincent de Mey.

The team also registered 27 blocked shots in the contest with Mike Van Unen leading the defensive corp with six.

NMU was a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill, not allowing a single puck in while playing a man down.

On the flip side, the team went four of six with the man advantage for a 60 percent success rate.


The Northern Michigan University hockey opened their celebration weekend with a convincing 5-3 victory over Boston University Friday night to get back in the win column. A four-goal first period lifted the Wildcats to victory while an empty net goal late in the third gave NMU the 5-3 final. 

AJ Vanderbeck led the team with a power play tally and the open net at the end. He also picked up an assist for a three-point night along with Joseph Nardi (1-2-3).

NMU opened the scoring when Tanner Vescio found twine for the first time in his career at 3:58 of the first period. 

Two more quick goals from the Wildcats, courtesy of Nardi and Vanderbeck, gave the home team the 3-0 advantage and forced BU to make a change in net just 12:20 into the contest.

The change seemed to help the Terriers at first as they found the back of the net on the power play at 16:39 of the frame to make it 3-1. With the Wildcat penalty kill unit on the ice, BU set up a back door pass behind the net where an attacker stood at the crease, lifting the puck over the shoulder of DiMatteo.

NMU returned to their three-goal lead less than two minutes later when Hampus Eriksson scored his first as a Wildcat and eventual game-winner to give NMU the 4-1 lead after one.

After five goals between the two teams in the first 20 minutes of play, BU recorded the lone goal during the middle stanza as the Wildcats held onto a 4-2 lead heading into the final period.

In the final period Friday night, the Terriers pulled within one with less than seven minutes to play before pulling their netminder in favor of a sixth attacker.

Vanderbeck took full advantage of the open space at the other end of the ice, skating the puck up and firing a shot just wide. The Wildcats were able to keep the puck in the zone and the junior forward lit the lamp on his second attempt at the empty net for the 5-3 final score.

Rico DiMatteo
 stood tall in net for 60 minutes, recording 27 saves on 30 shots faced, while his teammates peppered the BU goaltenders 23 total times, including 15 in the third period.

  • Tanner Vescio opened the scoring for the Wildcats Friday night when he scooped up a pass at the top of the slot from Joseph Nardi and ripped a wrister over the blocker of the BU netminder. Hank Crone also tallied an assist on the play.
  • The Wildcats jumped out to the 2-0 lead when AJ Vanderbeck's pass from the corner found Nardi inside the near face off circle. The goal at 10:40 of the first period marked the first of the season for the captain.
  • Having earned the lone assist on the second goal, Vanderbeck extended the Wildcats lead with a goal of his own less than two minutes later. The junior winger settled a pass from Hank Crone at the point and beat the Terrier goalie over his right shoulder.
  • NMU scored their second power play goal of the period at 18:36 when Hampus Eriksson found the back of the net for his first as a Wildcat. Andre GhantousMikey Colella and Eriksson combined on the rush with Colella passing the puck across the zone to an open Eriksson who tapped the puck home for the 4-1 tally.
  • AJ Vanderbeck net his seventh of the season and second of the contest with an unassisted empty net goal with 1:12 to play in regulation for the 5-3 final.
  • The team's leader in goals and points, AJ Vanderbeck had three points in Friday's contest with two goals and an assist. He tied senior captain Joseph Nardi in points as the center boasted a goal and two assists.
  • Three Wildcats scored their first goals of the season Friday night in Nardi, Tanner Vescio and Hampus Eriksson.
  • Vescio, a junior defenseman, scored his first collegiate goal when he opened the Wildcats' scoring Friday night.
  • Eriksson also net his first for the green and gold with the eventual game-winner.
  • Trevor Cosgrove led the team in shots on net, firing five at the Terrier's last line of defense.
  • The 'Cats blocked 16 shots in the contest, led by Ben Newhouse with 6.
  • Spending 59:57 in the crease, Rico DiMatteo made 27 saves for NMU in the win to improve to 3-4-0 on the season.

The two teams return to the ice Saturday night as the Wildcats honor the 1991 NCAA Championship team for their 30th anniversary.

Puck drop is set for 6:37 p.m. with a recognition of the '91 team taking place during the first intermission. 

Following the game, a fourth period party will be hosted by the Landmark Inn.

Fans are encouraged to bring their canned goods to Saturday's contest to support the NMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in their annual food drive ahead of the holiday season.

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