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Wednesday January 19, 2022
SHOOTOUT WINNER: 'Cats Sweep Bowling Green

(NMU Sports Information Photo and Stories)

SATURDAY'S GAME RECAP

MARQUETTE, Mich. —
The Wildcat hockey team clinched an important two points over the Falcons of Bowling Green State University, with Mikey Colella's shootout winner in the 3-3 tie.
 
The first period started out with lots of back-and-forth action as the Northern Michigan University program skated even with the opposition in nearly every category.
 
With goose eggs on the board after one, the Wildcats led in shots on goal by a narrow 7-5 margin.
 
Sophomore forward Mack Byers opened the scoring Saturday night with a goal in the second period to give NMU the 1-0 lead at 3:20 of the frame. The tally extended his already career-long goal and point streaks to three games.
 
Shortly after Byers made it 1-0, NMU, the Falcons sent a flurry of shots on net which Charlie Glockner stood on his head to stop.
 
After a series of consecutive shots, BGSU's Sam Craggs tied the game at 1-1. They then claimed the lead less than a minute later when the puck took a weird bounce off a lifted backhand shot and crept through the pads and glove of Glockner.
 
Following the two quick goals by the Falcons, NMU made a change between the pipes as Rico DiMatteo entered the game.
 
AJ Vanderbeck tied things back up at 16:53 with a shot inside the slot to make it a 2-2 game.
 
The two teams skated to the second intermission tied at 2-2, with the Wildcats outshooting the Falcons, 23-19.
 
Andre Ghantous broke the stalemate at 12:26 of the third to make it 3-2 NMU off a feed from Joseph Nardi found him in front of the net.
 
BGSU's TJ Lloyd scored the equalizer minutes later when a shot beat DiMatteo in front for the eventual 3-3 final score.
 
With the score still tied at the end of regulation, the two teams prepared for the extra session looking for the golden goal.
 
The Wildcats managed just one shot on goal while Rico DiMatteo batted aside all five shots faced in the overtime period, including a two-on-goalie chance for the Falcons as NMU sought to kill a penalty late.
 
At the end of the overtime frame the score remain tied and a shootout ensued.
 
It took four rounds to determine a victor as AJ Vanderbeck and Mikey Colella both beat the BGSU netminder and DiMatteo saved three shots to earn his team the extra point in league play.
 
Mack Byers opened the scoring for NMU with a shot through the five-hole at 3:20 of the second period. The sophomore skated the puck through the offensive zone before ripping a shot off from the near face-off dot for the 1-0 lead. Bo Hanson tallied an assist on the goal.

Skating along the boards, Hank Crone sent a pass across ice to AJ Vanderbeck who stood along in the slot. The team's leading scorer fired a wrist shot into the back of the net for the 2-2 score. Trevor Cosgrove also picked up an assist on the Vanderbeck goal.

On the rush, Andre Ghantous carried the puck over the blue line and passed it up ice to Joseph Nardi out front. The senior captain then sent a blind pass back to Ghantous who lifted the puck over the blocker of BGSU's netminder to make it 3-2.

The Wildcats held a slim edge in shots, sending 34 pucks on net over 65 minutes of action, to the Falcons' 31.

Ben Newhouse blocked a team-high four shots on the night as the team combined for 13 total blocked shots en route to the 3-3 tie.

With two assists in the contest, Trevor Cosgrove led the team in points with two. Six other Wildcats highlighted the box score Saturday night.

Both teams were perfect on the penalty kill, stifling all chances as each squad managed three successful kills.

The Wildcats continue their homestead when they host the University of Minnesota-Duluth next weekend, Dec. 3-4.
 
Friday night will be "Rock your socks" night at the Berry Events Center. Fans are encouraged to bring new socks to toss on the ice at the first intermission to be donated to a local charity.
 
On Saturday night, the NMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and The Mining Journal partner for the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are asked to bring new stuffed toys to the game to donate to a local charity. The toss will take place during the first intermission on Dec. 4.

FRIDAY's GAME RECAP

MARQUETTE, Mich. — T
he Northern Michigan University hockey team continued their winning ways with a dominant 6-3 victory over Bowling Green State University, Friday night, inside the Berry Events Center.
 
NMU's defense held the visiting Falcons shot-less through the first nine minutes of play, outshooting their opponent, 7-0 through that duration.
 
After the Falcons opened the scoring at 10:57 of action when BGSU's Taylor Schneider snuck one past Rico DiMatteo on the rebound, the remainder of the game favored the home squad.
 
The Wildcats scored two quick goals, courtesy of David Keefer and Oscar Geschwind, late in the period to carry the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
 
NMU held the Falcons to just four shots on goal through the first period of play.
 
The visiting team found the equalizer on the power play at 10:37 of the second frame but NMU's Mikey Colella and Mack Byers combined for a pair of goals just 48 seconds apart to pull ahead 4-2.
 
Andre Ghantous and AJ Vanderbeck also lit the lamp later in the contest to secure NMU the 6-3 victory at home.
 
Having scored 19 goals in their last three contests, the Wildcats rank among the best in college hockey at fourth nationally in scoring offense.

David Keefer knotted things up at 1-1 with an unassisted goal at 17:09 of the first period. The forward intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and skated it into the Wildcats' end. His initial shot bounced off the pads of BGSU's Rose in net, falling right back on the stick of Keefer who flipped the loose puck over the right shoulder of the opposing netminder and into the back of the net.

Moments later, Vincent de Mey carried the puck in, spinning around a BG defender before tossing a back hand pass over to Oscar Geschwind in the slot who sent a shot top shelf for the 2-1 lead. His goal came just 36 seconds after NMU's first of the night.

Mikey Colella gave NMU the lead at 17:50 of the second period with a shot from the top of the slot. Joseph Nardi picked up the puck along the boards and chipped it out to Colella atop the circle who centered the puck before firing it high blocker side for the 3-2 lead.

A net front scramble gave Mack Byers his second goal in as many games. Bo Hanson skated the puck through the offensive zone before sending a cross to the front of the net where Byers won the puck battle and tapped it over the goal line. David Keefer also picked up an assist on the play.

Andre Ghantous split the Falcon defensemen for the fifth goal of the night. After winning the battle along the boards, the junior beat four defenders before sending the puck between the left skate of Rose and near post to make it a 5-2 game.

In a clearing attempt, Hampus Eriksson broke up a pass deep in the offensive zone, getting the puck back to AJ Vanderbeck in the slot for a wide open shot for the 'Cats' sixth and final goal of the night.

The Wildcats held the Falcons without a shot through nine minutes of play to open the game Friday night, eventually outshooting BGSU, 36-23 in the win.

NMU blocked 18 shots in the contest, led by Mike Van Unen with four.

With a goal and an assist Friday, David Keefer led the team with two points and was awarded first star of the game honors.

Ten different Wildcats highlighted the box score with six individual goal scorers.

Rico DiMatteo improved his season record to 8-5-0 with 20 saves on the night.

Dating back to their last series at Ferris State, the Wildcats have scored at least six goals in each of their last three games and have five six-plus goal games this season. The team now averages over four goals per game and rank among the top-four in Division I.

Three Wildcats currently own point-streaks, including Andre Ghantous with a four-game run (3-3-6).

Vincent de Mey (1-5-6) and Oscar Geschwind (2-2-4) have points in each of their last three games.



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