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Monday July 22, 2024
LONG ROAD TRIP: NMU Hockey Sweeps Colgate

The Northern Michigan University hockey team made its long trip to Upstate New York a successful one by beating the Colgate University Raiders, 4-1, on Saturday, and 3-2 on Friday. 

Stories written by NMU Sports Information


Freshman goaltender Beni Halasz got the call between the pipes on Saturday at Colgate, and flourished as he stopped 27 of 28 shots sent his way to help NMU defeat Colgate 4-1.

Halasz set history on the NCAA Division I ice sheet, becoming the first Hungarian to play in goal in a NCAA Division I hockey game.

The Wildcats' penalty kill unit came up big on the afternoon, as they killed off 6 of 7 penalties to keep them in it. David Keefer added two goals while Brett Willits added his career-first and Andre Ghantous added another. NMU is now 3-1 on the young season.

NMU was called for a slash 5:26 into the contest and had their penalty kill unit put to the test early. With his first start in net, Beni Halasz came up with a few timely stops to kill it off. Halasz had five saves at the time the penalty expired.

A Colgate trip to the box gave Northern a PP chance eight minutes into the action. The Raiders reciprocated the special teams success as each team started 0-1 on the power play.

It wouldn't be long before another trip to the box for the Wildcats. Kjellberg was whistled for a cross-check with 8:38 on the clock. The five-man unit once again fought off the two minutes and returned to full strength.

On the Wildcats' third penalty of the game, Colgate converted from Alex Young to jump in front 1-0 as the period was winding down. NMU would again be called for a penalty before the period ended.

Colby Enns got tagged with a boarding call less than a minute into the period. For the fourth time in five attempts, NMU fought off the call.

After the game seemed to calm down, NMU was able to break through. Brett Willits scored in front of the net for the first goal of his career. Reilly Funk assisted.

The 'Cats kept the pressure going, as David Keefer buried his second of the season with 8:35 to go to jump ahead 2-1. AJ Vanderbeck and Andre Ghantous assisted.

NMU got called for a penalty right before the period ended, but they carried a 2-1 lead to the final frame.

After a quiet first 12 minutes to the period, the Wildcats were called for a too many men penalty with 7:38 to go in their seventh trip to the box on the night. The penalty kill unit was once again strong, killing off a call for the sixth time in seven tries.

With 1:36 left, Andre Ghantous gathered a redirection and fired it back past the netminder for his first goal of the season.

Moments later, the Raiders pulled their goalie and David Keefer capped off the performance with his second goal as NMU polished off a 4-1 win and weekend sweep at Colgate.
  • In his debut in net, Beni Halasz stopped 27 of 28 shots for a .964 save percentage and his first career win.
  • David Keefer scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season.
  • The Wildcats' penalty kill was successful on 6 of 7 attempts.
  • Andre Ghantous added a goal and assist while AJ Vanderbeck assisted on a goal as they are tied for the team lead with 6 points.
  • Brett Willits scored first for the first tally in his career.
  • Coglate led in shots on goal, 28-22.
Goal Summary
1st Period
17:32 - Alex Young (CU PP, 0-1) - Assisted by Matt Verboon and Nick Anderson

2nd Period
7:32 - Brett Willits (NMU, 1-1) - Assisted by Reilly Funk
11:25 - David Keefer (NMU, 2-1) - Assisted by AJ Vanderbeck and Andre Ghantous

3rd Period
18:22 - Andre Ghantous (NMU, 3-1)
19:36 - David Keefer (NMU Empty Net, 4-1)


HAMILTON, N.Y. - With 15 seconds left in a 2-2 game, AJ Vanderbeck found the puck and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Colgate's goalkeeper for a stunning 3-2 NMU win. 

It was Vanderbeck's second of the night and his second straight game with multiple goals. He scored the lone goal in the first 20 minutes as NMU led 1-0 after one. 

Colgate tied it up 1-1 heading into the third. 

The Raiders jumped in front 2-1, but Artem Shlaine squared things back up 2-2 before Vanderbeck capped off the night with the game-winning score. 

After a relatively quiet and uninterrupted first eight-plus minutes to the start of the game, the Raiders were whistled for the first penalty of the night. Despite a couple of chances for the Green and Gold and a good look attacking the net on a loose puck from David Keefer, Colgate killed it off to remain scoreless halfway through the period. 

The 'Cats were then called to the box for the first time with four minutes and change on the clock. Being a man-down didn't phase AJ Vanderbeck, as he found himself with the puck after a Colgate turnover entering their offensive zone. Vanderbeck crossed the blue line and fired a short side that flew past the goalie for the shorthanded score. 

Northern would be sent to the box again before the period ended, but the Wildcats fought off each penalty to stay up 1-0 after the first. NMU led in SOG 9-6. 

Colgate came out of the locker room implementing pressure for the first five minutes, as they recorded five of the first six shots on goal to start the period. 

The Raiders' continuous pressure would pay off 10:50 into the period, as Colton Young found Pierson Brandon who knotted the score at one. Colgate had 10 shots in the period to NMU's three at the time of the goal. 

Soon thereafter, Northern was whistled for the third time of the night. Like the two times prior, the Wildcats' special teams came up big and fought off the penalty. 

An NMU power play would last only 19 seconds before they were called for hooking to even up the ice 4-on-4 with 5:37 left in the period. 

Colgate controlled much of the period, registering 17 shots on goal to Northern's seven. It was 1-1 after 40 minutes of action. 

It took just over two minutes for the Wildcats to head off for their fifth penalty of the contest. For the first time on the night being a man up, the Raiders converted to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Verboon had the tally for Colgate. 

Northern's fourth power play had the same result as the first three as Colgate's penalty kill was playing strong. NMU trailed 2-1 with 14:51 to go. 

The Green and Gold were presented with a huge opportunity with 13:13 to go when Colgate was tagged with a five-minute major penalty. Less than a minute into the set, Artem Shaline buried his second as a Wildcat to tie it up 2-2. 

Colgate was able to fend off the remainder of the sanction. The sides were squared at two with eight minutes to go. 

NMU got whistled for tripping with 4:34 to go and faced a monumental penalty kill. The 'Cats were successful and it came down to the closing minutes of regulation. 

The Wildcats then had a big power play chance themselves with 2:14 to go. With just one second left in the power play and 15 seconds in the game, Vanderbeck used a rocket wrist shot right over the shoulder of the goalie to finish the game off for a clutch 3-2 NMU win.  
  • AJ Vanderbeck scored twice for the second consecutive game. His four goals are currently best in college hockey. 
  • Artem Shlaine scored on the power play for his second tally this year. 
  • Mikey Colella added two 3rd period assists to give him three assists and five points on the season. 
  • Colgate led in shots on goal, 33-30. 
  • The Raiders won 34 faceoffs to NMU's 30. 
  • The Wildcats were 2-6 on the PP while the Raiders were 1-6. 

Goal Summary
1st Period
17:03 - AJ Vanderbeck (NMU SH, 1-0) - Assisted by Simon Kjellberg

2nd Period
10:50 - Pierson Brandon (CU, 1-1) - Assisted by Colton Young and Alex Young

3rd Period
2:38 - Matt Verboon (CU PP, 1-2) - Assisted by Colton Young and Nick Anderson
7:43 - Artem Shlaine (NMU PP, 2-2) - Assisted by Mikey Colella and Joey Larson
19:45 - AJ Vanderbeck (NMU PP, 3-2) - Assisted by Mikey Colella and Andre Ghantous

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