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5971 articles
Tuesday June 25, 2024
DOWN TO THE WIRE: Wildcats Battle Notre Dame

Click the thumbnails to see photos and video highlights from the game.

The Northern Michigan University hockey team rallied from two goals down to tie the game Sunday night but lost at the end to 14th ranked Notre Dame, 5-4, in South Bend, Ind. The Irish swept the non-conference series as the Wildcats wrapped up a four-game road tip to New York and Indiana with a 2-2 record.

The Wildcats got off to a good start when Kristoff Papp scored his firsr collegoate goal at the 8:14 markgot it started for NMU, as he tapped the puck free at his own blue line, collected the charam at neutral ice, skated up the middle, got the goalie moving, and tucked it in for an unassisted goal to put the Wildcats on top.

The Irish responded with two goals, however.

Grant Silianoff lit the lamp for his first of the season, and just over a minute later, with NMU on the power play, Notre Dame's Solag Bakich collected a Wildcat turnover at his own blue line, got a touch pass from Landon Slaggert, skated in on goaltender Charlie Glockner and put it home to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead after one period.

Glockner was replaced by Hungarian freshman Beni Halasz in the second period, after Glockner had stopped nine of the 11 shots he faced. But Notre Dame took a 3-1 lead as Ryder Rolston got behind the defense and fired it into the bottom part of the net at the 4:41 mark.

But the Wildcats, despite losing the shots on goal battle, did not fold.

After NMU killed another Notre Dame power play (with a lot of help from Halasz), the 'Cats got back on te board as Artem Shalaine, a Russian transfer from the University of Connecticut, scored his third goal of the season as Joey Larson screened goalie Ryan Bischel.

Then in the third period, with the 'Cats being outshot by a 2-to-1 margin for the game, captain AJ Vanderbeck made a nice pass between the circles to a moving Andre Ghantous, who had a wide-open net to tuck in the puck, tying the game at 3-3 with 8:20 left.

But the Irish were afforded another power play late in the third period when Shlaine got called for tripping with 3:04 to play.

And Drew Bavaro made the Wildcats pay when he smoked a long-range shot under the cross bar for his first goal of the season. It went on video review, but the puck was  clearly in the net, and Notre Dame led, 4-3, with 2:18 to play.

The Wildcats pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, and Jesse Lansdell scored the empty-netter from center ice to give the Iris a 5-3 lead with 1:03 to play.

NMU still wasn't done, though, as freshman Connor Eddy got the puck at his own blue line and skated in for a goal on the breakaway with 38 seconds left to play. It was his first goal in a Wildcat uniform, and of the nine goals scored in this game, five of them were the first of the careers of the respective goal-scorers.

The Wildcats could not get the equalizer, however, and the Irish hung on to win.

Notre Dame (2-1-1) ended up outshooting NMU (3-3-0), 46-26. Halasz made 31 saves on 33 shots in relief for the 'Cats, with Glockner stopping nine of eleven shots.

Bischel stopped 18 of 22 shots for the Irish.

NMU returns home for the next two weeks to face two Alaska schools: Anchorage next Friday and Saturday, and Fairbanks the following weekend. 

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