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Monday July 22, 2024
NMU Hockey Heads Into Holiday Break With Split

This story was written by NMU Sports Information (NMU Photo)

The NMU hockey team got back into the win column on Saturday, defeating Ferris State 5-2 in Big Rapids. The win was much-needed for the Wildcats, as they will not be back on the ice until January 6-7 against Minnesota State. 

Four Wildcats had multi-point nights, led by Andre Ghantous with two goals and an assist. Kristof Papp scored twice, Artem Shlaine assisted twice, and AJ Vanderbeck recorded one of each. In net, Beni Halasz rejected 26 of 28 shots sent his way for the win. 

NMU led in shots on goal, 36-28. The 'Cats were an impressive 3-6 on the power play while holding the Bulldogs to a 1-7 mark. 

After an 0-7 power play a night ago, the Wildcats converted on their first opportunity in Saturday's matchup. A hectic shuffle in front of the net saw several blocked shots, but eventually, Andre Ghantous located a loose puck and buried a PP goal 3:25 into the game. 

NMU was tagged with their first infraction nearing the halfway point of the opening period, but Alex Frye was slashed on a breakaway opportunity, putting the ice at 4-on-4. The return to full strength was short-lived, as another Wildcat was sent to the box. The special teams were able to maneuver down a man, get back to full strength, and help NMU keep a 1-0 edge heading to the first intermission. Shots were plenty in the first 20 minutes, with Northern edging Ferris 17-12. 

After each side killed off a penalty to start the second period, the Bulldogs got the equalizer just over halfway through the middle frame. Mitch Deelstra weaved around the Wildcat defense for a coast-to-coast tally.
With under four minutes in the period on a man advantage, Artem Shlaine sent a tape-to-tape pass to AJ Vanderbeck behind the defense, and he sniped home his 11th goal of the season stick side past FSU's netminder to get the lead back. 

The Bulldogs looked like they had the equalizer before the goal could even be announced in the arena, but the refs caught the high stick and waived it off. Unfortunately for FSU, the Green and Gold pushed the lead to two right after that, less than a minute after grabbing the lead. Mikey Colella found Andre Ghantous on a rush and he slotted his second of the night into the top right corner of the net for a 3-1 lead that would carry to the break. 

The third and final period consisted of seven different penalties. NMU found themselves in the box early and often. After they were able to kill off the first two, FSU's Matt Slick broke through for the Bulldogs on their seventh power play of the night, pulling the home side within a goal with 13:19 to go.

With just over seven minutes left, Ferris was whistled for a 5-minute major for contact to the head. The Wildcats converted off the stick of Kristof Papp to regain a two-goal edge late. Papp would add an empty-net tally in the closing minutes to polish of a much-needed NMU victory, 5-2. 
Four Wildcats had multi-point nights. Andre Ghantous led the way with two goals and an assist. Kristof Papp scored twice, Artem Shlaine assisted twice, and AJ Vanderbeck recorded one of each. 
  • Beni Halasz rejected 26 of 28 shots sent his way for the win in the net. 
  • NMU led in shots on goal, 36-28.
  • The 'Cats were a strong 3-6 on the power play while the Bulldogs went 1-7. 
  • Northern edged Ferris on the faceoff circle, 36-32. 
1st Period
3:25 - Andre Ghantous (PP NMU, 1-0) - Assisted by AJ Vanderbeck and Artem Shlaine

2nd Period
11:19 - Mitch Deelstra (FSU, 1-1) - Assisted by Andrew Noel and Travis Shoudy
16:49 - AJ Vanderbeck (PP NMU, 2-1) - Assisted by Artem Shlaine
17:36 - Andre Ghantous (NMU, 3-1) - Assisted by Mikey Colella

3rd Period
6:41 - Matt Slick (PP FSU, 3-2) - Assisted by Jason Brancheau
15:30 - Kristof Papp (PP NMU, 4-2) - Assisted by Josh Zinger and Andre Ghantous
18:56 - Kristof Papp (NMU, 5-2) 

Up Next
The Wildcats will be off for the remainder of the 2022 calendar year. The next action for the Green and Gold will be January 6-7, 2023, when Minnesota State visits Marquette. 

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