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6006 articles
Monday July 22, 2024
Northern Hockey Swept By Mankato State At Home

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

Marquette, Mich. - 
The 'Cats scored the first goal again, but were unable to hold onto a lead as they dropped the second game against #19 Minnesota State Mankato by a score of 5-3 at the Berry Events Center.

Michael Colella opened the scoring a minute and 12 seconds in to give the 'Cats an early lead, but the Mavericks scored three unanswered to take a 3-1 lead. Kristof Papp scored a power-play goal to cut the deficit to one, MSU scored 40 seconds later to reclaim a two-goal lead, and Alex Frye scored in the dying minutes of the second frame to get them back within striking distance. Despite their best efforts, NMU failed to find the back of the net in the third period.

The Wildcats (11-11-0, 7-7-0 CCHA) amassed 27 shots on goal on the night while the Mavericks (12-9-1, 9-6-1 CCHA) fired 25 on target. NMU went 2-3 on the power play with five shots, while MSU went 1-3 with five shots.

The Wildcats jumped to a hot start, scoring two minutes into the game after Artem Shlaine stripped the puck from a defender in the corner and fed Mikey Colella in the slot. The 'Cats were also stout early in their own end, only allowing one shot in the first five minutes. 

The Mavericks responded with their own goal a few minutes later, as Brendan Furry capitalized on a turnover in the NMU defensive zone.

Neither side was afraid to throw the body around early, as both teams finished checks and didn't hold back in front of their own net around the crease. The game's first penalty came at 14 minutes, giving NMU a power-play. David Keefer had an excellent look for his 13th of the year but rang one of the pipe after beating the goalie to the stick side. 

After back-and-forth action that saw chances at both ends, the Mavericks were awarded a penalty with under a minute left in the first frame, which carried over to start the second. The score was 1-1, but the Wildcats had an edge in shots (11-7), shot attempts (20-17), and face-offs won (13-8).

While still on the penalty kill to start the second period, the 'Cats took another penalty to send them two men down, and Mankato made no mistake to score on the two-man advantage. Rico Dimatteo made a big save on a backdoor try, and the 'Cats would return to full strength. 

The Mavericks would go on to score minutes later, chasing Dimatteo, and Beni Halasz manned the crease. The 'Cats found themselves on their heels, getting out-shot 1-7 in the first six minutes of the period and down two goals. 

The Wildcats would get an opportunity on the power-play just under halfway through the frame, Kristof Papp gained the zone and dropped it back to Michael Van Unen who got the puck back to Papp in his wheelhouse and he made no mistake to put it bar-down past the glove for his eighth goal of the season.

The one-goal lead would be short-lived, as a loose puck in the slot ended up on a Mankato stick and in the back of the net.

The 'Cats continued to find success on the man advantage, as David Keefer snuck a pass through seams and found Alex Frye on the back door for his third goal of the season. 

The 'Cats struggled to get anything going before the end of the period, as they were trailed in shot attempts (21-12), shots on goal (12-7), and faceoffs won (14-9). The Wildcats did find success on the power-play, going 2-2 in the second period.

Neither team got any offensive chances to start the third period, as there was a combined total of three shots on goal through the first 10 minutes of the final frame. Mankato got a 2-on-1 opportunity minutes later, but Beni Halasz stood tall to keep his team within one. The period started rather continuously, as there was one whistle in the first 12 minutes. 

Joey Larson got a pass in the hash marks and got a mini breakaway, but Rancier made a stretching save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line. The 'Cats pulled the goalie with a minute and a half left in an effort to tie the game, but Mankato found the yawning cage to make it 5-3. 

Eight different 'Cats recorded points, including goals from Colella (4), Papp (8), and Frye (3).
The Wildcats outshot the Mavericks 27-25 and converted on two of their three power-play attempts.
Mankato's Brendan Furry had a three-point night (3G, 1A).

Goal Summary
1st Period
2:15 - Mikey Colella (NMU, 1-0), Assisted by Artem Shlaine
7:07 - Brendan Furry (MSU, 1-1), Unassisted 

2nd Period
1:03 - Andy Carrol (MSU PP, 1-2), Assisted by Brendan Furry and Luc Wilson
2:44 - Brendan Furry (MSU, 1-3), Assisted by Ondrej Pavel and Cade Borchardt
12:09 - Kristof Papp (NMU PP, 2-3), Assisted by Michael Van Unen and Beni Halasz
12:49 - Connor Gregga (MSU, 2-4), Assisted by Andy Carrol and Mason Wheeler
17:50 - Alex Frye (NMU PP, 3-4), Assisted by David Keefer and AJ Vanderbeck

3rd Period
18:48 - Jake Livingstone (MSU ENG, 3-5), Assisted by Christian Fitzgerald

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