The Northern Michigan Wildcats (5-1-2, 3-0-1 CCHA) claimed the early lead in the race for the U.P. as they took three of four points from the Michigan Tech Huskies (1-6-1, 1-5-0 WCHA) in round one of their annual grudge match.
The series started on Thursday evening with a 6-6 shootout tie at the MacInnes Ice Arena in Houghton.
Nathan Oystrick led the Wildcats with a first period hat-trick to help put the visitors up 4-1 after twenty minutes.
The Huskies stormed back with four goals in the second, two off the stick of Tyler Shelast, and the two teams were tied up at 5-5.
The two rivals traded third period goals and were forced to settle with a 6-6 tie.
MTU out shot NMU 36-33 and went 3-10 on the power-play. NMU finished 1-9 with the man-advantage.
The ‘Cats learned their lesson and didn’t surrender the lead on their home ice, winning the finale 6-3 at the Berry Events Center on Saturday.
Darren Olver paced the ‘Cats to their fifth win of the season with a hat trick and Tuomas Tarkki turned aside 31 of 24 shots in net.
MTU and NMU both finished the night with 34 shots on goal. NMU went 2-5 on the power play while MTU finished 1-9
The Wildcats will start a three game road trip this weekend with a pair of games against the red hot Ohio State Buckeyes (7-3-0, 5-1-0 CCHA) at the Value City Arena in Columbus.
The Huskies will return to WCHA play as they travel to St. Cloud, Minnesota for a two against the Huskies (4-3-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) this Friday and Saturday at the National Hockey Center.