Darin Olver had a goal in
Saturday's 5-1 NMU victory.
Saturday Victory Vital for Northern Playoff Run
MARQUETTE, Mich. – After a disappointing Friday night that saw a 3-3 draw between Northern Michigan and Western Michigan, the Wildcats cruised to a 5-1 win Saturday over the visiting Broncos.
Saturday the ‘Cats (15-9-6, 13-7-4 CCHA) got on the board first with a marker by defenseman Geoff Waugh early in the first period and never looked back. Forwards Dirk Southern and Pat Bateman knocked in shorthanded tallies for NMU and goalie Tuomas Tarkki stopped 19 WMU (11-15-2, 6-14-2 CCHA) shots.
Coach Walt Kyle was happy with the level of emotion Saturday after the tie on Friday.
“We came out tonight with a little more passion in our play,” said Kyle.
“Collectively we played better tonight.”
Darin Olver and John Miller also had goals on the night, including Miller’s long overdue first tally of the season at 19:59 of the third.
Better indeed, because Friday night the ‘Cats gave up two late third period goals that cost NMU the victory that ended up a 3-3 tie with WMU.
Bronco forwards Vince Bellissimo and Mike Erickson netted power play markers just 30 seconds apart to force overtime at the Berry.
In another story of lack of respect for a lower-tier team, Kyle was displeased with the Wildcats after Friday’s tie.
“That is a lack of discipline to give those opportunities to a team like this,” Kyle said. “They will come and hurt you if you do that.”
Andrew Sarauer, Andrew Contois and Rob Lehtinen scored for Northern.
Tarkki turned away 22 Western shots.
Northern Michigan returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series against old rival Michigan Tech that will decide the Ramada Cup.