The Northern Michigan Wildcats (13-10-1, 9-8-1 CCHA) swept the Ferris State Bulldogs (9-8-5, 4-6-4 CCHA) this past weekend. The 'Cats earned a 5-0 shutout on Friday and a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Northern Michigan assistant captain Andrew Contois (pictured) left his glove-prints all over Friday's victory. He tallied Northern's first goal at 6:57 of the first period. Dirk Southern and Nathan Oystrick earned assists on the goal. Southern and Geoff Waugh set up Contois for Contois's second goal just 23 seconds into the second period.
"It always feels good to score a couple of goals, especially when it helps the team win," Contois reflected.
Scarcely more than two minutes later, Southern took advantage of a power play to get some help from Contois and Zach Tarkir and notch his seventh goal of the season. At 14:29 in the second period, the trio again combined to put the 'Cats up by four. Tarkir and Southern helped Contois complete his evening hat trick. And, before the second intermission started, Mike Santorelli capped off the 'Cats scoring flurry, scoring with some help from Darin Oliver and Matt Maunu.
Northern goalie Bill Zaniboni stopped all 25 Ferris shots for his third career shutout. Ferris goalie Derek MacIntyre recorded 20 saves.
Saturday's game started in favor of the Bulldogs. Corey Couturier scored at 11:24 of the first period. Matt Frank earned the assist. Although Northern outshot FSU 15-11 over the course of the period, Ferris goalie Mitch O'Keefe held steady until the period's final minute. On a Northern power play, Contois showed he didn't use up all his energy on Friday's game as he notched his tenth goal of the season off assists from Southern and Jamie Milam.
Northern peppered O'Keefe with 17 shots in the second period, but managed only one goal, scored by Pat Bateman on the power play and assisted by Milam and Santorelli.
Ferris outshotut Northern 9-1 in the last period and pulled O'Keefe for the final minute, but could not foil Zaniboni, who finished with 24 saves.
O'Keefe finished with 31 saves.
Northern coach Walt Kyle was cautiously optimistic about the victory.
"We need to get wins right now," Kyle said. "If we have an opportunity to sweep an opponent at home, we need to do it. Each night stands alone. "
This weekend, Northern will face Notre Dame at home. Ferris plays at Bowling Green tonight.