Northern Michigan and Western Michigan each took a victory last weekend in Kalamazoo.
Western Michigan surrendered four power-play goals and couldn't recover in a 7-2 loss Friday night. Mike Santorelli registered a hat trick and Darin Olver registered two goals and an assist to lead the Wildcats, who scored four times in the second period.
"We dug ourselves in a hole and weren't very good on special teams," said WMU head coach Jim Culhane. "Hats off to Northern, they were the better team tonight."
WMU actually outshot NMU, 30-24, but Wildcat netminder Bill Zaniboni was up to the task, making 28 saves. On the other end, freshman Riley Gill suffered his first defeat in five starts, logging 17 saves.
Brian Bicek notched his team-leading seventh goal of the season for WMU, while freshman Chris Clackson scored his second marker of the year, with brother Matt assisting on the play.
Saturday night, Kevin Labatte's first game-winning goal couldn't have occurred at a more opportune time.
Labatte (pictured) buried a drop pass from Mark Letestu three minutes into overtime to lift Western Michigan to a 3-2 win over Northern Michigan.
Decked out in gold uniforms for the first time since the 1997-98 season, WMU built a 2-0 lead after two periods on goals from Jeff Pierce and Letestu. NMU rallied, however, behind a shorthanded goal from Santorelli and a power-play tally from Nathan Sigmund.
The teams exchanged two shots apiece in overtime. Gill made 30 saves to improve to 4-1-1 on the season. Zaniboni finished with 26 stops for NMU.
"I'm really proud of how our guys competed tonight," Culhane said. "We played with urgency and battled the entire game."
The Broncos (5-5-1, 4-5-1 CCHA) travels to Ferris State tonight. The Wildcats (7-6-2, 4-3-1 CCHA) are idle this weekend before playing a home-and-home series with Lake Superior State Dec. 1-2, starting in Sault Ste. Marie.