The Northern Michigan Wildcats and Miami RedHawks finished out regular season play in Marquette over the weekend, trading a pair of 4-1 decisions.
On Friday, Miami came out firing and the Wildcats were unable to keep up with the pace of play, as the NMU defenders were burned down the ice on numerous occassions. The lone Wildcat goal came from senior Pat Bateman, while Ryan Jones, Alexandre Lacombe, Jarod Palmer and Nathan Davis all scored goals for the RedHawks.
Saturday, however, was Senior Night for the Wildcats and, for the nine departing players, the last contest in the Berry Events Center. The seniors stepped up (six picked up points) and beat the RedHawks.
NMU picked up goals from Dusty Collins, T.J. Miller and Mike Santorelli (2), while Jones scored the lone Miami marker.
Jones and Santorelli each scored two goals in the series, leaving Jones with 27 on the season and Santorelli with 28. The totals rank them third and second in the nation, respectively, behind Niagara's Ted Cook.
On the weekend, NMU netminder Bill Zaniboni stopped 20 of 23 shots, while Miami goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Chesterfield) allowed five goals on 42 shots. Backup NMU goalie Brian Stewart entered Friday's game in the second period and allowed two goals on 12 shots.
Saturday's victory marked number 100 in the career of NMU head coach Walt Kyle. Kyle laughed the interview to a close when asked how it felt to be just 600 wins shy of former Wildcat coach and mentor Rick Comley, currently Michigan State's bench boss.
Kyle is also 5-0 in regular season finales as NMU's head coach.
The games wrapped up regular season play for both teams and the programs will now prepare for the CCHA Playoffs. NMU travels to Columbus this weekend, where they will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in first round action. The RedHawks, on the other hand, have earned a first-round bye and will return home to await their opponent.