By Tom Balog/ Wayne State Beat Writer
Wayne State ended a long history of futility as they went on the road over the weekend and swept the Northern Michigan Wildcats.
Prior to the series, the Warriors were 0-7 all-time versus the ‘Cats and hadn’t swept a road series since beating division rival Robert Morris in Pittsburgh March 2-3 of last season.
The Warriors were ready to erase some history beginning on Friday as they never trailed en route to a surprising 4-1 win over the Wildcats at the Berry Events Center.
Mike Forgie started the fun for WSU, scoring just 11 seconds into the game for his team-high sixth goal of the year.
Tylor Michel bested Forgie with an even quicker goal, scoring just eight ticks into the second period to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats fought back and Mark Olver made it a 2-1 game when he scored at 17:19 of the second period.
Jared Katz and Derek Punches put any questions on the outcome to rest, both scoring in the third to help Wayne State snap an eight-game losing skid.
In his first collegiate start, Mike Devoney registered 35 saves for the victory. Reid Ellingson totaled 22 saves for the Wildcats.
Saturday night, it was the Wildcats turn to come out on fire.
The ‘Cats posted a 2-0 lead on goals by Olver and Mark Butcher to lead after 20 minutes of play.
Derek Bachynski scored a power-play goal for WSU just over two minutes into the second period and then Stavros Paskaris scored at 11:22 of the third to tie the score and send the game to the extra frame.
NMU’s Matt Siddall picked up an unneeded penalty at the 20:00 mark of the third period and just :59 into overtime, WSU’s leading scorer, defenseman Jeff Caister, scored with the man-advantage to give Wayne the win and shock the crowd of over 2,100 at the BEC.
Devoney made his second straight start for WSU and stopped 19 shots. Brian Stewart turned away 28 of 31 for NMU.
Wayne State (5-15-2, 1-5-0 CHA) returns to Detroit to host Niagara next weekend, with the Jan. 19 game being housed at the Palace of Auburn Hills as part of a doubleheader also featuring Michigan against Notre Dame. The Jan. 18 contest as well as the following weekend's series against Alabama-Huntsville (Jan. 25-26) will be played at the Taylor SportsPlex.
Northern Michigan (9-14-1, 6-10-0 CCHA) will head south to stop off at Ferris State for a pair of games with the Bulldogs.