The Northern Michigan Wildcats (2-2, 1-1 CCHA) dealt the Michigan Wolverines (3-1, 1-1 CCHA) their first loss of the season in a 2-0 shutout on Friday. The Wolverines rebounded with a 5-3 win on Saturday.
The Cats capitalized on their first power play of the night, when Phil Fox knocked a left-side rebound past Michigan goalie Billy Sauer. Matt Butcher and Ray Kaunisto assisted on Fox's goal.
Sauer played strongly through the rest of the game, and Northern goalie Brian Stewart (pictured) was solid as well, stonewalling all of Michigan's offensive efforts.
In the final minute, a potential goal by Wolverine Travis Turnbull was sent to video review, but the officials confirmed there was no goal.
Nick Sirota, with some help from Mark Olver and Alan Dorich, scored an empty-net goal to seal the 2-0 victory.
"I think they did a great job coming back," said Sauer on Michigan's defensive efforts. "Most of Northern's chances were on our power play, especially in the third period."
Sauer finished with 19 saves; Stewart with 15.
There would be no early goal for the Wildcats on Saturday, as the teams went scoreless in the first period, despite a penalty shot opportunity for Michigan. The Wolverines broke the stalemate early in the second period, when Matt Rust and Danny Fardig scored within a minute of each other to put Michigan up 2-0.
Andrew Cherniwchan scored his third goal of the season to bring Northern within a goal heading into the third period.
Midway through the third, Rust netted his second goal of the game. Less than twenty seconds later, Aaron Palushaj, who already earned two assists, scored to widen the Wolverines' lead to 4-1.
Northern kept things close, scoring twice thanks to Sirota and Derek May. The 'Cats pulled Stewart with just over a minute remaining, but the decision proved fatal as Louie Caporusso banged in an empty net goal.
Stewart finished with 22 saves and Bryan Hogan earned 23 saves for the win. Carl Hagelin also had a banner night with three assists for the Wolverines.
This Thursday, Michigan returns home to face non-conference opponent Niagara, while Northern will head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.
Photo by NMU Photo Services