The Northern Michigan Wildcats appeared to have solved some of their problems on offense last weekend, but it wasn't enough to stymie the visiting Ferris State Bulldogs, who won 6-4 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.
Special teams were key for both teams in Friday's game. After striking first on a Gregor Hanson power-play goal, the 'Cats gave up four straight goals to the Bulldogs' power play. Brendan Connolly scored twice and Justin Lewandowski and Matt Case each contributed a tally.
Less than a minute after Connolly's second goal, Erik Gustafsson scored his first of the season to cut the Dogs' lead to two. Phil Fox added yet another power-play goal to bring the Wildcats within one. Corey Couturier scored for Ferris and Justin Florek scored for Northern to make the score 5-4 heading into the final minutes of play.
Once again, special teams proved crucial. Hanson was sent to the box on an interference call late in the third, giving Lewandowski the chance to light the lamp for the Bulldogs.
Devan Hartigan had 12 saves for Northern and Taylor Nelson recorded 23 saves for the Ferris victory.
Northern's defense was stunning in the first period of Saturday's game as Ferris did not record a single shot. Unfortunately for the 'Cats, Ferris goalie Pat Nagle stopped every one of their 11 shots and the game was scoreless heading into the second period.
Chad Billins and Zach Redmond set up Blair Riley to put the Bulldogs on the board at 11:24 of the second period. Nicholas Kosinski tied things up, with some help from Gustafsson and Blake Cosgrove, but less than 10 seconds later, Jordie Johnston beat Hartigan to put the Wildcats away for good.
Northern outshot Ferris, 12-3, in the third period, but to no avail. Hartigan finished with 10 saves and Nagle earned the win with 33.
NMU's record now stands 3-10-1 (2-9-1-0 CCHA) and they'll hit the road next week to face fellow Yoopers Lake Superior State. Ferris State (7-6-3, 6-4-2-0 CCHA) returns home to take on Notre Dame.