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Monday, October 26, 2009

NMU takes one point in Bemidji series

By Susannah Nichols/Northern Michigan Beat Writer

Northern Michigan skated to a 3-3 tie with Bemidji State on Friday, but was blanked 5-0 the next evening.

Justin Florek and Mark Olver each had two points in the series and goalie Brian Stewart made 39 saves over the weekend.

Northern drew first blood in Friday’s game. Olver set up Billy Smith for his first goal of the season. Bemidji responded quickly and tied up the game within two minutes.

It was similarly back-and-forth the rest of the night. Northern scored on the power play midway through the second period (Ray Kaunisto, with assists by Florek and Kyle Follmer), and Bemidji then capitalized on their own extra-man advantage early in the third.

Northern inched ahead again when Florek banged in the rebound of a shot from Smith. Olver was also credited with an assist. With a minute left, Bemidji pulled their goalie. The move paid off as with ten seconds left in the game, Bemidji scored the tying goal.

Stewart had 23 saves in Friday’s game, and NMU outshot Bemidji, 28-26.

Saturday’s game wasn’t nearly as close.

Bemidji jumped out to an early lead when they used Northern’s power play against them when BSU captain Chris McKelvie scored shorthanded. The Beavers didn’t get another shot until the eleven-minute mark, but they made it count and went up 2-0. They scored three more times over the next two periods, twice even-strength and once on their power play. They also outshot NMU, 26-13.

Stewart had 19 saves and allowed the first four goals before being replaced by Reid Ellingson. Ellington finished with five saves and one goal allowed.

The Wildcats (1-2-1) face Miami, the nation's top-ranked team last week, next weekend at home.

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