Despite being outshot 38-18 on Saturday night, Northern Michigan (3-5-2, 2-3-1-0 CCHA)managed to get the goals it needed to upset No. 8 Notre Dame, 3-2. The next afternoon, the Wildcats appeared poised to repeat their performance, but the Irish (5-5-2, 2-2-2-1 CCHA) surged back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game, then win in the shootout by the same 3-2 count.
Jared Brown and Ray Kaunisto each scored in the first period of Saturday's game to give the Wildcats the early lead. The Irish got within a goal by the end of the period, but goalie Brian Stewart's steadfast play in the net allowed the Wildcats to keep their lead through the second period.
Matt Butcher netted his first goal of the season to widen the 'Cats lead early in the third period. Northern stayed defensively strong, even managing to stifle a two-man advantage for the Irish. Though Notre Dame got within one and Irish goalie Mike Johnson left the net with 30 seconds remaining, the 'Cats held on for the win.
Stewart finished with 36 saves.
On Sunday afternoon, Northern controlled the offensive energy in the first period, allowing the Irish only three shots. In the second, period, Brown and Kaunisto each scored again to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Alan Dorich got his first points of the season by assisting on both goals, and Justin Florek helped out on Kaunisto's goal as well.
Notre Dame's Billy Maday scored midway through the second and early in the third to knot up the game. Northern outshot the Irish 14-9 in the final period, but couldn't get past goalie Brad Phillips. The game stayed deadlocked to the final horn and through the overtime period.
In the shootout, Maday and Calle Ridderwall each netted goals for the Irish, but only Gregor Hanson could convert for Northern.
Stewart finished with 25 saves in Sunday's game.
NMU returns to Marquette to face Nebraska-Omaha next Friday and Saturday. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. both nights.