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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wildcats swept away by Mavericks

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

The Northern Michigan Wildcats' six-game unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt last weekend, as they were swept by the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

NMU lost 7-2 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday. Andrew Cherniwchan doubled his season goal total, and Ray Kaunisto earned two assists on the weekend.

The power play was the bright spot of the 'Cats' Friday night loss. The team generated 15 shots and scored both goals with the extra man. Justin Florek scored unassisted at 11:04 of the first, and Kaunisto and Kyle Follmer set up Cherniwchan early in the second to tie the game at 2-2.

From that point, the Mavericks ran away with the game. Wildcats goalie Brian Stewart allowed five goals before being replaced by Reid Ellingson in the second period. Ellingson finished with eight saves; Stewart 20.

The 'Cats stayed in Saturday's game until the end. The Mavericks went up 2-0 in the first period, but Gregor Hanson scored early in the second period. Kaunisto and Tyler Gron earned assists on the play. UNO edged ahead again, but Cherniwchan scored to cut their lead to 3-2 heading into the second intermission. Follmer and Florek assisted on the goal.

Cherniwchan lit the lamp again at 8:57 of the third period for his second tally of the night and sixth of season. Nick Fanto's goal put the Mavericks ahead with less than three minutes left in the game. Stewart headed to the bench, but the move backfired as Fanto nailed an empty-netter to seal the victory for the Mavericks.

UNO had the advantage in shots, 31-27, as Stewart finished with 26 saves.

Northern's record now stands at 10-9-6, 6-7-4-1 in CCHA play. The team returns home next weekend to face off with Alaska. The teams skated to two ties when they met earlier this season. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

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