The Northern Michigan Wildcats continued to inch forward in the CCHA ranks with a sweep of the Western Michigan Broncos last weekend.
Mark Olver and Ray Kaunisto were crucial in helping the Wildcats (14-10-8,10-8-6-3 CCHA) take down the Broncos 7-2 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.
On Friday, Western was poised to head into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, thanks to Matt Tennyson's power-play goal. But Olver, with some help from TJ Miller and Justin Florek, banged in his 16th goal of the season to tie the score for the Wildcats.
Over the next two periods, Northern racked up five more goals, first on Riley Gill, and then on his replacement, Jerry Kuhn. Seven Wildcats had multi-point games, notably Olver, who turned in two more assists and another goal, and Andrew Cherniwchan, who tallied two goals and an assist.
Brian Stewart had 17 saves for the win.
The Broncos kept Saturday's game closer, thanks largely to Gill's 34-save performance. J.J. Crew's power-play goal, assisted by Jared Katz and Chris Clackson, gave Western the 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
Gregor Hanson and Tyler Gron set up Kaunisto for an even-strength goal in the second period.
The teams were deadlocked through the third period until Clackson was called for cross-checking in the final minute. Kaunisto took full advantage and lit the lamp with only 11 seconds remaining.
Stewart finished with 22 saves.
Western's record now stands at 8-17-5, 4-16-4-1 in CCHA play. Their next test comes on home ice against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Northern heads south this weekend to take on the Michigan Wolverines on Friday and Saturday. Game time is 7:35 p.m. both nights.