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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Northern seizes first wins of the season

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

Going winless in the first five games of the season can't be good for team morale--but coach Walt Kyle and the Northern Michigan Wildcats got a shot of confidence this weekend when they swept Ohio State in Marquette.

The 'Cats bested the Buckeyes 2-1 on Friday and 4-3 on Saturday. Andrew Cherniwchan had three points on the weekend, and freshman goaltender Jared Coreau earned both wins between the pipes.

Coreau was critical in keeping the 'Cats in Friday's game: neither team scored in the first period, despite the 'Cats going shorthanded three times.

Tyler Gron scored at 13:10 of the second to put Northern on the board. Stephan Vigier and Brian Nugent assisted on the play.

The Buckeyes tied things up early in the third period and outshot Northern 8-5 over the last twenty minutes. But Greger Hanson got the shot that mattered; he lit the lamp with less than five minutes to go. Cherniwchan assisted on the play.

Coreau had 26 saves for the win.

Special teams were the story in Saturday's game: after going up 1-0 on Erik Higby's first goal of the season (Reed Seckel assisted), the 'Cats widened their lead four minutes later, when Cherniwchan banged in an unassisted shorthanded goal.

Late in the first period, when CJ Ludwig received a major penalty, the Buckeyes scored two power play goals in nineteen seconds. Ohio State scored again early in the second to take the lead, but the 'Cats retaliated when Buckeye Travis Statchuk got called for the same major penalty that sent Ludwig off the ice. Kyle Follmer tied up the game with some help from Cherniwchan and Wade Epp.

Justin Florek got the game-winning goal at 12:42 of the third. Jared Brown and Gron assisted on the play.

Northern edged out OSU in shots, 37-36, and Coreau had 33 saves for his second straight win.

The 'Cats' record improves to 2-4-1, 2-2-0 in CCHA play. They'll try to keep their winning streak alive when they face UP rivals Lake Superior State on the road next weekend. The puck drops at 7:05 on Friday and Saturday night.

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