By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer
The Northern Michigan Wildcats continued to shine and struggle in their second straight split weekend.
The team fell 2-1 to Bowling Green on Friday night, but returned to seize the 5-1 win on Saturday.
NMU captain Phil Fox was pivotal to the team's success and had three goals in the series.
On Friday, the Falcons edged the 'Cats in shots, 28-27, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the second period. Early in the third, Fox brought the 'Cats within one, assisted by Scott Macaulay and Jared Brown. But Northern couldn't get a tying goal, despite pulling netminder Reid Ellingson with about two minutes left in the game.
Ellingson finished with 26 saves.
The 'Cats are infamous for winning games despite being outshot, but in Saturday's game, Northern controlled the offensive energy from start to finish. Their 17 power plays helped them outshoot Bowling Green 40-16 over the course of the game.
Fox picked up where he left off on Friday, scoring less than two minutes into the game to put Northern on the board. Mike Maltese and Justin Florek picked up assists on the play. Fox then capitalized on a Wildcat power play in the second period, scoring his third goal of both the season and the weekend. Macaulay and Florek were credited with assists.
The Falcons retaliated with a power-play goal of their own later in the second, but the 'Cats proceeded to scored three unanswered goals for the 5-1 win. Brown set up Tyler Gron at 13:45 of the third, then Gron set up Andrew Cherniwchan for a power-play goal later in the period. And freshman Austin Handley tallied his first point of the season by helping out on Kory Kaunisto's power play goal in the game's final minute.
Ellingson had 15 saves for the win.
Northern's record now stands at 4-6-1, 4-4-0 in CCHA conference play. They hit the road next weekend to face off against the Alaska Nanooks.