By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer
Christmas came a little early for coach Walt Kyle and his Northern Michigan Wildcats, in the form of a Friday night 6-2 victory over their UP rivals, the Michigan Tech Huskies.
The first period was scoreless; Tech edged Northern 8-7 in shots. In the second, Wade Epp got things going for the 'Cats with his first goal of the season. Midway through the period, Tech's Milos Gordic tied up the game. Epp didn't stand for that, and scored again to take back the lead.
Brian Nugent and Kyle Follmer scored in quick succession to give the 'Cats a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.
Alex McLeod scored early in the third to cut the 'Cats' lead to two. However, penalties would prevent the Huskies from chipping away any more at the lead--they were slapped with three penalties in the last ten minutes of the game, and the 'Cats converted on two: Stephan Vigier notched his first collegiate goal, and Phil Fox netted his sixth of the season.
Northern players CJ Ludwig, Greger Hanson, and Justin Florek each had a pair of assists in the game. Northern netminder Jared Coreau had 22 saves for the win--and, in a rare occurrence, actually faced fewer shots than his opponent. Tech goalie Kevin Genoe had 15 stops for the loss. Josh Robinson, who replaced Genoe in the third period, had five saves.
The 'Cats (9-8-3, 7-5-2 CCHA) will be idle over the holidays and will face Denver in a New Year's Eve/ New Year's Day series. The Huskies (3-11-2, 1-10-1 WCHA) will take on Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational on December 29.