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Sunday, January 23, 2011

NMU takes two from Ferris State

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

The Northern Michigan Wildcats and the Ferris State Bulldogs are locked in a three-way tie for 4th place in the CCHA, but the 'Cats had the edge this weekend, with two wins over the visiting 'Dogs.

Friday's win didn't come easy for Northern--the teams stayed relatively close in terms of shots (32-24, Ferris), and both goalies were working on shutouts heading into the last five minutes of regulation.

It was Ferris senior Mike Fillinger who finally broke the stalemate at 16:41 of the third. Jordie Johnston and Scott Czarnowcza earned assists on the play.

That was apparently all the motivation that Justin Florek needed: with some help from Erik Spady and Greger Hanson, he tied up the game less than two minutes later.

Ferris got the first shot in overtime, but Northern got the one that counted: Mike Maltese and Tyler Gron set up Jared Brown for the game winner at the 1:57 mark.

Reid Ellingson had 31 saves and the win for the 'Cats; Pat Nagle of Ferris stopped 22 shots.

After setting up the game-winner in the previous night's game, Gron set up the first goal in Saturday's contest. He and Spady helped Andrew Cherniwchan put the 'Cats on the board midway through the opening period.

Hanson then set up Florek for the second time in the series to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Freshman Stephan Vigier was also credited with an assist.

The 'Dogs outshot the 'Cats 22-6 in the last two periods, but could only get past Ellingson once: Aaron Schmit banged in an unassisted goal at 4:32 of the second.

Wade Epp sealed the deal for the 'Cats late in the third, scoring his third goal of the season. Brown and Brian Nugent assisted.

Ellingson had 32 saves; Nagle finished with 15.

Next up for the Bulldogs (11-12-4, 8-10-3-2 CCHA) is a Thursday night face-off with Michigan State. The Wildcats (11-11-4, 9-7-2 CCHA) will hit the road next weekend to take on Western Michigan.

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