For the second straight year, the Northern Michigan Wildcats ended their season with a double-overtime loss. This year, it came sooner than they'd hoped: with a 2-1 win, Bowling Green defeated the 'Cats in last weekend's three-game series to eliminate them in the first round of the CCHA playoffs.
All systems were a go for the 'Cats on Friday night, when a pair of goals from Stephan Vigier and a goal and an assist by Justin Florek paved the way for a 6-3 NMU victory. The 'Cats had a staggering 42 shots to the Falcons 28, and Reid Ellingson finished with 25 saves for the 'Cats.
The 'Cats outshot the Falcons again on Saturday, 29-20, but the Falcons got the only ones that mattered. Ellingson had 18 saves in the 2-0 shutout, and the Falcons forced a game three on Sunday.
Sunday's game was scoreless late into the second period until Chad Sumison put the Falcons on the board. Scott Macaulay set up Andrew Cherniwchan to tie up the game at 6:40 of the third period.
The teams played fairly evenly in the first overtime, with the Falcons having a 10-9 edge in shots. However, Bryce Williamson only needed 34 seconds in the second overtime to get a shot past Ellingson and send the Wildcats home for the season. Ellingson had 32 saves in the overtime loss.
The loss marks the Wildcats' earliest post-season exit since Walt Kyle has been the coach. The team finishes with a 15-19-5 overall record, 12-13-3 in conference play.