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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Wildcats and Irish skate to two ties

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

The Northern Michigan Wildcats welcomed fourth-ranked Notre Dame to Marquette this weekend. Both games resulted in ties: 2-2 on Friday, 1-1 on Saturday. The Cats won the shootout both nights to strengthen their conference standing. The Wildcats continued to find offensive energy in a variety of places, as eight different players contributed points throughout the weekend.

On Friday, Ryan Kesti scored his first collegiate goal to put the Wildcats up 1-0 early in the first period. Tyler Gron earned the assist.

The Irish tied up the game at 13:20 of the first period and took the lead on a power-play goal by Billy Maday early in the second. Notre Dame outshot Northern 14-4 over the course of the second period, but Reed Seckel and Matt Thurber still managed to set up Justin Florek for the the tying goal.

The third period saw only four shots from the Irish and six from the 'Cats--and each team only managed a single shot during overtime. In the shootout, Seckel was the only player to score.

Reid Ellingson had a 25-save performance for the 'Cats.

Ellingson got the second start on Saturday and lived up to the challenge: peppered with 45 Irish shots, he only let in one goal midway through the first period.

The Irish held the lead till early in the third, when Erik Higby sent a pass to Andrew Cherniwchan to tie the score. Kyle Follmer was also credited with an assist.

Ellingson stayed steady through overtime, turning away all three of Notre Dame's shots and all three of their shootout attempts.

Gron had the shootout goal for the 'Cats.

Conference play continues for NMU (4-4-3, 1-2-3-2 CCHA) next weekend, when they head to Columbus to take on Ohio State. They will play a rare day game at 12 PM on Friday, and play at 7:00 PM on Saturday.

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