By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer
After going winless for eight straight games, the Northern Michigan Wildcats are on a three-game winning streak after a weekend sweep of Miami. Tyler Gron earned five points in the series, and Stephan Vigier and Justin Florek had two goals apiece in Saturday's victory.
Gron started the scoring in Friday's game with a power-play goal midway through the first period. Florek and Dylan Walchuk picked up assists. Miami tied the game a few minutes later, and the teams remained deadlocked until the third period.
Miami outshot NMU 14-4 in the third period, but Wildcat defender Jake Baker had the only shot that mattered: the freshman scored his first collegiate goal at 17:50 of the third to clinch the 'Cats' 2-1 win. Gron and Kory Kaunisto assisted on the play.
Jared Coreau finished with 25 saves for the 'Cats.
On Saturday, the Wildcats didn't rest on their laurels: Vigier lit the lamp with some help from Ryan Daugherty and DJ Vandercook, and Florek added a power-play goal a few minutes later for his 8th tally of the season.
Nine seconds later, Miami answered with a shorthanded goal.
In a deja vu of the previous night's third period, Miami dominated NMU in shots in the second period, but Reed Seckel managed the only goal for either team.
Multiple Miami penalties set NMU up for success in the third period: both Vigier and Florek netted power-play goals to give the 'Cats a 5-1 win.
Reid Ellingson had 28 saves for the 'Cats.
Coach Walt Kyle praised his team's efforts: "[Miami] came out early and we were able to weather that storm and recollect ourselves. I give a lot of credit to the leadership on our team.”
The Wildcats (7-6-3, 4-5-3-2 CCHA) take on UP rival Lake Superior State next weekend in the Soo. Games start at 7:00 PM on Friday and Saturday.