MARQUETTE, Mich. -- The Northern Michigan University hockey team fell to No. 13 Bowling Green State University, 6-2, Sunday evening as special teams battle proved too much for the Wildcats in the defeat.
Colby Enns scored the first goal of the weekend as his shot from the point beat Dop for the 1-0 NMU lead at 9:21 of the first period.
The Wildcat defense looked strong in the opening minutes of regulation as they skated the first 10 minutes without letting up a shot on net. The first Falcon shot came at 10:04 of the first period with the Wildcats holding the advantage in shots, 7-1.
BGSU tied it up with 2:13 to go in the first period as a clearing attempt by the Wildcats found the stick of a Falcon and his shot took an awkward bounce over the right shoulder of Rico DiMatteo.
The Falcons struck again 1:10 later as a shot from the left circle beat DiMatteo stick-side for the 2-1 tally.
After one period of play, the Wildcats trailed the Falcons, 2-1, after two late goals for BGSU in the first period.
The Wildcat top-producing line found twine again as Joseph Nardi fired one home from just outside the crease for the 2-2 score.
A net front scramble out front in the Wildcat zone saw the Falcons take the lead at 6:44 of the second period as the two teams skated four a side.
With each team scoring in the middle frame, the Wildcats continued to trail by one at the second intermission while registering 21 total shots on goal.
The Falcons found a chance on their penalty kill with just six minutes gone in the third period as a shorthanded breakaway opportunity snuck through the five-hole of DiMatteo for the 4-2 score.
The visiting team struck again at 7:51 of the final period to extend their lead to three goals, up 5-2, as John Hawthorne replaced DiMatteo between the pipes.
A shot from behind the goalline hit the left pipe and bounced in as BGSU took the 6-2 lead with a power play goal at 10:20 of the third period for the final tally of the contest.
The Wildcats fell to 8-13-1 on the year and 6-5-1 in WCHA play as they sit two points behind the Falcons for third place with one series remaining.
- After over 74 scoreless minutes between the two squads in the weekend series, Colby Enns found the back of the net at 9:21. David Keefer and Michael Van Unen recorded assists on the play.
- Joseph Nardi tied things up with a quick shot from the left post. Andre Ghantous carried the puck along the boards with two Falcons on him looking to find an open man nearby. Ghantous skated around to the back of the net where he tossed the puck back to Nardi who quickly ripped it off his stick and into the net. Griffin Loughran also tallied an assist on the goal.
- The Wildcats finished the night with 26 shots on net, lighting the lamp twice, courtesy of Colby Enns and Joseph Nardi.
- NMU blocked 17 shots Sunday evening as Ben Newhouse jumped in front of five shots to keep them from finding the crease, a team-high. Michael Van Unen was close behind with four of his own.
- AJ Vanderbeck and David Keefer tied for a team-lead in shots Sunday with both forwards firing four pucks on net. Keefer also picked up a point on the Wildcats first goal of the game.
The Wildcats conclude their regular season with a home and home series against Michigan Tech next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27.
Game one will take place in Houghton, Michigan, with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.
The team returns home for the series finale Saturday, Feb. 21, as they honor the three seniors prior to puck drop at 6 p.m.