MARQUETTE, Mich. -- The Northern Michigan University hockey team fell in a non-conference series to Upper Peninsula rival Michigan Tech Monday night, 4-1. The meeting marked their fourth non-conference tilt of the season.
The Wildcats found early success, drawing a penalty on the Huskies, the NMU skaters peppered shot after shot on the opposing netminder in the first few minutes. Andre Ghantous lit the lamp for NMU at 3:53 of the opening period on the power play assisted by David Keefer and AJ Vanderbeck.
The home team continued to pressure the Husky zone, holding a 9-1 shots on goal edge at the next whistle which came at 9:26 of the period.
MTU tied things up late in the first period, picking up a loose rebound out front and sneaking it past the pads of Nolan Kent in the crease, for the 1-1 tally after one period of play.
The Huskies took the lead at 9:46 of the middle frame, a score that would carry the rest of the period as the Wildcats found themselves down, 2-1, as they headed to the locker rooms for the second intermission. Despite being down a goal, the Wildcats continued to hold the edge in shots, boasting a narrow 22-21 margin to start the third.
A two goal third period for MTU, including an empty net, would seal the deal for the Wildcats as they fell to the visiting Huskies, 4-1, Monday night.
Andre Ghantous picked up the puck on Pietila's blocker side, and not seeing an open lane, sent it over to AJ Vanderbeck for a chance to light the lamp. Keefer ripped a wrister on net that bounced off the pads of the Husky goalie, right onto the stick of Ghantous who stood alone in front of a wide open net. AJ Vanderbeck, who set up the original play with a shot of his own also earned an assist on the goal.
The team looks to get back to Western Collegiate Hockey Association action on Friday, Jan. 29 when they host Ferris State. Game one is set for a 7:07 p.m. puck drop before a 6:07 p.m. start the following night.