MARQUETTE, Mich. - The Northern Michigan University hockey program completed the sweep of the weekend with a 5-3 victory over Western Collegiate Hockey Association foe Ferris State Saturday night. Five Wildcats lit the lamp in the contest while four individuals recorded multi-point nights.
Although scoreless through the first period of play, the Wildcats and Bulldogs both saw a handful of quality chances on net with NMU holding the slight edge in shots, 10-8.
The Wildcats broke the 0-0 tie at 6:43 of the middle frame when Alex Frye found the back of the net off a wraparound shot.
The Bulldogs got a goal back with 8:09 to play in the period to knot things up at 1-1 but NMU would answer back when Andre Ghantous found twine at 14:18 of the middle frame for the 2-1 lead.
NMU extended their lead to two goals when Brandon Schultz found the back of the net during four-on-four hockey.
The two teams would skate to the locker rooms for the second intermission following a four-goal period which saw the Wildcats up 3-1.
Colby Enns scored for the Wildcats in the third period, ringing a shot off the pipe and into the net, unassisted, for the 4-1 lead.
FSU found their second of the game at 5:09 of the third period to cut the Wildcat lead back to two as the Wildcats continued to skate on, up 4-2.
With just 2:42 left in regulation, the Bulldogs pulled within one when they grabbed the loose puck and beat Nolan Kent in the crease for the 4-3 tally.
Griffin Loughran sealed the deal for the Wildcats Saturday night, finding the empty net for the 5-3 final.
- Alex Frye opened up the scoring for NMU, give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead nearly seven minutes into the second period when he and Vincent de Mey connected along the boards. With the puck on his stick, Frye skated behind the Bulldog net and tucked a shot under the pads of FSU's Stein for the wraparound tally.
- For the Wildcats second goal of the game, Griffin Loughran tossed the puck behind his back towards the blueline where Tim Erkkila collected it before sending the puck towards the net for Andre Ghantous to tip in, making it a 2-1 game.
- Brandon Schultz completed the scoring in the second period, flying in on net and tapping the puck through the five-hole of Stein for the 3-1 lead. Erkkila, who picked up the lone assist on the goal, tallied the first multi-point game of his career.
- The Wildcats struck again when Colby Enns rang a shot off the pipe and into the net at 3:40 of the third period.
- Ghantous and Loughran combined late for the empty net goal to give the Wildcats the 5-3 victory. Picking the puck up along the boards, Ghantous broke two challenging defenders at the Wildcat blue line, skated it through the neutral zone and centered a pass to Loughran. Not having an angle on his initial look, Loughran avoided the defending Bulldog and slipped through the middle to find the open net.
- With the sweep, four Wildcats are currently riding point-streaks, including Andre Ghantous (3 games; 2-3-5), Griffin Loughran (2 games; 2-3-5), Ben Newhouse (2 games; 0-3-3) and Tim Erkkila (2 games; 0-3-3).
- Vincent de Mey led the team in shots on net Saturday night with eight while Griffin Loughran was second, boasting four.
- Nolan Kent made 21 saves on the night.
The Wildcats are back on the road next weekend with a trip to Sault Ste. Marie to face Lake Superior State University on Feb. 5-6. Puck drop on Friday night is set for 7:07 p.m. before a 5:07 p.m. start the following night.