Wildcats Hold Off Spartans on Friday

Wildcats Hold Off Spartans on Friday

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team got back in the win column on Friday (Feb. 15) night with a 5-3 victory over Michigan State from Munn Ice Arena for the first conference road win. The Wildcats scored two goals in the first period, one in the second and added two more in the third period.

Senior forward Matt Thurber and sophomore forward Reed Seckel each had two goals and two assists. Junior forward Erik Higby also had a multiple point night with a goal and an assist.

With the win, NMU moves to 13-14-4 overall and 7-12-4-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Spartans fall to 8-20-3 overall and 6-16-1 in conference action.

With NMU leading 3-0 entering the third period, the Spartans scored two goals to get back into it. Matt Berry buried 9:41 into the period from Travis Walsh. Jake Chelios added a power-play goal that just crossed the line before an NMU defenseman swiped it out of the net at 14:52. The play was reviewed and stood as a goal.

Thurber's second goal gave NMU a 4-2 lead 17:35 into the period. Assisting on the tally were junior defenseman Austin Handley and Higby.

MSU pulled its goalie for the extra attacker and Brent Darnell capitalized after stealing the puck in front of junior goaltender Jared Coreau and putting a shot five-hole with 38.6 seconds left.

Seckel added an empty-netter with 11.4 ticks left to seal the victory. It was unassisted.

Higby opened the scoring 10:54 into the game with his sixth of the season. He put in a rebound after shots by Seckel and Thurber. Thurber picked up an MSU turnover deep in Spartan territory to set the play up.

Northern added to the lead when freshman defenseman Ryan Trenz took a shot from the blueline. Seckel tipped in the shot for his 11th goal of the season at 13:21. Thurber picked up his second assist of the night on the goal.

Thurber's first goal came on the power play as he caught pass from Seckel between the circles and wristed it past MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand. Senior forward Brian Nugent picked up his second assist of the season on the goal at 17:38 of the second.

Coreau finished with 31 saves on the night, including 12 in the third period. Hildebrand stopped 29 shots for the home team.

NMU was 1-for-4 on the power play after seven MSU penalties. The Spartans were 1-for-3 on the man advantage.

The two teams meet on Saturday (Feb. 16) to wrap up the CCHA series. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. Fox Sports Detroit will air Saturday's game with Ken Daniels (play-by-play), Larry Murphy (color) and Shannon Hogan (sideline) calling the game. Find the channel at: http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/pages/channelfinder

The annual Wildcat Night Across the Country is also on Saturday. Viewing parties have been setup across the country for the game. The party in Marquette is at Buffalo Wild Wings. The full list can be found at: https://www.nmu.edu/alumniassociation/wildcatnight

Game Notes:  The last time NMU won in East Lansing was Feb. 12, 2011…Seckel's twp goals tied a career-high…Higby has 13 career goals…Thurber has 16 career goals…Seckel has 20 career goals…MSU is now 3-1-1 when scoring three goals…NMU is 6-0-1 when scoring more than four goals.

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