Wildcats Hold Off Seawolves, 5-4, to Earn Sweep

MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan hockey team earned its first sweep of the season by topping Alaska-Anchorage, 5-4, Saturday night at the Berry Events Center.

Dominik Shine and Darren Nowick had three-point nights to help the Wildcats pick up four WCHA points and move to 12-10-6 (9-7-4 WCHA).

Shine gave Northern Michigan a 1-0 lead in the game's first five minutes. On a rush, Nowick found Shine on the right wing, and Shine picked the left corner of the net over Olivier Mantha's shoulder.

The Seawolves tied the game less than a minute later when Dylan Hubbs banged home an Austin Azurdia rebound in tight.

The Wildcats, who scored two of their three goals on the man advantage Friday, capitalized on their first power play to retake the lead at 14:41. From the point, Brock Maschmeyer fired a shot that sailed past Mantha, who was being screened by Sami Salminen.

Alaska-Anchorage had a chance to tie things up late in the first when Shine and Nowick, regular penalty killers, were assessed back-to-back minors. But the Northern Michigan penalty kill unit only gave up two shots, both of which were turned aside by Mathias Dahlstrom

Nineteen seconds into the second period, Shine extended the Wildcat advantage to 3-1 when he tipped a Gerard Hanson one-handed feed past Mantha.

Northern Michigan proceeded to net two goals in less than a minute to build a three-goal cushion. First, after Nils Rygaard won a draw, Denver Pierce intercepted his pass and sent a shot over Jared D'Amico's left shoulder at 6:32. Then, Nowick won a draw back to Barrett Kaib, who fired a shot from the point that ricocheted off of two Seawolves and past D'Amico at 7:28.

Alaska-Anchorage responded by scoring two goals in just over a minute to pull back within two. Seconds after a Ryan Trenz penalty, the only one called in the second, expired, Tad Kozun won a battle along the boards and sent the puck to Matt Anholt, who found Blake Tatchell for the score at 16:10. Wyatt Ege then hit Anthony Conti with a long outlet pass, and Conti relayed the puck to an open Brad Duwe, who pulled it to his backhand to avoid a Dahlstrom poke check and flipped into the back of the net.

The Seawolves drew within a single tally with 1:20 remaining in the game when Blake Leask netted his first goal of the year with Mantha pulled for the extra skater. But the Wildcats didn't allow another shot on net, with Nowick and Shine both blocking tries, and held on for the victory.

The Wildcats return to the ice next weekend when they travel to Big Rapids, Mich. for a date with Ferris State.

NOTES: Northern Michigan leads the all-time series, 17-11-1 ... The Wildcats last swept an opponent at the Berry Events Center Jan. 30-31, 2015 against Alaska Anchorage (5-3, 3-2 OT); their last sweep was Feb. 20-21, 2015 at Bowling Green (3-2 OT, 4-3) ... Shine's three points (2g-1a) tied his career high, last achieved Jan. 8, 2016 at Minnesota State ... With three helpers, Nowick matched his career high, accomplished at Alaska-Fairbanks Nov. 29, 2014; he also tied his career high in points, last achieved Jan. 8, 2016 at Minnesota State ...Shine has four and Nowick has two three-point performances so far this season ... Kaib matched his career high in points, last accomplished Jan. 23, 2015 at Penn State, with a goal and an assist ... Maschmeyer has scored four of his five goals in the past five games ... Dahlstrom made 20 saves to move to a perfect 4-0 on the season ... Northern Michigan has now reached the five-goal plateau four times this season.