MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan hockey team battled Lake Superior State to a 1-1 draw Friday night at the Berry Events Center.
The Lakers earned the extra WCHA point in 3-on-3 overtime when Gage Torrel threaded a blistering wrist shot into the right corner of the net with just 9.1 seconds remaining.
Earlier in the second bonus frame, Gordon Defiel stopped a Zach Diamantoni penalty-shot attempt to set up Torrel's heroics.
All of the game's official scoring came in a first period marked by momentum swings and whistles. At 5:02, Max Humitz drew first blood on Lake Superior State's first power-play opportunity, tipping a Collin Saccoman point shot past Atte Tolvanen.
In the final 11 minutes of that frame, the Wildcats outshot the Lakers by a 10-1 margin. Sami Salminen nearly evened the score at just past the halfway mark on a 2-on-1 rush with Troy Loggins, but Defiel managed to make the blocker save.
But Defiel wouldn't stop Salminen's next shot. After Rylan Yaremko picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried it in on net, he sent a drop pass back to Salminen. Salminen's shot grazed Defiel's shoulder on its way into the back of the net, evening the score at one apiece.
During a scoreless second period, Tolvanen made 13 of his 22 saves. At one point in the stanza, Northern Michigan successfully killed off a penalty that gave Lake Superior State an extended 4-on-3 advantage; thanks to solid play by Yaremko, Jordan Klimek and Brock Maschmeyer, and three stops by Tolvanen, the Wildcats escaped unscathed.
Tolvanen was even more impressive during the Lakers' final power play of the frame, denying back-to-back bids by Brayden Gelsinger and Diego Cuglietta.
In the third period, at around the halfway mark on a Northern Michigan power play, Loggins nearly netted the go-ahead goal. After Dominik Shine fired a one timer on net, the puck skittered out to Loggins in the slot. Loggins sent the puck back on net, and Defiel lunged to get a stick on it and send it out of harm's way.
The Cappo Cup series remains tied, now at 1-1-1. The Wildcats, who have a 9-8 edge in goals, which is the tie breaker, will take on the Lakers tomorrow in Sault Ste Marie, Mich. at 7:07 p.m.
NOTES: Northern Michigan leads the all-time series, 67-41-12 ... This was the Wildcats' third overtime game of the season ... The other two also officially ended in a draw; Northern Michigan won one in 3-on-3 overtime (Nov. 25 against Omaha) and fell in the other in a shootout (Oct. 22 at Ferris State) ... Salminen's goal was his first of the season and first since Feb. 27, 2015 ... Yaremko picked up his first assist since Oct. 21 and first point since Oct. 22 ... The Wildcats allowed a season-low one goal in this game; they also allowed only one in a 4-1 victory at Alaska-Anchorage on Dec. 3 ... Shine's goal streak and Maschmeyer's point streak both ended at four games.