MARQUETTE, Mich. — Two empty net goals late on night one of the WCHA Quarterfinals gave Michigan Technological University (20-15-3, 15-12-2-0 WCHA) the 4-1 victory over the Northern Michigan University hockey program (18-15-4, 16-12-1-1 WCHA) Friday night at the Berry Events Center.
NMU got on the board first when Hank Sorensen scored his fourth of the year with 1:54 gone in the game to give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead, one they would carry the remainder of the period.
The Wildcats led in shots on goal through the first 20 minutes, doubling the Huskies' shot total, 8-4. The NMU defensive efforts blocked an additional three shots in the frame, led by Vincent de Mey with two.
MTU would tie things up late in the second frame to make it a 1-1 game but the Wildcats continued to lead in shots, posting a 19-15 edge after 40 minutes of play.
The Huskies scored again early in the third period off a faceoff before two empty net goals sealed the deal on game one, as MTU took the 1-0 lead in the series.
Brandon Schultz picked up the puck in the along the boards in the Husky zone and crept around the net. With the near post sealed by MTU net mind Jurusik, Schultz fired the puck to the top of the circle where Hank Sorensen stood ready. Finding a lane, he sent it deep past the Husky goalie for the first tally of the night, just 1:54 in.
The Wildcats led in shots on goal throughout the night, posting a 35-30 edge at the end of regulation.
They also won the faceoff battle, winning 35 of the 59 chances, including a team-high 12 wins by Joseph Nardi.
NMU blocked nine shots on the night, let by four individuals with two a piece. Mason Palmer, Vincent de Mey, Mitchel Slattery and Hank Sorensen all jumped in front of multiple shots on the night to help on the defensive side of the puck.
Andre Ghantous and de Mey both had five shots on goal but neither were able to crack Husky netminder Jurusik despite leading the team in the category.
- After recent struggles on special teams, the Wildcat penalty kill unit posted a perfect record on the night, stopping all Husky chances on their man advantage opportunity.
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The Wildcats will look to even the series up Saturday night when they return to the Berry Events Center for a 6:07 p.m. puck drop.