MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Wildcat hockey team defeated top-ranked University of Minnesota-Duluth, 5-4, in an offensive shootout inside the Berry Events Center, Friday night.
A physical first period saw both teams find twine on the power play as well as registering a successful penalty kill but ultimately it was the Bulldogs who skated to the locker room with the 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats struck first when AJ Vanderbeck’s shot from the point beat the UMD netminder on a five-on-three advantage.
UMD answered with a power play tally of their own at 8:57 of the first to knot things up 1-1.
The Bulldogs found themselves up 2-1 after one period of play despite the Wildcats’ late pressure in the offensive zone.
The second period was all Wildcats as they outshot their opponent, 18-5, including an 8-2 mark to open the second stanza.
The Wildcats would net two in the period to carry a 3-2 lead into the final period of play behind goals from Trevor Cosgrove and David Keefer.
UMD, again, tied things up early in the third with a shot at 4:48 to make it a 3-3 score.
With a packed barn, the Wildcats would not be deterred, clawing their way to victory with a pair of goals from senior forward Vincent de Mey late in regulation to secure the 5-4 win.
Rico DiMatteo finished the night with 26 saves on 30 shots faced while the ‘Cats peppered the UMD net with 35 shots in the game one win.
- AJ Vanderbeck opened the scoring with his sixth power play goal of the season. His shot from the point at 2:12 of the opening period beat the UMD goaltender stick side while the ‘Cats skated with a five-on-three advantage. Hank Crone and Ben Newhouse each picked up assists on the goal.
- Trevor Cosgrove lit the lamp just over half way through the second period to knot things up 2-2. His saucer from the blueline wound up top shelf for his third goal of the year. Newhouse, who sent the puck out of the defensive zone, earned the lone assist on the goal.
- David Keefer broke the stalemate late in the second period on a diving play off the face off. Wildcat center Garrett Klee won the draw and Keefer gathered the puck at the near dot. The senior forward sent the puck bar down from inside the slot to give NMU the 3-2 edge heading into the final period.
- After the Bulldogs tied it up early in the third, Vincent de Mey swung momentum in the Wildcats’ favor with his first goal of the night at 16:33 of the third frame. Creating an odd-man rush, de Mey passed the puck over to Crone whose initial shot bounced off the back boards, finding de Mey’s stick and a quick tap home gave NMU the 4-3 lead. Cosgrove also earned an assist on the fourth goal of the night.
- De Mey followed it up less than two minutes with an empty net goal and eventual-game winner when Cosgrove chipped a pass from deep in the defensive zone, out to de Mey at the opposite blueline. He centered the pass, sending it on goal and into the back of the empty net for the 5-4 final.
- The Wildcats are undefeated in their last five contests, boasting a record of 4-0-1 and improving to 9-6-1 on the season.
- Trevor Cosgrove’s saucer in the second to make it 2-2 was his lone goal of the night but the senior blueliner fired a team-high seven pucks on net and tallied three points (1-2-3).
- Eight Wildcats highlighted the box score Friday night, with four boasting multi-point games. Cosgrove (1-2-3), Ben Newhouse (0-2-2), Vincent de Mey (2-0-2) and Hank Crone (0-2-2) all found their names on the box score multiple times in the win.
- De Mey led the team in goals with two on the night, netting the eventual game-winner on an empty net at 18:28 of the contest.
- Both teams boasted 13 blocked shots in the contest as Tim Erkkila and Newhouse combined for six total with three a piece.
- The Wildcats outshot UMD, 35-30 in the win, including a season-high 18 in the second period.
- With his sixth power play goal of the year, Vanderbeck is tied for fourth nationally in the category.
- Crone’s two assists in the win lift him to 23 points this season, tied for second nationally and best among all CCHA skaters.
- Friday night’s victory marked the second-consecutive win over a top-ranked team inside the Berry Events Center. Their last came on Dec. 14, 2019, when the Wildcats topped then-No. 1 Minnesota State University Mankato, 4-1.
The two teams return to the ice Saturday night, Dec. 4, for the series finale.
The NMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and The Mining Journal Cheer Club will host their annual teddy bear toss during the first intermission. Fans who present a teddy bear at the door will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a 2021-22 basketball game of their choosing.