MARQUETTE, Mich. — Seven different players scored goals for Northern Michigan on Thursday night, steamrolling the Wildcats to a 7-1 victory over No. 8 Western Michigan at the Berry Events Center.
The spread-out scoring was indicative of the type of game Northern Michigan played — a total team effort with contributions coming from all of its players. That work ethic allowed NMU (11-8-6 overall, 7-7-5 CCHA) to dominate from the opening faceoff, as the Wildcats totaled 36 shots on net to Western’s 19.
Dan Ragusett made 18 saves to help his team earn the win — its first against a nationally-ranked team this season.
NMU set its pace early on, outshooting the Broncos, 9-0, in the first eight minutes. Sophomore forward Terry Harrison converted on one of those chances, stealing the puck while shorthanded at Western’s blue line and making a nice move on Bronco goalie Jeff Reynaert to make it 1-0 just 3:38 in.
Chris Gobert added the eventual game winner late in the first, scoring at 19:07 from Mike Sanbeck and Harrison.
Defensively, the Wildcats proved equal to a tough Western power play, as NMU killed off two five-on-three advantages — a 1:30 opportunity in the first and a full two-minute chance in the second. WMU (16-6-4, 9-5-4 CCHA) finished 1-for-10 on the power play.
Bryce Cockburn opened the NMU scoring in the second, netting his team-best 17th of the season from Jimmy Jackson and Tim Lindberg.
The Broncos countered with a goal from Steve Rymsha at 4:15, but NMU added markers from Fred Mattersdorfer and Chad Theuer to blow the game open at 5-1.
The Wildcats netted another shorthanded goal in the third, when senior Colin Young scored his first of the year at 15:47. Less than two minutes later, freshman Alex Sawruk earned the second in his Wildcat career to make it 7-1.
WMU pulled Reynaert in favor of J.J. Weeks before the beginning of the third period.
The two teams will conclude their CCHA series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Berry Events Center.