MARQUETTE, Mich. — Up 2-1, Northern Michigan seemed to have Miami’s number for the second night in a row.
But the RedHawks would not go home to Oxford emptyhanded, mounting a comeback behind two unanswered goals by Greg Hogeboom to defeat the Wildcats, 3-2, Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
With the win, Miami (12-8-2, 9-4-1 CCHA) splits the weekend series with the Wildcats and picks up its first win in Marquette since Nov. 14, 1981, a 4-3 overtime victory at old Lakeview Arena.
“It was a though loss [and] we just couldn’t get it done [tonight],” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle.
Kyle’s Wildcats (10-9-1, 8-8-0 CCHA), leading midway through the second period, hoped to pick up a needed sweep, but Miami netminder Brandon Crawford-West made sure NMU would not be climbing the CCHA standings on his watch.
Crawford-West, backed by a solid Miami defense, stood on his head for the RedHawks and finished the game with 22 saves.
“Shots just didn’t get through,” said Kyle of Northern’s offensive effort.
For the second night in a row, Miami got on the board first with an early goal by Marty Guerin at 1:25 of the first period. Guerin’s seventh tally of the season came with assists by Matt Christie.
Wildcat Kevin Gardner tied it up at 14:14 of the first with a wrister won off the faceoff that banked off a Miami shin pad and through the five hole of Crawford-West.
The second period began with a battle that saw NMU goalie Craig Kowalski face a flurry of shots, but the Wildcats capitalized on a scoring chance, with freshman Matt Maunu picking up his first goal in a Northern Michigan uniform.
Maunu’s goal, a rebound shot from between the two faceoff circles came at 6:13 of the second. Freshmen Rob Lehtinen and Darin Olver assisted.
That was when the RedHawks’ Hogeboom tied up the game at 16:09 of the second, his 10th goal of the year with the assist from Andy Greene.
Hogeboom put another one past Kowalski at 4:47 of the third for the game-winner to seal the victory for the RedHawks.
Both teams’ penalty-kill units went to work, with Northern’s league-leading penalty kill holding Miami 0-for-3. Northern went 0-for-5 on the man-advantage.
Northern Michigan will return to CCHA action as it makes the long trek up to the Last Frontier to take on the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks Friday and Saturday. Miami will stay in Michigan to visit Ferris State.