MARQUETTE, Mich. — Patrick Murphy scored twice and Bill Zaniboni had 20 saves to pace 16th-ranked Northern Michigan (2-1-0, 0-0-0 CCHA) to a 5-1 victory over Michigan Tech (1-4-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in front of a sellout crowd of 4,260 at Berry Events Center Friday.
The two teams combined to generate 59 penalty minutes in the contest, including 41 minutes for the Huskies.
The Wildcats netted a pair of even-strength goals in the opening period of play to build a 2-0 lead. Patrick Murphy scored just 2:17 into the game, while Mike Santorelli gave the home team a 2-0 advantage at the 17:50 mark.
The shots were an even 7-7 heading into the first intermission.
Michigan Tech spent much of the second period on the penalty kill, as it was whistled for five penalties, including a major which gave NMU a five-minute power play. The Wildcats made the score 3-0 at 18:00 of the second frame when Murphy tipped in his second marker of the evening.
Northern Michigan put the game out of reach for the visitors with a five-on-five goal from Dirk Southern at the 2:02 mark of the final frame. Nathan Oystrick tacked on an additional score on the power play at 9:42.
The Huskies broke up the Wildcats’ attempt for a shutout with less than six minutes remaining in regulation, on senior Chris Conner notched a shorthanded goal, his team-leading fifth lamplighter of the season at the 15:26 mark.
Brandon Schwartz stole the puck from an NMU defender and slid it up to Conner for a breakaway. Conner skated in alone and beat Zaniboni with a wrister from short range. Schwartz’s helper was his second of the season.
Neither team scored for the remainder of the period and the Wildcats finished off a four-goal win.
For the game, freshman Michael-Lee Teslak made 25 saves. Zaniboni’s 20-save performance marked his second shutout of the season.
Tech outshot NMU 10-8 in the third stanza, but the Wildcats held a 30-21 edge overall.
Northern Michigan tallied two goals on 12 chances with a man advantage, while the Huskies were held scoreless in seven power-play opportunities.
MTU and NMU meet in the series finale Saturday night at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7:37 p.m.