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Northern Michigan scores four power play goals to salvage split with Nebraska-Omaha

10 19 USCHO NMU Hockey 2 Northern Michigan scores four power play goals to salvage split with Nebraska Omaha

Northern Michigan junior Mitch Jones skates the puck into the offensive zone during the second period Saturday (photo: Adelle Whitefoot).

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan took advantage of 12 Nebraska-Omaha penalties for 32 minutes, scoring four goals on 10 power-play opportunities to defeat the Mavericks, 6-3, on Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

The Wildcats were whistled for 10 penalties themselves that spanned 20 minutes, but only gave up two goals on nine Omaha advantages.

“One of the things I talked about after the game was what a good bounce-back effort it was after getting beat last night,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “To me, that shows the leadership of our juniors and seniors, of our captains.

“We did the same thing last week. We had a real tough loss on Friday and we were able to come back and bounce back with a real good effort on Saturday.”

Northern picked up power-play goals from junior forward Ryan Daugherty, senior forward Stephan Vigier (his third of the year) and freshman defenseman turned forward Brock Maschmeyer, while senior captain and defenseman C.J. Ludwig scored on a two-man advantage for his second goal of the year.

The Wildcats’ lone even-strength goal came from senior forward Jake Johnson in the first period, while senior forward Erik Higby scored on an empty net with 1:46 to play to ice the win.

The goals were the first of the season for Johnson, Jones and Higby, while Maschmeyer’s was the first of his collegiate career.

“We were due to have some pucks go in,” Kyle said. “We were a little bit snakebitten. We got a lot of people around the net. We got a lot of greasy goals tonight. It was due to happen.”

Omaha junior forward John Archibald scored 22 seconds before the first intermission on a power play to tie the game at 1-1.

Mavs senior forward Ryan Walters then put away a five-on-three power-play goal at 16:15 of the third period to cut NMU’s lead to 4-2.

Junior forward Dominic Zombo cut the Wildcats lead to 5-3 at 10:57 of the third period by beating NMU sophomore goaltender Michael Doan on a one-on-one short-handed breakaway.

“This was just a frustrating game,” Omaha coach Dean Blais said. “I’m sure Walt Kyle was frustrated too. It’s too many penalties. Whether the referee called them or we took them, that was too many penalties.

Whether it’s the referees adjusting to the new leagues or teams adjusting to new groups of referees, Blais said you can’t blame the men in stripes for all the penalties.

“You blame your own teams and Walt will do the same,” Blais said. “You can’t control what a referee is doing. You have a better chance of controlling what your own team is doing.”

Doan finished with 19 saves for his first collegiate win in his first collegiate start in Marquette after playing in six games all on the road dating back to last season.

Mavs freshman netminder Kirk Thompson made 20 saves, but lost his first collegiate game in three starts.

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