MARQUETTE, Mich. —- Northern Michigan University freshmen forwards Sami Salminen and Domink Shine each notched their first collegiate goals on Friday while also assisting on a power-play score by Reed Seckel to lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 WCHA victory over Alabama-Huntsville at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
“We put a lot of shots on and were able to score early,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “That was important. We had a number of grade As we didn’t capitalize on.”
Shine, who has four points this season, gave the Wildcats (5-5-1 overall, 3-2-0 in WCHA) a 1-0 lead 4:03 into the game when he put away a rebound off a blue-line blast by freshman forward and linemate Shane Sooth.
Shine and Salminen later assisted on Seckel’s third goal of the season at the 11:31 mark of the first period to give NMU a 2-0 lead.
“We played hard and the mistakes we made on the goals are curable mistakes,” said Chargers coach Mike Corbett, who used to play Midget AAA hockey in Marquette. “We got beat off the wall a couple times and our guys at times got lost on the big rink.
“Walt’s team does a great job of playing well on the big rink, playing wide. Our guys got caught puck watching a couple times and that’s what resulted in the goals.”
Salminen, who was ineligible the first five games of the season, had two of the missed grade A scoring chances on Friday with his goal sandwiched in between.
After fumbling a chance early in the second period, sophomore forward Cohen Adair made a tape-to-tape pass from the middle of one faceoff circle right to the bottom of another where Salminen was able to one-time the pass at 11:31 of the second past Huntsville (0-11-0, 0-7-0) freshman goaltender Matt Larose.
Adair and Salminen almost connected for another goal in the third period when the sophomore backhanded a pass to Salminen, but Larose got a leg pad out to keep the game at 3-0 Northern.
“I feel very good with (Adair),” Salminen said. “I think we have some chemistry, and it’s very important to have chemistry with your linemates for sure. Hopefully, we build it more and more throughout the year.
“Nowick was very good too,” Salminen added, referring to sophomore linemate Darren Nowick, who played his first game since injuring his arm at Michigan Tech on Oct. 25.
Larose finished with 38 saves for UAH, while NMU redshirt freshmen Mathias Dahlstrom made 16 saves for his second collegiate shutout in eight starts and nine games.
NMU outshot the Chargers 41-16 on Friday after winning the first period 22-5.
“We only get 15-18 shots, but we get good chances, we really do,” Corbett said. “We got to put the puck on net, force the goalie to make some saves.”
NOTES: NMU senior Erik Higby left the game in the second period with a wrist injury and did not return. … Wildcats senior forward Stephan Vigier had his eight-game goal streak come to an end Friday. He led the WCHA in goals coming into the weekend with 10.