College Hockey:
Seckel scores in fourth straight as Northern Michigan tops Alabama-Huntsville

MARQUETTE, Mich. —- Northern Michigan University forward Reed Seckel picked up his fourth goal in four games as the Wildcats beat Alabama-Huntsville, 4-0, in WCHA play on Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

Seckel, who missed NMU’s first two exhibitions and first four regular season games with an injury, had a goal waved off in the second period after a video review ruled it went in with the help of goaltender interference.

His goal that counted was also reviewed, but upheld to give Northern a 3-0 lead in the third period.

“It took some time to get back into it, but now I’m back into it and it feels good to be back out there having fun,” said Seckel, who recorded two assists in his first four games back before his recent run of goals.

“The first couple games I kept it simple, wanting to make plays and give the puck to (Stephan) Vigier. He was on a tear. I was out there trying to get the puck to him, let him do the work. Now I’ve taken the next step and progressed as the season goes on.”

Seckel was one of four different upperclassmen to score for the Wildcats, with senior defenseman and captain C.J. Ludwig giving NMU a 1-0 lead with 26 seconds remaining on the clock in the first period.

Ludwig’s defensive partner, senior Wade Epp, scored his first goal of the season at 12:21 of the second period to put Northern up 2-0 on Huntsville.

Both goals by the senior defensemen were scored in similar fashion —- slap shots —- in similar spots —- between the faceoff circles just below the blue line —- but on opposite ends of the ice.

NMU junior forward Ryan Daugherty tallied his third goal of the year during a delayed penalty at 13:55 of the third period to put the Wildcats up 4-0.

Vigier assisted on three of the four goals, with Seckel’s coming unassisted.

“Anyone scoring is good for us,” Ludwig said. “I was just fortunate I got one to the net and it went in. The same thing for Epp. He got it through. It doesn’t matter who is getting it, but a goal is a goal.”

NMU redshirt freshman goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom recorded 17 saves on Saturday after making 16 stops on Friday in a 3-0 victory over UAH. He not only gave the Wildcats their first sweep of the season, but consecutive shutouts for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

It was the first weekend of back-to-back sweeps for NMU since a pair of 3-0 wins over Lake Superior State on Dec. 5-6, 2003.

“Those are really tough games, I got to be honest with you,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said about Dahlstrom’s weekend. “You’re watching a lot of hockey go on somewhere else and you’re asked to make difficult saves in key moments.”

The Wildcats outshot the Chargers on Saturday, 33-17, which was an improvement for Huntsville after getting outshot 41-16 the night before.

UAH was outshot 22-5 on Friday in the first period, but went into the first intermission on Saturday leading Northern 9-6 in shots.

“Besides the goal at the end of the first period, I thought we out-played them in the first period,” UAH coach Mike Corbett said. “We played solid in the first period. A guy misses a shooting lane on that first goal, but we felt good about ourselves going into the second period.”

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