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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Men’s club hockey loses home games

The men’s club hockey team faced a double whammy from Robert Morris University last weekend, Oct. 22 and 23. Both the Eagles and the Wildcats battled hard on the ice but, in the end, RMU ended up taking both games.

RMU, formerly known as Robert Morris College (and unaffiliated with the RMU from Pennsylvania) is one of the best teams in the division (ACHA, Div. II) and has been consistently skilled for the past few years. “We have a hard time with them every year,” said junior forward Brad Gicopoulos. “They give us a run for our money, and they bring their best game every time we see them.”

Friday’s game started out in favor of the Eagles, with two goals in the first period. The Wildcats did not have much possession of the puck in the first period, and the shots taken were two for NMU versus 12 for Robert Morris.

Alternate captain Mark Novak passes the puck for NMU’s club hockey team. Novak scored a goal in the second period of Friday’s game. NMU’s opponents, Robert Morris won both games this weekend. // Justin Key/NW

About five minutes into the second period, the Eagles scored another goal. Then, at the very end of the second period, NMU’s Mark Novak scored a goal for the Wildcats.

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Novak would later be ejected from the game for checking an opponent from behind.

NMU had much more possession in the third period than they did at the beginning of the game.  But, again, right at the beginning of the last period, RMU scored a goal. Northern retaliated five minutes later with their second goal. The game ended at 2-4, in RMU’s favor, and NMU had 25 shots on goal to Robert Morris’s 34.

Saturday’s game went much the same way, ending with a score of 1-4.

“We played pretty badly both games this weekend,” said forward Shane Feehery. “We just didn’t come out, and we had a bad week of practice, which didn’t help.”

Gicopoulos added that the ’Cats were worn out on Friday. They practice every day, Monday through Thursday, with games all weekend.

“Monday through Wednesday is our ice time, and Thursday is more of a conditioning day on dry land to get us rested for the games.”

Penalties were once again a big problem for the Wildcats, as they have been all season for the club team.

“We really need to stay out of the [penalty] box,” Gicopoulos said. “It killed us, and that’s what’s been killing us all year. We’re a lot harder to beat when we’re out there five-on-five.”

However, Gicopoulos also said there were some bright sides to last weekend’s games.

“Our checking was pretty good. We forechecked and backchecked well. And we took a lot of shots, got the puck to the net, this weekend. Their goalie played really well, though,” Gicopoulos said

Despite their record of 5-9, the ’Cats have also been showcased as one of the best teams in the division.

Feehery said the team remains hopeful and wants to get back on the winning track.

“We just need to work on not playing selfishly,” said Feehery. “We need to focus on our passing and actually getting the puck into the net.”

Feehery also said the team needs to work on the quality, not quantity of their shots.

“We take a lot of shots, but we can’t ever get them in.”

He also said the Wildcats will be working hard on conditioning this week for their next competitions.

NMU faces the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at home this weekend, Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m.

Editor’s note: Brad Gicopoulos is a contributing writer for the North Wind.

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