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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.

Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics
Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Club hockey splits with ranked Badgers

Last weekend the NMU club hockey team took three out of four possible points against the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers, who were ranked 14th in the Central region at the end of last season.

Assistant coach Nino Fogaroli said he was prepping the Wildcats mentally and physically for the conference series the previous week.

“During the week we were mentally working on refining systems we’ve put into place and pinning down the small stuff,” Fogaroli said. “Physically, we kept practices high-tempo and upbeat. This weekend, it was obvious that’s what made the difference.”

The second game came to an end with a 2-2 tie going into overtime. The Badgers scored twice early in the first period. That was answered with a Wildcat goal from junior right wing Kellen Michalak, assisted by freshman center Tom Castle.

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The only goal in the next period, was his first goal as a Wildcat from freshman right wing Gunther Garrett; assisted by sophomore left winger Mike Baudino and freshman center Chris Adam to tie the game up.

Overtime in collegiate hockey is a five-minute period where the first team to score wins. With just over four minutes left in overtime, the Badgers took a five-minute major penalty for head contact, meaning they were down a man for the remainder of overtime.

Michalak said that the situation the Wildcats found themselves in was a rare one.

“You don’t see a four on three too often in overtime,” Michalak said. “They weren’t pressing hard because if they blew right past our offense they would completely open up a shot for us.”

The Wildcats took their time setting up good passing and shots around the Badger defense. In the end, Michalak scored the final goal, assisted by junior defenseman Evan Weber and freshman defenseman Luke Fedie, sealing the, “W” for the game and splitting the series.

In the first game on Friday night, the Wildcats and the Badgers were tied throughout the game and all the way up until overtime. Going into overtime, the score was 2-2 and the shots on goal were 37-27 in favor of the ’Cats.

Scoring the only goals against the Badger goalie was Michalak in the second and third period assisted by two centers: freshman Tom Castle and junior center Brad Gicopoulos.

Thirty-nine seconds into overtime, the Badgers took a shot on the Wildcat net. It was blocked by the goalie Sam Bouwens, ricocheted off an NMU defenseman’s skate and bounced back across the goal line. That goal ended the game with a 3-2 win for the Badgers.

Assistant captain Evan Weber said that the team wasn’t feeling sorry for themselves at all; he was happy that his team kept up with a nationally ranked team.

“The team isn’t feeling down at all; we were taking it to them the whole game and knew we didn’t lose because they out skated us,” Weber said

Adam said he and the team were not going to let the loss keep them down; in fact the opposite: the ‘Cats were more determined than ever.

“We felt good; we knew we were really going to bring it to them and come out the same way: hard and looking for a win,” Adam said.

Head coach Carl Trosien attributed the game staying as close as it was to the goalies from both teams playing amazing all weekend.

“That first game the Badger goalie stole the hockey game,” Trosien said. “The second one almost did the same; he only missed three of 45 shots on goal all night.”

Trosien said he was pleased with the two freshman Wildcat goaltenders, Sam Bouwens and Jeffrey Ryan, for getting the job done for the team.

“Goaltending was the story this weekend,” Trosien said. “Both Sam and Jeff played phenomenal games and had some big saves that kept us in the game.”

The Wildcats have another conference weekend away against the University of St. Thomas at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 and again at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Both games are in Minneapolis, Minn.

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