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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
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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

’Cats drop home opener

The Wildcat hockey team was unable to turn the tide over the weekend as they faced-off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, losing both home-opening games.

The No. 16-ranked Wildcats lost to the No. 9-ranked Irish on Friday, Oct. 26 with a score of 5-2, and Saturday, 3-2.

The series was the season home opener, as the ’Cats hadn’t played at the Berry Events Center since the exhibition match versus Brock University. The Wildcats are now 0-2 in the CCHA and 3-3 overall, while the Fighting Irish are 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

NMU head coach Walt Kyle said the opening night could have been approached differently by the team.

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“I don’t think we did very well at all,” Kyle said. “We gave up two goals the first minute and a half into the first and second periods, and that really took the wind out of our sails. We knew we would have to weather some time in our end, and I think we did that, but we spent too much time in there. The game got away from us in the end.”

Friday night’s game began with Notre Dame scoring early in the first period, bringing them up 1-0 at just 1:27 into the match. The ’Cats fought back, answering the Irish goal with one of their own after sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty earned his third of the season.

Senior defenseman Kyle Follmer and junior forward Stephan Vigier had the assist. Vigier ended the first for the ’Cats, scoring a goal within the final six seconds of the period, bringing the score to 2-1.

Vigier said Notre Dame played hard, and several factors contributed to the loss.

“Turnovers were a problem all night,” Vigier said. “It was certainly the same later on in the third period, too. We have to give them credit, though. They played a pretty good game and they took care of the puck better than we did.”

The rest of the game went in favor of the Fighting Irish, as they scored two more goals in the second period and two more in the third. The Wildcats played through five minor penalties and were zero-for-two in power plays, while Notre Dame took four penalties and were zero-for-three.

Junior goaltender Jared Coreau finished the night with 33 saves in the crease, while the Irish’s Steven Summerhays had 22.

“At one point, we were playing OK,” Kyle said. “I think the shots on goal were something like 20-20, and they were up 3-2 because of three really bad mistakes on our part.”

Saturday night’s loss was longer in the making for the ’Cats, with one period void of goals and more shots-on-net. Kyle said the action on the ice took a turn for the better during the second night against the Irish.

“I thought we played really well,” Kyle said. “We are in the business of winning games and the guys always understand that and nobody’s happy with the result. Judging on quality of play, though, I thought our quality of play was really good tonight.”

Notre Dame opened the scoring in the second period with the Irish’s Nick Larson scoring against Coreau.

Freshman forward Cohen Adair tied up the score at one after a goal 7:56 into the second, with senior forward Matt Thurber and freshman forward Ryan Aynsley assisting the shot.

Adair said a change-up within the lines following the first night helped to change the overall spirit of the team on the ice.

“Being able to roll with the changes is something that you need to learn to do,” Adair said. “In practice, you have to learn to play with everyone so when a coach decides to change the lines we are able to adjust to it. Everyone is good at communicating, and that helps a lot.”

Notre Dame earned two more points to wrap up the second period, bringing the score to 3-1. NMU answered the call to action in the third when freshman Darren Nowick scored his second of the season.

Sophomore forward Reed Seckel and Follmer assisted the shot. Although the team brought one more point to the table, Nowick’s point was the last of the game.

Coreau made 29 saves for the Wildcats to end his weekend between the posts. Notre Dame led in shots-on-goal against NMU, 32-28.

The Wildcats play at home again this coming weekend as they face the Michigan Wolverines.

Fans can see the action starting at 7:35 p.m. on both Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3.

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