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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

Online Exclusive: Club hockey ’Cats split on the road

The men’s club hockey team faced off in a rematch with rival Saint Norbert College on the weekend of Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17.

The first time the two teams met, back in October, the Wildcats crushed the Green Knights 5-1 in the Friday night game. However, SNC came back at the ’Cats the next night to win 3-2.

Head coach Carl Trosien said the recent game was expected to be a close one, but the ’Cats were also more confident going into the weekend.

“Both games here were good games,” Trosien said. “I think we were more confident the second time around.”

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In the first night of play on Friday, Nov. 16, both teams proved to be an even match for one another, tying 3-3 on Friday. The Wildcats bounced back on Saturday to capture a 2-1 win.

The Green Knights came out strong, scoring the first goals. NMU left the ice trailing by two at the end of the first period.

Freshman forward Brock Francis said he expected the ’Cats to react to the score after the break.

“We really needed to get the next goal,” Francis said. “It meant a lot to the seniors on the team and we wanted to take it to Saint Norbert and show them who is dominant.”

The Wildcats did as Francis had anticipated when senior forward Brad Gicopoulos scored the first goal for NMU at 9:14 in the second period.

In the final period, senior forward Kellen Michalak put in the ’Cats second goal at 18:00, to leave the teams tied at two.

SNC scored their final goal at 6:26 to take a 3-2 lead. NMU responded when freshman defenseman Karsten Heppler assisted senior defenseman Mark Novak for a quick goal with 0:47 left in the game.

The game was no surprise to the Wildcats and sophomore goaltender Jeff Ryan.

“Going into the first game, we knew it was going to be tough,” said Ryan. “It needed to be a team effort for the win.”
The score, however, remained tied at three that first night when neither team scored in overtime. This gave the ‘Cats extra motivation to snag the win on Saturday night, where Ryan claimed an NMU win as goalie in a close 2-1 final score.

On Saturday, Nov. 17 the Wildcats picked up the first goal of the night when senior defenseman Evan Weber assisted senior defenseman Shane Feehery at 10:57 in the first period.

The ’Cats rolled on when Weber put his name in the books for a second assist that went to junior forward Eric Wozny at 1:25 in the second period.

SNC bounced back to score at 19:29 in the final period, but it was not enough to seal the game. The Wildcats took the win Saturday,[d] avenging the loss against SNC the first time around.

Both games proved to be fairly low-scoring ones. Ryan attributed this to the defensive play.

“The games were well fought on both sides,” Ryan said. “We are both good teams and the defense was a good factor in getting the W.”

The overall weekend was good preparation for upcoming games, as the stats showed overall teamwork where no single outstanding players took over the books.

“It was a team effort both nights, and two real good games,” Trosien said.

This upcoming weekend NMU will [e]meet Minnesota State-Mankato at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 at the Berry Events Center, and then at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Negaunee Ice Arena.

Francis expects a couple of games this weekend that the team will need to be ready for.

“Every game is hard to prepare for,” Francis said. “We’re hoping to have a good week of practice.”

The team will need to avenge last year’s loss against Mankato this upcoming weekend, as well.

“Mankato is a good match for us coming back from a week off,” Trosien said. “We need to take care of business after they knocked us out of the playoffs last year.”

NMU will end the weekend with an additional game against Finlandia at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Lakeview Arena for another match-up to help the ’Cats in preparation for the rest of their season

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