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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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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

Alaska sweeps Wildcats to end streak

The NMU hockey team’s six-game undefeated streak came to a close last weekend after they were swept by the University of Alaska (UAF).

The Wildcats lost two conference matches to the Nanooks on Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Junior forward Erik Higby (26) has scored four goals this season for the Northern Michigan University Wildcats. Higby has also tallied nine assists and a season-wide total of 49 shots on goal with a shooting percentage of .082.

The ’Cats fell 2-1 on Friday night and 4-2 on Saturday night, dropping the team to 5-11-4-1 in the CCHA and 11-12-4 overall.

NMU head coach Walt Kyle said the team pulled together over the distance, but that was not to blame for the weekend’s losses.

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“We put ourselves back into a good position after Christmas break,” Kyle said. “We had a chance to maybe do something, but we just were not able to generate. We are healthy right now, and our lines probably won’t change. We just got out of what has been bringing us success recently, and we’ll have to find our way back.”

The ’Cats started off the weekend trailing Alaska as the Nanooks took an early 2-0 lead.

Nanook Cody Kunyk scored within the first minute of the first period, assisted by Josh Atkinson and Andy Taranto.

During a power-play against NMU, Alaska earned their second goal when Colton Beck made it past junior goaltender Jared Coreau.

Beck’s goal was assisted by Kunyk.

Late in the second period, the Wildcats got on the scoreboard when senior forward Matt Thurber scored during a power-play.

Senior defensemen Scott Macaulay and Kyle Follmer assisted Thurber’s third goal of the season.

Sophomore defenseman Jake Baker said the series was a tough one to endure after earning their first sweep of the season against Ohio State.

“It was a tough weekend for us,” Baker said. “We didn’t really come out as well as we wanted to, but we are hoping to bounce back in the weekends to come.”

Coreau saved 36 shots in the crease, while Alaska goaltender John Kenney saved 24. The Nanooks were 0-for-5 on the man advantage, while the ’Cats were 1-for-3.

On Saturday night, the Wildcats left Alaskan ice with a 4-2 loss. The swept series marks the first time since 2007 that NMU has lost to UAF.

The ’Cats opened the game’s scoring early in the first period with sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty making his night goal of the season.

Daugherty’s goal was assisted by freshman forward Justin Rose and junior forward Stephan Vigier.

The Nanooks pulled ahead as they entered the second period, with Beck scoring in the first and fellow-Nanook Colton Parayko scoring early in the second.

Senior defenseman Scott Macaulay tied up the game for the ’Cats 13:44 in the second. The shot was assisted by Thurber.

Kyle said the series ended badly for the team, but the guys are still looking ahead to the rest of the season.

“We are focusing on the positive,” Kyle said. “Alaska is a really good team. They had just swept University of Michigan at University of Michigan and also Notre Dame at Notre Dame. We were undefeated for a long stretch, and we were bound to be tagged. We’ve always had close games with [Alaska].”

Coreau started the match with 15 saves before freshman goaltender Michael Doan took his place during the final period. Doan stopped 18 shots during his fourth appearance in CCHA gameplay.

The Wildcats tallied six minor penalties and one major penalty, while the Nanooks tallied two penalties.

Baker said the penalties could have been avoided and ended up costing the team in the long run.

“We had a lot of penalties, which hurt us quite a bit,” Baker said. “It made our guys tired and made playing tougher.”

Following the sweep away from home, the Wildcats have a weekend off before continuing into their final CCHA season against Ferris State.

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Berry Events Center.

“It’s that time of the year when we have to really work on evaluating things,” Kyle said. “We have to have our lines set going into playoffs. We will spend all of this week and next week doing just that.”

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