‘Cats can’t take advantage of late chances against Michigan

Ray Bressette

re-hockey_ETThe opportunities were there for NMU to defeat the No. 10-ranked Michigan Wolverines and advance to the GLI championship game against Michigan Tech.

They battled back from an early 1-0 deficit to tie the game and take a 2-1 lead when junior forward Dominik Shine poked a goal that was trickling behind Michigan’s senior goalie Steve Racine at 8:19 in the second.

But their inability to step up on special teams hurt the ’Cats when it mattered most, as minutes after taking the lead sophomore defenseman Zach Urban took an elbowing minor which put Michigan on the powerplay. Michigan’s senior forward Justin Selman took advantage of the opportunity and tied the game to send the teams to the intermission tied 2-2.

In the third period, Wolverine freshman forward Kyle Connor circled the NMU net untouched with a clear view and shot behind NMU’s freshman goalie Atte Tolvanen to give Michigan their second lead of the game at 3-2.

Perhaps NMU’s best opportunity to tie and take a lead late against the Wolverines came at 7:02 remaining in the third period when Michigan’s junior forward Alex Kile was given a five-minute major for elbowing.

Any chance of sending the game to overtime was washed away when the Wildcat bench was called for a two-minute minor for too many men on the ice.

The Wildcats outshot the ranked Wolverines 37-34 in the loss.

NMU will face the Michigan State Spartans at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30 in the consolation game which can be seen on FSN Detroit.

Michigan will advance to the GLI championship where they will face the Michigan Tech Huskies at 7 p.m. which can also be seen on FSN Detroit.