MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan Wildcat hockey team recorded three second period goals en route to taking down the No. 1 Minnesota State Mavericks 4-2 on Friday, Jan. 14.
Minnesota State would record the first goal of the game with less than two minutes to go in the opening period, when Julian Napravnik sniped one in glove side high on the Mavericks second power play. Smith and Furry assisted on the goal.
The Wildcats managed the first five shots on goal in the game, but the Mavericks would ramp up the pressure and outshoot the 'Cats 12-8 in the first 20 minutes. Rico DiMatteo stopped 11 shots in the period.
The Wildcats were 0-1 on the man-advantage in the first while the visiting Mavericks converted on one of two opportunities they had.
The 'Cats would open up the second period again on the penalty kill but successfully fended off another Maverick man-advantage opportunity.
With 12 minutes left in the 2nd period, Andre Ghantous would beat the goaltender and record his 7th score of the season. Mack Byers would get credit for the assist.
The Wildcats would head back to the penalty kill midway through the period, but NMU's special teams came up big again, killing off another dangerous Maverick power play.
Despite spending plenty of time a man down, the 'Cats would take a 2-1 lead on a breakout opportunity when Ben Newhouse rippled the twine on a wrist shot. David Keefer and Hank Crone would get the assists.
Just over a minute later, AJ Vanderbeck would show patience on a breakaway, work it behind the net and score his 17th of the season. That put him in a tie atop the scoring leaderboard in the nation. Mikey Colella recorded the helper.
The Wildcats would take a 3-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. The Mavericks led in shots on goal 19-15 after two periods of play.
Northern would be called for its fifth penalty two minutes into the third period, but the 'Cats penalty kill unit came up big again, keeping the Mavericks out of the net.
Minnesota State would make it a 3-2 game with 10:52 to go in the third. Connor Gregga would get the goal for the Mavericks, with assists coming from Livingstone and Krajnik.
The Wildcats would get their second power play of the game with 9:27 left in the period, but Mankato successfully kept it a one goal contest.
The Mavericks pulled their goalie to close out the third period and the Wildcats would fend off the extra attacker, scoring an empty netter in the closing seconds from Andre Ghantous, his 8th tally of the year.
- Maverick forward Julian Napravnik would score the game's first goal on the power play in the closing minutes of the opening period.
- Andre Ghantous would get the equalizer for the Wildcats with 12 minutes left in the second. Ghantous would get the goaltender leaning, cut back left and bury his 7th of the season. Byers would get the assist.
- The Wildcats would take a 2-1 lead with just under three minutes left in the second period. Ben Newhouse beat the goaltender glove side for his 4th goal of the season. David Keefer and Hank Crone assisted on the play.
- AJ Vanderbeck would tally his 17th goal of the season just over a minute later to give the 'Cats a 3-1 lead. Mikey Colella would get the assist.
- The Mavericks made it 3-2 in the third with a goal from Gregga. Livingstone and Krajnik assisted on the goal.
- Andre Ghantous would score an empty-netter in the closing seconds for his 8th goal of the year.
- Rico DiMatteo finished with 30 saves in the contest and a .938 save percentage en route to his 13th victory of the season.
- Andre Ghantous led the way on offense with a pair of goals for two points.
- Hank Crone and Ben Newhouse led the team with three shots on goal each.
- The Wildcats were outshot 32-18 in the contest.
- The Wildcats combined to block 20 shots, led by Van Unen, Newhouse and Crone.
The two teams will be back at it tomorrow night (Jan. 15) from the Berry Events Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:37 p.m.