Four Wildcats Score in 4-1 Victory at LSSU Friday

The win marked the first point for the Wildcats in the Cappo Cup series.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 10:13 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University hockey team dominated in the Taffy Abel Arena on Friday night with a 4-1 win over the Lake State Lakers. The win marked the first point for the Wildcats in the Cappo Cup series.

The teams split the first period as Zach Michaelis scored his first NCAA goal, followed by the lone goal for the Lakers. In the second, Vincent De Mey put one in on a wide open net, extending the lead to 2-1. Two more goals came for the Wildcats in the third period, securing the game for the ‘Cats. David Keefer put in his 6th of the season and AJ Vanderbeck tallied an unassisted empty net goal.

The Wildcats started off hot with an early shot by Tanner Vescio, only 11 seconds into play, but was denied by Laker goaltender Seth Eisele. The rivalry that has lasted decades continued to show as the high level of physicality could not go unnoticed. Near the midway point of the period, freshman Zach Michaelis found a gap in the Laker defenseman, scoring his first collegiate goal. The Wildcats led 1-0. The Lakers quickly regrouped, tying the game up at 1-1, on a goal by Harrison Roy. Connor Eddy took the puck end to end in the final moments of the period, just barely missing over the top of the cross bar. The two teams remained at one a piece. Northern outshot the Lakers 11-9.

Joey Larson came out flying in his first shift of the period, nearly roofing one. The Wildcats looked to keep the pace as they took the man advantage. 19 seconds later, Artem Shlaine took a penalty for high sticking. The teams played 4-on-4 and neither were able to capitalize. A sneaky wrap around pass by a Laker had the whole crowd holding their breath, but the Lakers were no match for the strong Wildcat defense. NMU received their second man advantage of the period as Jacob Bengtsson went to the box for interference. Despite valiant efforts, the ‘Cats couldn’t put it in the back of the net. The chippy pace of play kept up as Aiden Gallacher went to the sin-bin for interference. Jack Jeffers of the Lakers took a clapper from the outside hash marks, but was denied by Tanner Vesico, leaving the Lakers goalless on the PP. A major slip up behind the net by Laker goaltender allowed for Vincent De Mey to score a wrap-around goal with an open net. ‘Cats lead 2-1 at 13:14. A scrum between Wildcat Andre Ghantous and Laker Jack Jeffers ended in a tripping penalty for NMU. The Lakers still could not net one on the PP. The Wildcats closed out the period with a 2-1 lead.

The Lakers took control of the opening minute of play in the third, as captain Louis Boudon went down on a breakaway, denied by Beni Halasz. Northern continued to produce opportunities with numerous 3-on-2′s and 2-on-1′s. Just past the 10 minute mark, forward David Keefer was able to net one after a back-and-forth in the offensive end. The Lakers nearly returned the favor but Simon Kjellberg bodied the Laker out of the crease. As time wound down for the two teams, the Lakers looked to net another as they pulled Seth Eisele for the man advantage. But they were no match for AJ Vanderbeck as he stole the puck on the ‘Cats defensive blue line and made an empty net goal. The Wildcats were able to secure the win 4-1 on night one.

The Wildcats return to the Taffy Abel Arena again tomorrow, November 5 for a 6:07 p.m. puck drop.