NMU Hockey settles for split at Minnesota State

Keefer scores for Wildcats
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 10:31 PM EST
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MANKATO, Minn. (WLUC) - Coming off a big win a night ago against the No. 8 Minnesota State Mavericks, Northern Michigan took nine penalties on Saturday, leading to three Maverick power play goals in a 4-1 victory over the Wildcats and a series split. NMU’s lone goal came in the first period on the power play off the stick of David Keefer, his 8th of the season. Four different Mavericks scored as the Wildcats fall to 9-7 on the season and 5-3 in the CCHA.

1st Period The Wildcats took an early penalty and the Mavericks made no mistake jumping ahead early, as David Silye deposited the puck into the net for an early lead just under three (3) minutes into the game. After a two minute stretch of four-on-four, the Wildcats got their first powerplay of the game. Kristof Papp slid a pass to David Keefer streaking down the right side and he roofed the puck over the glove of the MSU goaltender to tie the game at one a piece. Nearing the midway mark of the period, Colby Enns got dragged down in his own end and drew a penalty, resulting in another Wildcat power play. Joey Larson was open between the hashmarks and received a pass, but the puck go lost in his skates and he couldn’t pull the trigger. The ‘Mavs would kill the penalty and the score remained the same. NMU’s third infraction in the opening period came from Simon Kjellberg with 6:49 on the clock, as he was tagged with a holding, leading to the third man-advatange for the Mavericks. The ‘Cats powered through the penalty kill not allowing a shot on goal. With just 6.7 ticks left, Josh Zinger got whistled for a hold, NMU’s 4th penalty of the period that would carry over to a clean sheet of ice in the second for Mankato. After 20 minutes, NMU held a slight edge in shots on goal, 6-5 with the game tied 1-1. Seven penalties were called in the frame.

2nd Period With a power play that carried over from the first, the Mavericks put together a series of good looks. With 0:27 to go, each side got tagged with a minor penalty. Just as NMU’s first was expiring, another was called, the 6th of the game for the Wildcats just minutes into the 2nd period. NMU was back down a man for two minutes. This time, Jake Livingstone capitalized with 16:53 on the clock to make it 2-1 Mankato. The whistles kept coming at 14:58, this time in Northern’s favor to go to the power play. Minnesota State’s special teams got the best of this one, getting back to even strength unscathed. After several minutes of back-and-forth action, NMU went back to the power play with 3:51 to go in the period. The Mavericks again fought through being a man down, killing off the full two minutes. NMU then got called for a penalty with 1:14 to go in the period. A couple of big saves from Halasz got NMU to the intermission still trailing 2-1.

3rd Period The 8th penalty on the night for NMU came with 16:21 on the clock, a hold from Andre Ghantous. Cade Borchardt converted for the Mavericks, their third PP tally on the night to put them up a pair at 3-1 with 15:15 to go. With the net empty, Ryan Sandelin put the game away for the Mavericks, winning a race to the puck right in front of the empty net, chipping it in with 3:35 to go. At the 3:02 mark, the Wildcats went to the power play and opted to keep the net empty for a 6-on-4. Nothing came from the power play as the Mavericks put the finishing touches on a 4-1 win and series split.

Postgame Notes

  • David Keefer scored his 8th goal of the season.
  • NMU struggled in the special teams, taking nine penalties on the night. Mankato went 3-7 on the power play.
  • The Mavericks led in shots on goal, 25-20.
  • Ten Wildcats blocked shots, led by Aiden Gallacher with five.
  • Northern went 28 of 60 at the faceoff circle.

Goal Summary1st Period2:46 - David Silye (PP MSU, 0-1) - Assisted by Cade Borchardt and Akito Hirose

8:33 - David Keefer (PP NMU, 1-1) - Assisted by Kristof Papp and Simon Kjellberg

2nd Period3:07 - Jake Livingstone (PP MSU, 1-2) - Assisted by Christian Fitzgerald and Akito Hirose

3rd Period4:45 - Cade Borchardt (PP MSU, 1-3) - Assisted by Jake Livingstone and David Silye

16:25 - Ryan Sandelin (ENG MSU, 1-4) - Assisted by Ondrej Pavel and Lucas Sowder

Up Next The Wildcats will be off next weekend and will return to action with a home-and-home against Michigan Tech on December 2nd and 3rd. The Wildcats will host the Huskies on Friday, the 2nd at 7:07 p.m.