NMU Hockey battles back to edge Huskies in overtime

Frye scores short handed in extra session
 (NMU Graphic)
(NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 12:04 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In a sold-out Berry Events Center seeing an attendance of 4,263, the Wildcats got a thrilling 4-3 OT victory over the Michigan Tech Huskies. Alex Frye got the game-winning tally with 1:20 on the clock, a shorthanded breakaway score.

Trailing 2-0 and 3-2 in the contest, the Wildcats never backed down. Josh Zinger got the equalizer with just 1:31 left in regulation with the goalie pulled. The Wildcats were blanked in the first period but scored twice in the second from Joey Larson and David Keefer. Andre Ghantous had a helping hand on the night, recording three assists. The Wildcats are now 10-7 on the season and 6-3 in the CCHA. On the night, NMU put up 29 shots to Michigan Tech’s 27.

How it Happened The Huskies wasted no time getting accustomed to the Berry when Brett Thorne sent a shot from the blue line that got redirected by Kash Rasmussen and into the net just 16 seconds into the contest. After a pair of killed penalties on each side minutes later, Kash Rasmussen got yet another redirection on the power play for his second tally, pushing MTU ahead 2-0 just over halfway through the period. NMU took three penalties in the opening 20 minutes, killing off 2 of the 3. The Huskies took two minor infractions and fought through each unscathed. Each side put 8 shots on goal in the period, but the Huskies led 2-0.

Unfortunately, to start the second, the Wildcats didn’t phase away from being in the box, as they had another two whistles against them in the opening minutes of the period, but were able to successfully fight off each. The Wildcats finally got on the board off the face-off circle 7:46 into the period, when Artem Shlaine took to behind the net and slid a nice pass in front of the crease that Joey Larson rattled home for the home team. The equalizer came with 45 seconds left in the period, this time via the twig of #7 David Keefer. Alex Frye found the cutting winger in front of the net and Keefer beat MTU’s Pietila five-hole to light the lamp. With the sides even 2-2 after two periods, each team again put 8 shots on goal, evening them at 16 apiece.

The tie was shortlived, however, as Michigan Tech went ahead just 1:13 into the third period from Logan Pietila. After a lengthy six-minute stretch of no whistles, the clock was winding down for the Wildcats to get the equalizer. With a pulled goalie and just 1:31 on the clock Josh Zinger ripped a one-timer that found the back of the net for a thrilling late tally.

The game would extend to extra 3-on-3 overtime hockey looking for a winner. With a penalty called in overtime against NMU, things were looking bleak to pull out a win. But after an Andre Ghantous block, teammate Aiden Gallacher chipped a puck ahead that Alex Frye chased down. Frye opted for a slick forehand deke that the goaltender bit on, leading to a backhand push into the net for the shorthanded game-winner.

Postgame Notes

  • Alex Frye, Josh Zinger, David Keefer, and Joey Larson got the tallies for NMU. Kash Rasmussen scored twice for MTU, with the other goal coming from Logan Pietila.
  • NMU led in shots on goal 29-27.
  • Andre Ghantous added three assists on the night. Alex Frye and Joey Larson each had a goal and an assist.
  • The Wildcats were 4/5 on the penalty kill on the night.
  • NMU was 35/57 (61.4%) from the faceoff circle.

Goal Summary 1st Period 0:16 - Kash Rasmussen (MTU, 0-1) - Assisted by Brett Thorne and David Jankowski 11:23 - Kash Rasmussen (PP MTU, 0-2) - Assisted by David Jankowski and Topi Heiskanen

2nd Period 7:46 - Joey Larson (NMU, 1-2) - Assisted by Artem Shlaine and Andre Ghantous 19:14 - David Keefer (NMU, 2-2) - Assisted by Alex Frye and AJ Vanderbeck

3rd Period 1:13 - Logan Pietila (MTU, 2-3) - Assisted by Ryland Mosley and Kyle Kukkonen 18:29 - Josh Zinger (NMU, 3-3) - Assisted by Joey Larson and Andre Ghantous

OT3:40 - Alex Frye (SH NMU, 4-3) - Assisted by Aiden Gallacher

Up Next The Wildcats will head to Houghton tomorrow night for the second leg of the weekend series. Puck drop will take place at 6:07 p.m on WLUC-TV6.