MARQUETTE, Mi. The longest game in program Northern Michigan University hockey history fell in favor of the visiting team when the Michigan Technological University (21-15-3) scored 4:41 into the third overtime period to defeat NMU (18-16-4), 4-3, Saturday night.
A game that lasted four hours and 30 minutes, the Wildcats led in both shots on goal (46-36) and blocked shots (39-21).
The two teams skated to a deadlock through the first period, with the Wildcats holding the edge in shots on goal, 9-6. Three individuals also picked up blocks in the period to help keep the Huskies off the board as Rylan Yaremko, Darien Craighead and Griffin Loughran each registered one blocked shot.
Nolan Kent came up big for the team in the first period, stopping all six shots faced, including a huge breakaway chance for the Huskies less than a minute in that he turned aside.
The middle frame turned into what would become a scoring frenzy as five goals were tallied with the Wildcats owning the 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Goals from Mitchel Slattery, Darien Craighead and Andre Ghantous had the Wildcats on top after two.
NMU also led in shots through two periods, holding their opponent to just 11 shots while boasting 22 of their own. In the second period, the Wildcats outshot MTU, 13-5.
The Huskies evened things up in the third period to force the decisive overtime frame.
Through 60 minutes of play, the Wildcats led the shots on goal, posting 30 on net while holding the Huskies to just 16. They also registered 22 blocked shots, including eight in the third period, led by Philip Beaulieu with four.
After the first overtime period, the two teams were still tied and looking for the golden goal. The Wildcats continued to lead in shots on goal, 37-25, led by Vincent de Mey with five total. Beaulieu also picked up a block in the first overtime frame to bring his total to five blocked shots on the night.
The Wildcats continued to have strong chances in the second overtime but neither team was able to break the opposition's goaltending as they hit triple digit minutes at the conclusion of the second overtime, the most in school history.
While firing seven shots on net in the second overtime, the Wildcats added another nine blocked shots for 36 on the night.
MTU's Logan Pietila found the game-winner with 104:41 of game time elapsed, beating Kent for the 4-3 final.
Mitchel Slattery found the first goal of the night when he batted down a loose puck at the Wildcats' blue line as the Huskies tried to regroup in their offensive zone. He then won the race for the puck and buried it top shelf over Husky goaltender Jurusik's left shoulder for his fourth goal of the year.
The three seniors combined for the second goal of the night at 11:13 of the second period to give the Wildcats the 2-1 lead. Philip Beaulieu made a diving save as the Huskies tried to clear their zone before he and Luke Voltin got the puck to an open Darien Craighead who found the back of the net.
Rylan Yaremko picked up the puck along the board as he won the battle with the Husky defender and found the stick of Andre Ghantous at the far circle. Ghantous fired the puck five-hole for the third goal of the night.
The last time the Wildcats posted 40 or more shots on goal was an overtime victory over Bowling Green in the WCHA Semifinals two years ago. They boasted 46 shots through 104:41 minutes of play.
Nolan Kent stopped 32 shots on the night, including a combined 15 in the first two overtime periods.
Two Wildcats boasted six blocked shots on the night as Rylan Yaremko and Philip Beaulieu helped keep the puck out of the net multiple times Saturday night by jumping in front of Husky shots.
Luke Voltin's six shots on net led all Wildcats while Vincent de Mey and Joseph Nardi each added five of their own.