de Mey's third period hat trick enables NMU to sweep Anchorage

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MARQUETTE, Mi. A third period goal flurry, fueled by Vincent de Mey's hat trick performance helped the Wildcat hockey program (13-7-2, 11-5-0-0 WCHA) to a 6-3 victory over the Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage (3-14-3, 3-11-2-2 WCHA) Saturday.

After two Seawolf goals were waved off in a matter of minutes, Wildcat newcomer AJ Vanderbeck posted his first career goal at 16:54 of the opening period to give NMU the 1-0 lead heading into the first break.

Both teams found the back of the net in the second period, including Mitchel Slattery who picked up the puck off the faceoff and fired it home for the two-goal lead. UAA's Eric Sinclair would also score in the frame as the Wildcats headed to the final period up 2-1.

At 2:02 of the third period the Seawolves found the equalizer to make it a 2-2 game. Just 1:18 later, Vincent de Mey tallied his first of the night to give the Wildcats the lead again before Luke Voltin scored his third of the season to extend the lead to two. Less than a minute after Voltin's tally, de Mey scored short-handed after Ty Readman picked up the puck in his own defensive zone and skated the puck up ice and over to de Mey. The sixth and final Wildcat goal of the night came at 10:11 of the third when de Mey completed the hat trick, the first of his career.

The Seawolves would get one back at 18:32 but Kent held strong in net to improve his career record to 9-2-0 with a season save percentage of .916, having stopped 56 shots on the weekend.

GOALS
With a quick wrister from the far circle, AJ Vanderbeck netted his first collegiate goal to give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead at 16:54 of the first period. Darien Craighead and Griffin Loughran both picked up assists on the goal to extend their respective point streaks.

Mitchel Slattery extended the Wildcat lead at 6:27 of the second. As Garrett Klee won the faceoff draw to the left of Seawolf goaltender Kristian Stead, Slattery grabbed the puck from the circle and sent it towards the back of the net.

With Stead out of position at the net, Vincent de Mey was able to sneak the puck behind the Seawolf goaltender to put the Wildcats back on top, 3-2, early in the third. Mitchel Slattery picked up his second point of the night with an assist on the goal.

With a spin move out front, Luke Voltin beat three Seawolf defenders before his shot got passed Stead stick side for the 4-2 lead and the eventual game-winner. Darien Craighead, who fed Voltin the puck from against the boards and Rylan Yaremko were both credited with assists.

De Mey scored his second of the night and first career short handed goal on a two-on-one breakaway chance at 6:44 of the final frame. Ty Readman intercepted the puck at his own blue line, skating it up the ice and creating the clean break. With de Mey open on the far side, Readman sent the puck his way where his notable one-time shot proved lethal again.

He then completed the hat trick with his third goal in 6:51 when Readman won the face off and tapped it back to de Mey. Another one-timer beat Stead five-hole for the sixth Wildcat goal of the game.

KEY STATS
The 6-3 victory over the Seawolves Saturday night gave the Wildcats their second consecutive sweep over a WCHA foe and fifth straight victory, which is the third longest undefeated stretch in the country.

Averaging 1.27 points per game (17-11-28), Griffin Loughran ranks 10th nationally in points per game.

Nolan Kent's .818 win percentage and 9-2-0 record ranks fourth among all active goaltenders.

With 3.50 goals per game, the Wildcats are generating the ninth best offense in college hockey and have scored four or more goals in each of their last five games.

AJ Vanderbeck's power play goal to open the scoring boosts the Wildcat power play unit to a 22.3 percent success rate and are 13th in the country while their combined special teams (54.0 percent) is 12th overall.

UP NEXT
The Wildcats hit the road again as they travel to Ithaca, New York for a weekend series against No. 2 Cornell.