MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University hockey team won its third-straight Western Collegiate Hockey Conference matchup with a 5-4 victory over Alaska Friday at the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats improve to 9-10-2 overall with a 7-5-1 WCHA record. Alaska falls to 8-11-4 with a 5-10-2 WCHA record.
"Really happy to get the win but I don't think we played well," said NMU head coach Walt Kyle. "We were sloppy today. I do think we were opportunistic on our chances and I think we made some good plays and took advantage of some good scoring chances. You have to win some games you don't necessarily deserve and I think we did that tonight."
Alaska scored the first goal of the contest at the 9:21 mark of the first period taking advantage of the power play, Garrick Perry finished a goal from Cody Kunyk and Colton Parayko.
Junior forward Ryan Daugherty tied the game for the Wildcats just 1:08 into the second period when he took a feed from junior defenseman Luke Eibler scoring a short-handed goal. Junior forward Ryan Kesti gave NMU its first lead of the game when he scored an even strength goal at the 3:13 mark of the second on a feed from freshman defenseman Brock Maschmeyer and junior defenseman Jake Baker.
In the third period, both teams traded blows as the squads went back and forth to score three goals each.
Senior forward Erik Higby scored an even strength goal for NMU just 42-seconds into the third to take a 3-1 lead for the Wildcats. Freshman forward Dominik Shine and senior forward Stephan Vigier recorded assists on the play.
Alaska answered at the 3:19 mark when Brandon Morley took advantage of the power play to shrink the NMU lead to 3-2. Kunyk and Michael Quinn recorded assists on the play.
NMU freshman forward John Siemer scored his first collegiate goal at the 5:43 mark of the third on a feed from Eibler and Higby.
Alaska answered again when Tyler Morley scored an unassisted goal at the 8:58 mark of the third.
Alaska scored the final goal of the game at the 11:31 mark when Colton Parayko scored a power play goal from Quinn and Colton Beck to set the final score at 5-4.
The Nanooks pulled goalie John Keeny with 57-seconds remaining but were unable to net the equalizer.
Freshman goalie Mathias Dahlstrom made 28 stops in net for the Wildcats to pick up his eighth win of the season improving to 8-8-2. Keeny recorded 12 saves and fell to 3-4-2 with the loss.
NMU was 1-2 on the power play while Alaska was 3-6. The Nanooks outshot the Wildcats 32-17 in the contest. Shine led NMU with three shots while Parayko had six for the Nanooks.
The Wildcats complete their series against Alaska at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center.