MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan hockey team returns to the Berry Events Center this weekend to take on the NCHC's Omaha in non-conference action. Puck drop on both Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.
For Youth Sports Day, children 13 and under will be admitted free to both games if they wear their jersey, team gear or the jersey of their favorite team.
Fans can also take advantage of a family four-pack deal. For only $48, fans will receive four tickets, four hot dogs, four fountain sodas and four bags of chips or candy.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 906-227-1032 or by visiting Tickets.NMU.edu. For fans who cannot attend, the game will be streamed live on WCHA.tv and broadcast on 100.3 The Point.
The complete media notes are available here.
The Last Time Out
The Wildcats couldn't hand then No. 13/14 Bemidji State its first WCHA loss of the season during their Nov. 18-19 series. The Beavers took the first game, 2-1, and the second, 5-2. Michael Bitzer made 42 of 45 saves while Bemidji State blocked 31 shots in front of him to limit Northern Michigan to only three goals.
Philip Beaulieu netted two of those goals, scoring in each tilt to run his point streak to four games. The freshman defenseman now leads the Wildcats with seven points (2g-5a) in WCHA action.
The Omaha/Northern Michigan Series
Northern Michigan last faced Omaha during the 2013-14 campaign at the Berry Events Center. The Mavericks earned a 2-1 win on Oct. 18 while the Wildcats emerged victorious by a 6-3 margin the next night.
During the Oct. 19 win, Northern Michigan and Omaha combined to score seven goals on special teams. Four Wildcats enjoyed multi-point outings: C.J. Ludwig (1g-1a), Stephan Vigier (1g-1a), Mitch Jones (2a) and Shane Sooth (2a). Brock Maschmeyer scored his first collegiate goal on a power play while Sooth's two helpers were his first points as a Wildcat.
The only Wildcats on the 2016-17 roster who have skated against the Mavericks are Sooth, Maschmeyer and Dominik Shine. Gerard Hanson, Casey Purpur and Sami Salminen were also freshmen on the 2013-14 team but didn't play during Northern Michigan's series against Omaha.
The Wildcats and Mavericks are tied in the all-time series, each winning 17 games. Northern Michigan holds a 12-5-2 edge over Omaha at the Berry Events Center, winning nine of the past 10 games played there.
Wildcats Take on NCHC Team for First Time in 2016-17
The Mavericks will be the Wildcats' first NCHC opponent this season. Since the NCHC was established in 2013-14, Northern Michigan has played four of its teams: Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Omaha and Western Michigan. The Wildcats are 3-6-1 against NCHC teams, scoring wins against Omaha and Western Michigan in 2013 and Minnesota Duluth in 2016.
This will be Northern Michigan's third non-conference series of the 2016-17 campaign. The Wildcats have taken on the Big Ten's Wisconsin twice, once in Green Bay, Wis. to open the season and again in Madison, Wis. at the beginning of November. During each series, Northern Michigan won the first game and dropped the second, bringing its non-conference record to 2-2.
WCHA teams are a combined 12-29-2 against non-conference opponents this season. The Wildcats are tied with Lake Superior State for second in non-conference victories; Minnesota State is the leader with three.
The Next Time Out
The Wildcats make their lone Alaska trip of the season to kick off December. They are set to take on Alaska-Anchorage on Dec. 2-3.
On the strength of his two-goal weekend, Beaulieu moved into a tie for ninth among WCHA newcomers in points. His seven points (2g-5a) also has him in a tie for fourth among WCHA rookie defensemen. Nationally, he is tied for 10th among freshman defenseman in points and also tied for 16th in blocked shots (19).
With 24 blocked shots, Rylan Yaremko ranks third among WCHA newcomers and tied for 11th overall in the conference. Hanson remains the WCHA forward leader with 17 blocked shots; he also stands seventh among Division I forwards.
Mathias Israelsson was forced to make only two saves in the third period of Nov. 19's game as Northern Michigan outshot Bemidji State by a sizable 15-2 margin in that stanza. Israelsson's total is tied for the lowest posted by a Wildcat goaltender in a single period; Atte Tolvanen broke the previous record last year in the final frame of Northern Michigan's 1-1 tie at Alabama-Huntsville on Dec. 5, turning aside two of three shots.
Bemidji State did not take a penalty during Nov. 18's game. The Beavers are only the third team to not give up a power play opportunity to the Wildcats, joining Bowling Green (Nov. 24, 1978) and Miami (Nov. 27, 2012).
Northern Michigan has struggled on special teams, allowing 20 power-play goals and four shorthanded strikes through the season's first 14 games. The Wildcats have allowed 46 goals overall, meaning just over half (52.17 percent) were given up on special teams. In contrast, Northern Michigan has scored 29 goals, with only six coming on the man advantage and three while down a man, accounting for just 31.03 percent of its season total.
The Wildcats enter the weekend on a five-game losing skid. It's their longest slide since 2014-15, when they lost five in a row to wrap up the season.