MARQUETTE, Mich. - The 20th-ranked Northern Michgan Wildcats (5-1-1, 3-0-0-0 WCHA) fought back Friday night to top the Alabama Huntsville Chargers (0-7-0, 0-3-0-0 WCHA), 5-3 in front of nearly 2,500 fans at the Berry Events Center.
After going down early in the first period, the Wildcats answered with a goal of their own to even things at one before the Chargers added another to carry the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The second period was all Northern Michigan as they tallied three goals during the middle frame for the 4-2 lead through 40 minutes.
The Chargers came within one at 6:25 of the third before Philip Beaulieu put the game away with an empty net goal with less than a minute to play for the 5-3 final.
John Hawthorne recorded his third victory of the year and remains undefeated with a 3-0-1 mark in four career starts.
- Loughran netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season, a power play goal as the man advantage expired. His redirect from the top of crease beat the Chargers goaltender just 57 seconds into the second period. Philip Beaulieu added the primary assist, for his 101st career point, while Ty Readman picked up the other helper.
- Andre Ghantous put the Wildcats ahead with 2:02 elapsed in the middle frame off Beaulieu's pass at center ice. Ghantous carried the puck across the blue line and fired it deep glove side for the 3-2 lead.
- Darien Craighead extended the Wildcats' lead to two goals, finding the back of the net off Loughran's pass to the top of the circle.
- Philip Beaulieu concluded the scoring for the night when he intercepted a shot in his defensive circle, firing the puck the length of the ice for the empty net goal and his first of the season.
| KEY STATS
Rookie netminder John Hawthorne extended his undefeated streak to four games with 29 saves in Friday's win. He now boasts a .917 save percentage on the season and averages 2.45 goals against per game.
- The Wildcats were 1/4 on the power play behind Griffin Loughran's tally while keeping the Chargers scoreless on their six attempts with the man advantage.
- Both teams tallied 32 shots on goal which included a career-high 14 saves in the third period for Hawthorne to come out victorious.
- Vincent de Mey and Rylan Yaremko both posted four shots on goal in the win, the most of any Wildcats while Griffin Loughran led the team in plus/minus with a +4 on-ice rating.
- With three points off a goal and two assists, both Loughran and Beaulieu tied for the team-lead in points Friday night. Loughran is now on a six-game point streak (7-4-11) and has six points in his last two games.
- Darien Craighead (5 gm, 3-3-6), Joseph Nardi (5 gm, 1-5-6), Ty Readman (4 gm, 1-3-4) all extended their season-long point streaks with the win while Andre Ghantous' goal puts him on a three-game streak (2-1-3).
| UP NEXT
Northern Michigan concludes its home series against Alabama Huntsville Saturday night (November 2) at 6:07 p.m. as they look to claim sole possesion of first place in the WCHA standings.