MARQUETTE - One down, one to go.
The Northern Michigan University hockey team is now one win away from clinching a spot in the WCHA playoffs after beating Alabama-Huntsville 4-1 on Friday in Huntsville, Ala.
The Wildcats, who play at UAH again at 8:07 p.m. EST tonight, jumped from ninth to seventh place in the WCHA via losses on Friday by Lake Superior State at Ferris State and by Bemidji State at Bowling Green. NMU leads LSSU and BSU by a point in the standings going into the final night of the regular season.
Wildcats freshman defenseman Brock Maschmeyer nabbed his fourth goal of the year with assists from senior forward Stephan Vigier and junior defenseman Mitch Jones 4:56 into the contest for a 1-0 Northern lead.
NMU freshman forward Dominik Shine gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead 1:06 into the second period by placing a shot top shelf with an assist from Reed Seckel.
The Chargers picked up a power play goal to pull within one at 16:02 of the second, but Seckel gave the 'Cats a 3-1 lead heading into the third period by slipping the puck through the five hole of UAH goaltender Matt Larose 4.3 seconds before the intermission with assists from freshman forward Shane Sooth and senior defenseman Wade Epp.
Shine and Sooth connected again in the third in a two-point swing in favor of NMU.
NMU redshirt freshman goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom won a one-on-one breakaway that Northern turned into a goal for Seckel and an assist for Shine on the ensuing rush 7:45 into the third.
Larose finished with 38 saves for the Chargers, who were out shot by the Wildcats 42-27. Dahlstrom made 26 saves for NMU.
Around the WCHA:
BOWLING GREEN 5, BEMIDJI STATE 3: At Bowling Green, the Falcons scored three unanswered goals to clinch a spot in the WCHA playoffs.
Ryan Carpenter, Sean Walker and Kevin Dufour scored for BGSU in the second while Mark Cooper and Ben Murphy scored in the first period for the Falcons.
Bemidji, which is tied with Lake Superior State for eighth in the league, got goals from Brendan Harris in the first to go up 1-0, from John Parker to tie the game at 2-2 in the second, and from Markus Gerbrandt late in the second to cut the BGSU lead to two.
FERRIS STATE 2, LAKE SUPERIOR STATE 1: At Big Rapids, the Bulldogs got goals from Cory Kane in the first period and Kyle Schempp in the second to stay even with Minnesota State in the chase for the WCHA regular season title.
The Lakers cut the Bulldogs lead to one with a goal from Colin Campbell 12:08 into the second period, but couldn't get the equalizer.
Kevin Kapalka made 42 saves for the Lakers, including 17 in the second and third periods, while C.J. Motte stopped 32 shots for Ferris.
The Lakers fell into a tie for eighth with Bemidji via the loss and Northern Michigan win.
Should BSU and LSSU remain tied after tonight's contests, the Beavers win the head-to-head tiebreaker and get the final playoff spot. The Lakers would be out.
MINNESOTA STATE 3, MICHIGAN TECH 0: At Mankato, the Mavericks scored all three goals in the final four minutes to leave the owner of the 2013-14 MacNaughton Cup up in the air going into the final night of the regular season.
Dylan Margonari and Chase Grant each scored their eighth goals of the season with Margonari breaking the scoreless tie with 3:42 to play. With 1:54 to go, Grant lit the lamp.
Bryce Gervais scored on an empty net to inflate the score of what was a tight game until the final minutes.
Phoenix Copley finished with 29 saves for Tech while Cole Huggins stopped 26 shots for MSU.
The Huskies currently sit in a four-way tie for third in the WCHA, pending the result between Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage.
Tech is in the playoffs, but still trying to secure a home-ice series in the first round.
ALASKA 7, ALASKA-ANCHORAGE 2: At Fairbanks, the Nanooks' Cody Kunyk scored four goals to bring his season total to 22 on the season. The Nanooks clinched the No. 3 seed for the postseason with the win, meaning they will host a first-round home playoff series. That will take place Thursday-Saturday. Every other series will happen Friday-Sunday.
Alaska still needs either a win or tie to clinch the Governor's Cup series. If UAA wins, there will be a shootout.
Alaska's Tyler Morley left the game with a lower body injury. He needed help getting off the ice.