KALAMAZOO - Seniors Erik Higby and Stephan Vigier each scored twice and redshirt freshman Mathias Dahlstrom made 41 saves as Northern Michigan University defeated Western Michigan University 5-4 on Saturday night.
In this unusual Saturday-Sunday series, the Wildcats (4-5) opened with a win despite falling behind 3-1 after one period and being outshot 45-22 overall. It ended a six-game losing streak to the Broncos, with every one of the past seven games being played in Kalamazoo.
They turned up the offense in the second period, getting early goals from Higby and Vigier exactly two minutes apart, the second one coming early during a five-minute power play, then took the lead on Reed Seckel's goal with 4:35 left in the period.
Northern survived its own five-minute disadvantage when Cohen Adair was called for checking from behind and a 10-minute misconduct with six seconds left in the second period.
NMU made it 5-3 on Higby's second goal with just 1:16 to go, but WMU made it a one-goal game again with 7 seconds to go on a shot by Jordan Oesterle.
Dahlstrom weathered a Broncos' shooting storm, turning away 17 shots in the opening period, 13 in the second and 11 in the third. His teammates managed just eight, nine and five shots per period, respectively.
The Wildcats also got two assists apiece from CJ Ludwig, Dominik Shine and Shane Sooth as each team was 1 for 4 on the power play.
NMU and Western (3-3-1) of the brand-new National Collegiate Hockey Conference meet again at 5 p.m. today in Kalamazoo.