Back to the CCHA: After weekend of nonconference games, Northern Michigan University Wildcats remain home for 3rd straight weekend to play Bemidji State

Northern Michigan University’s Connor Marritt, center, tangles with Notre Dame’s Grant Silianoff, right, during a college hockey game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Saturday. Next to these players is the Wildcats’ Trevor Cosgrove. (Journal photo by Travis Nelson)

Game times:

Bemidji State at NMU, 6:37 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Berry Events Center; Radio: WUPT 100.3 FM The Point


MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University hockey team returns to CCHA play this weekend while playing at home for the third straight weekend when the Wildcats host Bemidji State.

The Bemidji, Minnesota-based team comes to the Berry Events Center for games starting at 6:37 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

The Beavers are ranked 19th in the nation after splitting a pair of 4-3 decisions over No. 6 North Dakota last weekend. Bemidji lost the opener, then won on Saturday in overtime.

Northern Michigan University's Alex Frye, right, fights Michigan Tech's Eric Gotz for the puck during a game on Feb. 27 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy Shannon Stieg)

The Wildcats, who received votes in the USCHO.com national poll, are tied atop the CCHA with four points with their 2-0 league record. However, the only other teams to have played league games this season are St. Thomas, which was swept by NMU two weeks ago, and Lake Superior State, which swept St. Thomas last weekend.

A fourth-period party will be held at Hudson’s Classic Grill & Bar following Saturday’s game.

NMU is just 8-15-6 overall vs. the Beavers, most recently in February in Minnesota when Northern pulled off a sweep with a 5-1 win followed by a 3-2 victory in OT as defenseman Ben Newhouse got the game winner.

From that series vs. Bemidji, then-freshman netminder Rico DiMatteo earned his first collegiate sweep on the road and was named Rookie of the Week by the WCHA, while then-sophomore Andre Ghantous earned Forward of the Week for having a goal and four assists.

Teammate and captain Joseph Nardi had two goals and two assists, while Garrett Klee scored twice and Mikey Colella added two assists.

Last weekend, the Wildcats split, though their 5-3 win was only in an exhibition against the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team.

The 5-2 loss was to No. 17 Notre Dame.

Despite the mixed success, freshman goalie Charlie Glockner was named CCHA Goaltender of the Week after his win vs. the USNTDP and scoreless mop-up duty against the Fighting Irish.

The only three goals he gave up were all in the third period against the U-18’s when they peppered him with 28 shots on goal after NMU had built a 5-0 lead.

Against ND, he came on in relief of DiMatteo early in the second period with the score already 4-0. The other goal the Irish scored was a late empty-netter. Glockner had 60 saves over the weekend in nearly 100 minutes of ice time.

Northern’s leading scorer, AJ Vanderbeck, ranks 20th nationally in goals scored with three and is fourth in points per game at 2.00.

And his six points in three official games ranks atop the CCHA while the three goals are fourth.

He is joined by Nardi, Ghantous and Vincent de Mey as the top four scorers from last season who are also back this fall as the Wildcats actually returned 83.3 percent of the scoring from 2020-21. Vanderbeck was No. 1 on last year’s team with 14 goals as he finished with 27 points. Nardi, a captain this season along with Newhouse, had 12 goals and 33 points.

Among the newcomers, Hank Crone is second on the team in scoring with two goals and three assists for five points, while Hampus Erikkson is next with four assists for four points.

NMU reminds fans that a mask is required by all people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, whenever inside an NMU facility. The only exception is for actively eating or drinking.

Fans can follow the hockey Wildcats and other NMU teams on Twitter at @NMUHockey, Instagram at @nmu_hockey, Facebook at NMU Hockey and on TikTok at @nmuhockey.

This weekend’s games will be broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point or online at streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt, video at www.flohockey.tv/ and live statistics at nmuwildcats.com/sidearmstats/mhockey/summary.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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