Celebrating a title: 30th anniversary of Northern Michigan University hockey champs to be honored in mid-game ceremony on Saturday with Wildcats hosting Boston University

Northern Michigan University goaltender Rico DiMatteo blocks the edge of the goalmouth to keep a shot by St. Thomas’ Tim Piechowski from going in during the Wildcats’ opening series of the season during the weekend of Oct. 8-9 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy NMU)

This weekend: 6:37 p.m. at the Berry Events Center both Friday and Saturday vs. Boston University; Radio: WUPT 100.3 FM The Point


MARQUETTE — Maybe the visiting team won’t be as enthusiastic as anyone involved with or rooting for the home team at this weekend’s Northern Michigan University hockey series at the Berry Events Center.

That’s because Boston University is coming to town, and in conjunction with that, the Wildcats will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their lone NCAA Division I hockey championship in 1991 against those same Terriers.

Start times for these nonconference games are 6:37 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, with the ’91 team to be honored in an on-ice program during the first intermission of Saturday’s game.

Northern Michigan University's Connor Marritt, left, and Notre Dame's Grant Silianoff vie for position near the boards during a game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Oct. 16. (Journal photo by Travis Nelson)

In addition, the Landmark Inn in Marquette will host a fourth-period party after Saturday’s game.

This will be these teams’ first meeting in Marquette since 1988, when the Wildcats won 7-3 in front of a large home crowd at Lakeview Arena.

NMU also leads the all-time series against BU 7-3-2, with their most recent meeting in October 2019 when Northern won 4-3.

Two current Wildcats skated in the 2019 game as now-captain Joseph Nardi had an assist and Vincent de Mey scored twice, including his team’s final goal that proved to be the game-winner.

And current NMU goalie Nolan Kent made 27 saves for the victory.

The game in the spring of 1991 was of course their most memorable at the St. Paul, Minnesota, Civic Center when the Wildcats battled to a 7-7 regulation tie before Darryl Plandowski scored early in the third overtime to cement Northern’s national championship, 8-7.

Most recently, NMU is returning home after its first road series of the season, a sweep by nationally ranked Minnesota State-Mankato. Northern sophomore goalie Rico DiMatteo made a career-high 43 saves in the Mavericks’ 4-2 victory on Friday night that included a last-minute empty-net goal. The Wildcats were blanked Saturday 7-0.

Mikey Colella had a hand in both Northern goals, scoring the first one and assisting on the second. Hank Crone assisted on Colella’s goal, while Colella joined Trevor Cosgrove for assists on a later goal scored by de Mey, who was playing in his 100th collegiate game on Friday.

Nardi, who has never missed a game in his collegiate career, moved his total of games played to 156 last weekend.

In individual rankings in the CCHA, Colella and AJ Vanderbeck are tied for third in goals with five, Hampus Eriksson is tied for fifth in assists with seven, and both Vanderbeck and Crone are among the league’s top 10 in points.

And Ben Newhouse is second in the league in blocked shots with 21.

Nationally, Eriksson’s seven assists in seven games ranks him 14th in total assists and 13th in assists per game, while Colella’s and Vanderbeck’s goal totals are tied for 14th.

NMU reminds fans that a mask must be worn by all individuals, vaccinated or not, whenever inside a school facility, including all indoor athletic venues. The only exceptions are for those actively eating or drinking.

Fans can follow the Wildcats and other NMU teams on multiple social media platforms — @NMUHockey on Twitter, @nmu_hockey on Instagram, NMU Hockey on Facebook and @nmuhockey on TikTok.

Both games will be broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point and online at streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt.

Video will be available online 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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