Northern Michigan University Wildcats hockey team hosts No. 1 Minnesota State-Mankato this weekend

Northern Michigan University’s Trevor Cosgrove skates with a 1991 “throwback” jersey during the Wildcats’ game against Boston University on Nov. 6 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. The jerseys were worn as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Wildcats' only NCAA championship won in 1991. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University hockey team gets back into CCHA action in a big way this weekend when the Wildcats host the No. 1 team in the league and the country, Minnesota State-Mankato.

The Mavericks, actually No. 1 nationally for the past four weeks, play at the Berry Events Center at 6:37 p.m. today and Saturday.

Mankato leads the all-time series 19-5-3 vs. NMU, including the Mavs sweeping the Wildcats in Minnesota in October. But Northern also defeated Minnesota State in the WCHA playoff semifinals last spring to reach the tournament championship game.

NMU is coming off last weekend’s home sweep of nonconference Colgate, doubling up the Raiders each night, 4-2 and 6-3, to improve its Berry Events Center record to 9-4-1 this season.

In its previous home series, Northern swept then-No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth in early December, and before that, defeated and tied Bowling Green State in a CCHA series where the Wildcats won the shootout following the tie.

In the 10-goal weekend vs. Colgate, defenseman Trevor Cosgrove set a career high with two goals and four points, while Hank Crone also had a career-high two goals in a three-point weekend and AJ Vanderbeck had five points including a career-high three assists.

Here are some other facts also uncovered by NMU Sports Information about Wildcats’ rankings nationally:

• Hank Crone has 23 assists in 21 games, a national best. His 32 points also lead Division I hockey with nine goals and 23 assists.

• Averaging 1.52 points per game, Crone is second. Teammate AJ Vanderbeck follows is 10th with 1.33.

• With 63 blocked shots in 19 games played, Ben Newhouse leads the nation. Fellow Wildcat blueliner Mike Van Unen is eighth with 39 blocks.

• Vanderbeck ranks second in goals with 16. His 76 shots are also sixth, while he can boast more goals than the five shot leaders above him.

• Having skated in 169 consecutive games, Joseph Nardi became NMU’s all-time leader in games played in Game 1 at Lake Superior State University in December. He now sits second overall among all active collegiate skaters. Hampus Eriksson, who transferred to NMU from LSSU before this season ranks 18th in games played with 155. Trevor Cosgrove hit the 150-game milestone in Game 2 against the Lakers.

• Vanderbeck’s seven goals on the man-advantage rank him tied for third in power-play goals.

• With the lone shorthanded goal for NMU thus far, Crone sits tied for ninth in the category.

• Mikey Colella’s 13 goals rank as a tie for seventh overall.

• With 201 faceoff wins this season, Nardi is 14th overall at the circle.

• Vanderbeck’s 23 points off 15 goals and eight assists rank 14th.

• Andre Ghantous’ 15 assists are 17th best.

The team is averaging 4.00 goals per game and is third nationally and second in the CCHA.

Northern requires a mask to be worn by all individuals, vaccinated and not vaccinated, whenever inside an NMU facility. This includes all areas of all university facilities, including all indoor athletic venues. The only exception is when an individual is actively eating or drinking.

The masking requirement includes all visitors and groups on campus.

Fans can follow the team on a number of social media platforms, including @NMUHockey on Twitter, @nmu_hockey on Instagram, NMU Hockey on Facebook and @nmuhockey on TikTok.

This weekend’s games will be broadcast on radio station WUPT 100.3 FM The Point. Online, the radio broadcast will be available at https://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt, while video can be found at https://www.flohockey.tv/ and live statistics at https://nmuwildcats.com/sidearmstats/mhockey/summary.

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


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today