Northern Michigan University Wildcats hockey team bounces back to score 4-3 overtime win over Bowling Green State, split of season-opening series

Northern Michigan University’s A.J. Vanderbeck, second from right, gets a hug and congratulations from several teammates, including Luke Gramer, center, after Vanderbeck scored the winning goal in overtime against Bowling Green State on Sunday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — After a quiet night on the scoreboard in Saturday’s opening game of the series, CCHA Preseason Team member AJ Vanderbeck scored twice and added an assist to lead the Northern Michigan University hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Bowling Green State on Sunday night.

In the CCHA’s lone league series of the weekend, the Wildcats earned a split after losing 6-4 in the opener.

Vanderbeck helped stake NMU to a 2-0 lead in the first period, then assisted on the goal that forced overtime before he scored the game-ender 3:47 into the extra period. Last season, he led the CCHA in goals with 24.

Sophomore goaltender Charlie Glockner, after a rather rough night Saturday, stopped 21 of 24 shots including three in OT to earn the victory. Northern also held a 31-24 advantage in shots on goal as they made BGSU’s Christian Stoever make 27 saves, including one in OT.

This was another game of streaks, much like Saturday night. This time, the Wildcats jumped to a 2-0 lead after one period before the Falcons scored three straight from the midpoint of the second period to the midpoint of the third to take the lead.

David Keefer then scored on a power play with a little over seven minutes left in regulation to force the extra period.

Like that last goal of regulation, Northern’s first goal came on a power play just 2:15 in. Joey Larson earned his first collegiate goal, taking a feed in front of the net from Artem Shlaine, who was behind it, according to an account from NMU Sports Information. Mikey Colella, who had back-to-back goals Saturday, also assisted on the opening goal Sunday.

Vanderbeck made it 2-0 less than five minutes later with a Keefer assist on what was already NMU’s ninth shot on goal.

Then the Wildcats were tagged with three penalties in the second half of the opening period, forcing Glockner to make several quality saves, according to NMU SI. But he did to keep his team’s two-goal lead.

It stayed that way for more than half the second period, too, before the Falcons scored goals 15 seconds apart starting with 9:10 left to tie the score. While NMU’s John Zinger had a shorthanded breakaway he couldn’t convert, BG turned around as Austin Swankler capitalized to score, NMU SI said. Just seconds later with the teams back to even strength, Ethan Scardina scored to make it a 2-2 game.

BGSU held onto enough momentum to kill off a penalty early in the third period and take its first lead with 11:55 to go on Swankler’s second goal of the night and third of the weekend.

But the Falcons’ last penalty of the night a few minutes later cost them as Keefer dove to connect with the puck and slid it across the crease to tie the game with 7:09 left in regulation, according to NMU SI.

While the Wildcats had a couple of looks late, they took it to OT, and skating 3 on 3, Vanderbeck fired a shot short side to beat Stoever with 1:13 left in extra time.

Another interesting statistic in the NMU’s favor was faceoffs, where the Wildcats won 36 of 53 (68 percent), including a sizzling Shlaine, who won 16 of 21 Sunday to go with his three-assist weekend.

The Wildcats hit the road this weekend for a nonconference series in Hamilton, New York, to face Colgate at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. Both games are scheduled to be shown online on ESPN+.

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


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