Beni Halasz returns in net to lead Northern Michigan University Wildcats hockey team to series split at Bowling Green State
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Michael Colella scored a goal and Kristof Papp recorded an assist in each game of Northern Michigan University’s two-game hockey split at Bowling Green State over the weekend.
The Wildcats pulled out a 2-0 victory on Saturday night as Beni Halasz returned to mind the NMU net for the first time in several weeks and posted his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
The Falcons blitzed Northern with five unanswered goals in the third period on Friday as BGSU prevailed 6-2.
NMU (6-7-1, 4-4 CCHA) held onto its share of third place in the league with 12 points, tied with Michigan Tech, which has played two fewer conference contests. Bowling Green slipped to 4-10 and 2-4 and with seven points is seventh.
Surprising St. Thomas (7-6-1 overall), which swept the Wildcats in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, on Nov. 3-4, leads the league with 15 points and a 5-3 league mark, while Bemidji State (5-9 overall) is second with 13 points at 4-4. In fact, four of the eight teams in the CCHA are at .500 in league games, with the other four schools either two games above or below .500.
NMU officially takes time off from league competition this weekend when it hosts future CCHA member Augustana in a series at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 6:07 p.m. Saturday. The Vikings will become full members of the league in the 2025-26 season, playing two nonconference games against each CCHA member this season and next.
Here is a rundown of the series at Bowling Green:
Bowling Green 6, NMU 2
On Friday night, things looked excellent for the Wildcats through two periods after they established a 2-1 lead. Then the roof caved in early in the third as the Falcons pumped in one pair of goals 1:04 apart, then a few minutes later, another pair just 46 seconds apart. An empty-netter rounded out the home team’s five-goal third.
Before that, though, Northern’s Artem Shlaine scored his sixth goal of the season — and sixth in as many games — to tie the game 1-1 a little over seven minutes into the second period.
Papp fired a shot from the point while Shlaine caused chaos in front of the BGSU net, according to a game account from NMU Sports Information. Shlaine got his stick on the shot and redirected it over the stick-side shoulder of Falcons goalie Cole Moore.
Then Colella gave the Wildcats their only lead with 2:49 left in the second on a shorthanded unassisted breakaway. Near the end of a two-minute minor called on NMU’s Tanner Latsch for cross checking, Colella blocked a shot at the blue line and sprung loose for the breakaway, according to NMU SI. Without a deke, he fired a shot past the ear of Moore.
Bowling Green’s opening goal came 10 seconds shy of the midpoint of the opening period during a power play against Northern goalie Charlie Glockner, who had already stopped a breakaway chance by the Falcons’ Ethan Scardina.
During the man advantage, BGSU had a 4-on-2 chance as Brody Waters took a cross-ice pass. He tried to return the favor, but the puck was deflected off an NMU defenseman and right back to Waters, who shot into the net as Glockner had anticipated the second pass.
In the third, Waters opened the scoring floodgates for the home team on a breakaway, where he head faked before going backhand-forehand to beat the outstretched Glockner, NMU SI said.
Sixty-four seconds after that, the Falcons’ Brett Pfoh sped by a defenseman down the right side and beat Glockner on the stick side.
Just over four minutes later, Bowling Green made it 4-2 on a generous bounce as the puck took a huge carom off the backboard, deflecting off Glockner’s leg and in. And another 46 seconds after, BGSU’s Seth Fyten was left alone in the slot and fired home the puck. Fyten added an empty-netter with 3:38 to go, too.
NMU 2, Bowling Green 0
Halasz made his return to the Northern net after Glockner had played the previous four games. The junior netminder made 30 saves for the shutout, including at least eight each period. He outdueled Moore, who had 24 stops as Northern was outshot 30-26.
Both goals came in the second period, an unassisted shorthander by Connor Eddy and a power play tally by Colella.
Eddy’s score was the second shorthanded goal of his career, third overall goal this season and second in three games. It came 80 seconds into the second period as he stole the puck during a penalty kill and skated in on the breakaway, firing the puck five-hole through Moore, according to NMU SI.
Colella, who tripled his season goal total over the weekend to three, took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play for the Wildcats as slick passing between Papp and Andre Ghantous, both who earned assists, was finished off by Colella.
None of the senior’s goals have come even strength as he has two on the power play and one shorthanded, while Ghantous now has six points in his last half-dozen games and Papp eight points in the same stretch.
There was more offense than this, but each goalie was up to the task at other times.
In the first period, BGSU held a 12-10 shots on goal edge despite the lack of a goal, while in the second, the Wildcats defended their initial 1-0 lead when they killed off a Bowling Green 5-on-3 power play before getting their own when Colella scored.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.