What a game. Although I had my doubts from the first period, the 'Nooks fired off four unanswered goals to get two points and out if 9th place into a tie for 7th.
The first period left a lot to be desired for the 'Nooks with two early goals allowed to Northern as their freshmen John Siemer and linemate Erik Higby seemed like they couldn't be stopped early on.
But the Nanooks showed a lot of grit in the 2nd and really came together to pour it on to tie the game. After getting down 2-0 early in the game with Erik Higby registering both tallies for the Wildcats. But, cue Tyler Morley. The Nanooks' sophomore turned it on in the 2nd being in the right place at the right time. First off a power play shot from Basara as Tyler collected and buried the rebound. Then a wraparound 3 minutes later to knot it up at 2-2.
In the 3rd, the Nanooks did not have as much of an offensive game, and truly neither team had a chance to really set up offensively until northern got the extra attacker out late in the period. But the Nanooks took advantage of the opportunities they had as Nolan Huysmans and Jared Larson caught a 2 on 1 break that they connected and cashed in for a goal. Jared Larson's tally was the first goal for him since October 11th--prior to his injury. Hopefully a big kick starter for him offensively as we head into the home stand to start closing the season.
But 20 seconds later, the Nanooks would light the lamp again as Wildcats goalie Dahlstrom seemed to initiate contact with Nolan Huysmans on the periphery of the crease. The Wildcats all seemed to assume that Huysmans was going to be called for goalie interference. But nope. Instead an NMU defender passed the puck right to Brandon Morley who was by himself in the high slot staring at an open net. You know what they say when you assume?
It was a good heads up play by Morley, who has goals in back-to-back games, and three goals on the season. All versus Northern Michigan--a team that recruited him, albeit very briefly.
While things got interesting late as John Siemer netted his 3rd point of the game on a late extra attacker goal after the Nanooks scrambled to get the empty net goal to pull within one, John Keeney was solid down the stretch to earn his 4th win. And in the Nanooks book of history, only Keeney and his goalie coach Wylie Rogers have won between the pipes in Marquette.
Overall though a good effort by the Nanooks as a team. They played solid after settling down in the first all over the ice. Since being separated from his brother earlier this season, Brandon Morley had not scored a single point since. Now that he is reunited, he's had 3 points this weekend alone. Safe to say they're permanently paired together now? Probably.
The 'Nooks return home for the next 4 in very winnable games against Bemidji state and Alabama-Huntsville before the final roadie of the year. The 'Nooks now sit in a tie for 7th with teams that have played two fewer games. But the boys have a chance to kick it in gear here before the two big series at the end with Ferris and Gangchorage.
10 games left with 20 points at stake. Time to go and get 'em.