Joey Benik was moved up to the second line with Nic Dowd and Ben Hanowski for the third period of last Friday’s game against RPI. He’s back on that line tonight. The other change that coincided with that was moving David Morley from right wing on Dowd’s line to right wing on Jimmy Murray’s line. On defense, Ethan Prow is a healthy scratch for the first time since the second game (Oct. 13 at New Hampshire) of the season. He’s replaced by Tim Daly, who was a healthy scratch on Friday.
“They’ve got a really good core of special defensemen, they’re well-coached and they’ve got some special people up front,” Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle said. “I really think that they’re poised to do something special this year. (Drew) LeBlanc is having a special year. Dowd is a speical player … They’re a very, very good team. We’re going to have our hands full and it’s a good challenge for us.”
The Huskies lead the all-time series 21-17-1, but the Wildcats swept a series against St. Cloud State last season at Northern Michigan. In that series, Jarrod Rabey had 1 goal, 1 assist; LeBlanc had 3 assists; Hanowski 1 assist; Joey Holka 1 goal; Cory Thorson 1 assist; Ryan Faragher made his college debut in the second game and stopped 20 of 23 shots he faced.
|11-Kalle Kossila||19-Drew LeBlanc||22-Jonny Brodzinski|
|10-Ben Hanowski||26-Nic Dowd||9-Joey Benik|
|27-Nick Oliver||8-Cory Thorson||21-Brooks Bertsch|
|18-Garrett Milan||16-Jimmy Murray||13-David Morley|
|28-Andrew Prochno||14-Nick Jensen||29-Ryan Faragher|
|7-Kevin Gravel||40-Tim Daly||35-Rasmus Reijola|
|4-Taylor Johnson||2-Jarrod Rabey||33-Joe Phillippi|
NORTHERN MICHIGAN (2-9-3 CCHA, 6-10-3 OVERALL)
The Wildcats also play their home games on an Olympic-sized sheet of ice. The two teams played a series the second weekend of last season in Marquette, Mich., and the Wildcats picked up a sweep, winning 5-2 and 3-2. For the Wildcats playing tonight who played in that series, Reed Seckel had 1 goal, 1 assist; Matt Thurber 2 assists, Erik Higby 1 goal; Jake Johnson 1 assist, Stephan Vigier 1 goal, 1 assist; Mitch Jones 2 assists; Kory Kaunisto 1 goal; Wade Epp 1 assist; Kyle Follmer 1 goal, 1 assist; Scott Macaulay 3 assists; Jared Coreau got the start in the second win, stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Northern Michigan is 4-1 against WCHA opponents this season. The Wildcats swept a series against Wisconsin (2-1 and 4-2, Oct. 12-13 in Green Bay, Wis.), split a series at Nebraska-Omaha (5-2 loss, 2-1 win, Oct. 19-20) and beat Michigan Tech (2-1, Dec. 4 in Marquette).
“The big thing is that they have a big, strong defensive core and a big goaltender,” Huskies senior Drew LeBlanc said of Northern Michigan. “Obviously, it’s a pretty good challenge for us and we’ve got to find a way to create some offense against those defensemen.”
There are two big defensemen in the lineup for the Wildcats tonight: junior Wade Epp is 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds and sophomore Jake Baker is 6-5, 209.
|9-Reed Seckel||12-Matt Thurber||26-Erik Higby|
|16-Jake Johnson||40-Stephan Vigier||29-Ryan Daugherty|
|11-Ryan Aynsley||74-Mitch Jones||20-Darren Nowick|
|22-Cohen Adair||19-Kory Kaunisto||21-Justin Rose|
|27-Wade Epp||24-CJ Ludwig||31-Jared Coreau|
|33-Kyle Follmer||5-Ryan Trenz||1-Michael Doan|
|23-Jake Baker||4-Scott Macaulay|
SCSU STATISTICAL LEADERS
NORTHERN MICHIGAN STATISTICAL LEADERS
TEAM STATISTICAL COMPARISON
|Shots per game||29.0||22.7|
|Opponent shots per game||25.4||33.4|
|Goals per game||3.3||2.1|
|Opponent goals per game||2.5||2.8|
|Power play %||18.4||12.3|
|Penalty kill %||84.6||74.7|
|Short-hand goals for||2||1|
|Short-hand goals against||5||4|
|Penalty minutes per game||9.5||15.3|
|Opponent penalty minutes||13.3||15.5|
|Faceoffs||627-564 (.526)||1,114-1,122 (.498)|