Thursday, February 22, 2007

MJ Weekend Preview

No. 9 Miami Redhawks (22-10-4 overall, 15-7-4 CCHA)
at Northern Michigan Wildcats (12-20-2, 9-16-1).
7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Berry Events Center

Senior Salute – Northern Michigan University will honor its nine seniors prior to Saturday night’s contest, including local products Bobby Selden and Josh Hatinger of Negaunee and Rob Lehtinen of Marquette. The Blue Line Club will also the nine seniors during Friday’s luncheon at UpFront and Company. The luncheon begins at noon and is open to the public. Tickets cost $7.75 at the door.

What’s at stake? – This weekend will not be all about farewells as the Cats continue to battle for a home-ice playoff game in the first round of the CCHA playoffs. In order for that to happen, NMU will need to sweep Miami and get some help. Western Michigan must sweep Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie and Notre Dame must take at least one point from Ferris State in South Bend, Ind.
Ironically, it was the Western Michigan Broncos who took three points from Nebraska-Omaha last year at this time to give NMU a first-round bye. In the Broncos the Cats trust.

And if help doesn’t come? – Then the Wildcats are playing not to go to Nebraska-Omaha or Ohio State. If the Wildcats can jump Ferris State and shake their tie with Alaska by moving into ninth place, NMU could find itself taking a much shorter trip to Lake Superior State instead for the playoffs.

Santorelli Watch – NMU junior forward Mike Santorelli trails Niagara’s Tim Cook by three goals in the race to be college hockey’s leading goal scorer. Cook sits at 29 goals while Santorelli is stuck on 26. Trailing Santorelli is Miami’s Ryan Jones with 25 goals and North Dakota’s Ryan Duncan with 24 goals.

Promos, promos, promos – TCF Bank is sponsoring a “White Out” by giving away T-shirts to the first 500 fans Friday night … NMU hockey will hold Part II of its silent auction with sports memorabilia from Tri-Star Celebrations. The auction begins at 7 p.m. … The first 1000 fans Saturday will receive 2006-07 NMU hockey trading cards featuring the senior class. Players will be available for autographs after the game.

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