Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wildcats Down RedHawks 4-1 on Senior Night

On a night when the NMU seniors were intended to be visible, they played the part perfectly. Six of the nine departing players picked up a point on Saturday and every one of them, including Josh Hatinger, saw ice time.

Dusty Collins scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway in the second period, while Bobby Selden, Darin Olver, Zach Tarkir, Matt Maunu and Rob Lehtinen (2) all picked up assists.

Mike Santorelli netted his 27th goal of the season mid-way through the second period and for about five minutes, he stood alone as the nation's second-leading goal scorer. That was when Miami's Ryan Jones struck, flipping the lone RedHawk goal over a sprawling Zaniboni for his 27th marker of the season.

All was settled in the final two minutes of the game, however, when Santorelli scored once more to bump his total to 28 and to solidify Saturday's score.

"He made a couple of guys look pretty foolish and he is capable of doing that," Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said of Santorelli.

The Wildcat penalty kill had phenomenal numbers over the weekend, killing all ten Miami advantages. The power-play unit went 2-11 (18%) in the series.

After Saturday's matchups, NMU's future has become much clearer. Finishing the year in tenth place in the CCHA, the Wildcats will be forced to travel to Columbus next weekend, where they will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the CCHA Playoffs.

Northern has won only one of four games against the Buckeyes this season, dropping both games on the road.

Post-game audio and series wraps should be posted by Monday.

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