• Men's College Basketball 1/23: Triton College (Illinois) 98, Bay College 55
  • Men's College Basketball 1/23: Ferris State 67, Northern Michigan 45
  • Women's College Basketball 1/23: Triton College (Illinois) 77, Bay College 53
  • College Hockey 1/23: Michigan Tech 2, Northern Michigan 0
  • Women's College Basketball 1/23: Northern Michigan 77, Ferris State 61
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Tuesday January 26, 2021
OVERTIME WINNER: Nardi Lifts NMU Over Ferris

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. --
Special teams proved the difference maker Wednesday evening in Big Rapids, Michigan, as the Northern Michigan University hockey team (2-2-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) defeated Ferris State University (0-4-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) in overtime, 6-5.
 
The first period was all Bulldogs, as the Wildcats found themselves down 3-0 heading to the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play. Through the opening frame, the Wildcats sent nine shots on net but were unable to break Bulldogs netminder, Salmenkangas. The team's leader in points this season, sophomore AJ Vanderbeck, registered two shots on goal in the opening frame.
 
The Wildcats came out firing in the second period, controlling the puck in their offensive end for the majority of the opening minutes of the middle frame. The team saw the man advantage for the first 1:20 of the second period as a Bulldog sat on in watch from the box. Vincent de Mey fired off one of his famous one-timers with 16 seconds to go on the power play, finding the back of the net to cut the Bulldogs' lead to two. 
 
At 12:30 of the second period, the Wildcats struck again when Mike Van Unen found the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game. Less than three minutes later, de Mey etched his name on the box score once more on a breakaway opportunity to knot things up 3-3.
 
FSU scored their fourth goal of the night with 5.7 seconds left in the period to take the 4-3 lead into the final intermission.
 
The Wildcats' leading scorer, Vanderbeck tied things up at 8:10 of the third period when he picked up a pass from Griffin Loughran, for both men's second point of the game.
 
With less than 30 seconds to play in the third period the Bulldogs hit the cross bar on a shot and Connor Marritt skated the rebound up the ice into the open net for what seemed to be his first collegiate goal. Upon review, the Ferris shot crossed the line for a good goal and Marritt's tally was waved off, making it a 5-5 game.
 
Senior captain Joseph Nardi tallied his third point of the game and first goal of the night, tapping the puck past the skate of Salmenkangas for the 6-5 overtime winner.

GOALS
Vincent de Mey opened the scoring for the Wildcats when he picked up Joseph Nardi's pass to fire a one-timer on net, blocker side. AJ Vanderbeck also tallied an assist on the goal.
 
Sophomore defenseman Mike Van Unen carried the puck into the offensive zone as the Wildcats found themselves with the four-on-three advantage. A handful of passes around the zone put the puck back on the tape of Van Unen who fired it home to cut the Bulldogs lead to one goal. Griffin Loughran and Joseph Nardi each had an assist on the play.
 
De Mey scored his second of the night on the breakaway to tie things up at 3-3. The Bulldogs' goaltender left his crease attempting to poke the puck off the stick of de Mey but left a wide open net for de Mey to capitalize on. 
 
Skating to the far side of the ice, AJ Vanderbeck was patient with the puck, awaiting the perfect opportunity to tie things up. Having picked up the puck just over the blue line from Griffin Loughran, Vanderbeck skated around the far circle where he found a break in the defenders and fired a shot home. 
 
Van Unen intercepted a pass in the Wildcats defensive zone and found a wide open Vanderbeck standing at center ice. On the breakaway, Vanderbeck beat Salmenkangas for NMU's first lead of the night.
 
After the Bulldogs tied it up late, Joseph Nardi tapped in the game-winning goal, his second of the season, at 4:26 of the overtime period. Van Unen and Loughran both picked up assists on the game-winner.
 
  KEY STATS
Joseph Nardi had a goal and three assists on the night as he led the team with four points (1-3-4).
 
Three Wildcats posted three-point nights, while five boasted multi-point games. Mike Van Unen recorded a career-best three points with a goal and two assists, while Vincent de Mey and AJ Vanderbeck both had two goals on the night.
 
Vanderbeck led the team in shots on goal, with six, including a handful in the overtime period to keep the Wildcats' hopes alive. 
 
With the victory, netminder Connor Ryckman now ranks 14th nationally in win percentage (.667)
 
Vanderbeck continued his tear of the box score with two goals and an assist Wednesday. He now ranks first nationally in goals per game (1.25) and second in points per game (1.75). His teammate Vincent de Mey sits right behind him in the national goals per game average, second with four goals in as many games. 
 
Griffin Loughran ranks 11th in the nation in points per game (1.33) while Joseph Nardi and dde Mey are tied for 19th overall at a 1.25 average. Loughran is also third in the rankings in assists per game (1.33) while Nardi is third in game-winning goals (2).
 
Among all defensmen, Van Unen is 19th overall in points per game, now averaging 0.75 points per game with his three-point night at FSU.
 
With three power play goals in the victory, the Wildcat special teams are operating at high rates. The power play is the best in the nation, converting on four of 12 opportunities (33.3 percent), while the penalty kill is 13th at a rate of 84.6 percent success. 
 
The Wildcats went three-for-five with the man-advantage Wednesday at FSU, including a four-on-three goal in the second period to cut the Bulldogs' then-lead to one goal.

UP NEXT
The Wildcats ring in the new year with a home stand against No. 5 Minnesota State, January 2-3. Saturday's game starts at 6:07 p.m. before a 4:07 p.m. puck drop on Sunday. Both games can be streamed live on flohockey.tv or by tuning in to 100.3 The Point and RRNSports.com.

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