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Thursday April 22, 2021
UPSET ALERT! Wildcats Knock Out Bowling Green

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

The Northern Michigan University hockey program advanced to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Semifinals with a dominating 5-1 victory over No. 13 Bowling Green State University, Sunday evening, in a win-or-go home matchup.

The Wildcats opened the scoring with a rebound out front as Vincent de Mey gave NMU the 1-0 lead at 5:33 of the first period.

BGSU picked up the pressure in the NMU zone as the Wildcats skated down a man but Rico DiMatteo stood tall in net, turning aside each shot faced for 11 saves through the first 15 minutes of action.

The Wildcats lit the lamp again in the first when Mikey Colella lifted the puck top shelf on BGSU's Dop for the 2-0 tally with 2:04 to go in the opening frame.

After one period of play, Rico DiMatteo boasted 18 saves to keep his Wildcats up 2-0 heading into the second.

The Wildcats saw themselves down a man partway through the second period but Rico DiMatteo stopped four hard shots while Ben Newhouse dove in front of two during the two-minute stretch to hold the 2-0 lead.

BGSU thought they had one back with six minutes left in the middle frame following a huge save by DiMatteo and ensuing block by Newhouse on the rebound. With green sweaters sprawled out in the crease and the puck out of sight, the officials blew the play dead prior to the Falcons' shot and the score stayed 2-0.

Two power play goals came in the final minutes of the second period as both teams found twine with the man-advantage. NMU struck first with a goal from the point by Joseph Nardi to make it 3-0 but the Falcons answered right back to make it 3-1 with a power play tally of their own with 1:12 to go in the frame.

The Wildcats had two shots hit pipe in the final 60 seconds of the period as they took the 3-1 lead into the final period of regulation.

NMU scored their fourth goal of the night, and second on the power play, at 6:02 of the third period as Colella gave the Wildcats the 4-1 lead.

An empty net goal from Ben Newhouse sealed the deal Sunday evening as the Wildcats advance to the WCHA Semifinals following a 5-1 victory over BGSU. 

For the second consecutive night, DiMatteo set a career-best in saves, stopping 39 of 40 shots faced to propel NMU to the WCHA Semifinals next week.

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