OMAHA, NE (Oct. 20, 2006) – Matt Siddall (North Vancouver, BC) had a goal and an assist to as Northern Michigan defeated UMass Lowell, 2-1, in college hockey action Friday afternoon in the Mutual of Omaha Stampede.
With the win the Wildcats improve to 2-2-1 on the season. The loss drops the River Hawks 0-2-1 on the season.
“It was a game that we played very well in spurts. But it was really a game that Northern Michigan played the way they wanted to play,” said UML head coach Blaise MacDonald. “They’re a much stronger, physical team. They were able to keep the puck outside, kind of beat us up a little bit. I thought at times our youth really showed, but then at other times I thought we transitioned and moved our feet very well, and created some turnovers with our speed. I thought the power play looked good tonight and the penalty killing was better. Overall it was a spurty game that I thought we played pretty well in.”
For the third straight game, the River Hawks scored the game’s first goal. Jason Bergeron (Ancaster, ONT) provided the offense at 7:53 of the first period on the power play, corralling a rebound off a one-time shot from Paul Worthington (Langhorne, PA). Kory Falite (Billerica, MA) earned the second assist on the goal.
The Wildcats scored the equalizer at the 17:48 from Siddall, whose shot at the right circle beat UML goaltender Carter Hutton. Spencer Dillon (Santa Cruz, CA) picked up the assist.
Siddall added to his point total in the second period earning the primary assist on the game-winning, power play goal from Mike Santorelli (Santa Cruz, CA). Darin Olver (Burnaby, BC) picked up the second assist on the strike.
UML’s Jeremy Hall (Mays Landing, NJ) had the game’s best two scoring chances – two point-blank shots in from of the crease in the first period – that didn’t result in a goal.
“There were some things to build on, some things we did well,” said MacDonald. “We’ll have to get ready for tomorrow. (Saturday) needs to be a game for us that finally we come out and tie up all of our loose ends, a lot of our bad habits we displayed tonight and we make a statement. We make a statement of the type of team we’re going to be.”
UMass Lowell out-shot the Wildcats 22-18 for the game. The River Hawks were 1-for-7 on the power play, while NMU was 1-for-4.
Bill Zaniboni (Plymouth, MA) earned the win stopping 21 shots. Carter Hutton recorded 16 saves in the losing effort for UML.
The River Hawks play the loser of the Nebraska-Omaha/Niagara contest at 5:00 p.m. (eastern time) in the consolation game of the Mutual of Omaha Stampede. The Wildcats play the winner of Friday’s second game.