MARQUETTE - The Northern Michigan University hockey team was six tenths of a second away from holding off a third period rally by the University of Michigan in CCHA play Friday at the Berry Events Center.
Then A.J. Treais stuck.
The Wolverines' leading scorer with six goals in six games caught NMU senior goaltender Jared Coreau on the left side of the crease in a scramble, and simply placed the puck in the back of the right side of the NMU net to force a 4-4 tie in Marquette.
Treais then scored the lone goal in the shootout to give Michigan an extra point in the league standings.
"I'm really disappointed in the result," NMU head coach Walt Kyle said. "We started slowly and then I thought we played really well into the last part of the first and into the second.
"I thought we played well through 10 minutes, maybe 11 or 12 minutes into the third. Then we had some guys make mistakes that cost you games."
Northern Michigan University freshman forward Cohen Adair tries to put the puck past Michigan freshman goaltender Steve Racine on Friday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (NMU photo by Cory Genovese)
Northern entered the weekend unsuccessful on its last 14 man advantages, though only three chances were presented a week ago in a pair of losses to Notre Dame.
On Friday, the Wildcats opened 3-for-3 on the power play to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.?Junior forward Erik Higby and junior defenseman Wade Epp each picked up their first goals of the season in the second while sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty and freshman forward Cohen Adair got their fourth to keep pace with each other atop the Wildcats' list of leading goal scorers.
Higby, Daugherty and Adair all put away redirects on the power play while Epp blasted a shot from the point past freshman Wolverines goalkeeper Steve Racine.
NMU 4, Michigan 4
(Michigan wins shootout 1-0)
Michigan 1 0 3 0 - 4
Northern Michigan 0 4 0 0 - 4
1, MICH, Mac Bennett/2 (Justin Selman/3) 15:38.
2, NMU, Erik Higby/1 (Cohen Adair/1, Matt Thurber/6) :42 (pp). 3, NMU, Wade Epp/1 (Ryan Trenz/1, Stephan Vigier/4) 8:54. 4, NMU, Ryan Daugherty/5 (CJ Ludwig/3, Mitch Jones/1) 13:54 (pp). 5, NMU, Cohen Adair/4 (Scott Macaulay/4, Matt Thurber/7) 15:37 (pp).
6, MICH, Kevin Lynch/1 (Mac Bennett/5, Cristoval Nieves/4) 8:12 (pp). 7, MICH, Mike Chiasson/2 (A.J. Treais/3, Lindsay Sparks/3) 13:08 (pp). 8, MICH, A.J. Treais/1 (Mike Chiasson/2, Mac Bennett/6) 19:59.
1, MICH, AJ Treais
Shots on goal - MICH 14-6-9-6 35; NMU 10-10-8-0 28.
Power plays - MICH 2 of 5; NMU 3 of 6.
Penalties - MICH 9 (29 min); NMU 7 (14 min).
Goalies - MICH, Steve Racine (64:06 minutes, 28 shots-24 saves); NMU, Jared Coreau (65:00, 35-31).
"They got a couple of goals I was suspect of, whether it was our penalty kill or they were getting sticks on pucks and deflecting them in," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "We were on our heels, no question. We did not look good on the penalty kill in the second period,"
The Michigan penalty kill did look good in the third and Racine showed why he got the Friday night start over fellow freshman goaltender Jared Rutledge - the more highly touted of the two.
Racine kept the 'Cats out of the back of the net during a 5-on-3 advantage midway though the third, then held strong during a five-minute power play late in the game that left the Wolverines at full strength for only the final 17 seconds of regulation.
It turned out to be just enough time for Treais to end the chants of "NMU" by the 3,684 in attendance.
"It's pretty sorrow in our locker room," Daugherty said. "Everyone is not too happy with themselves. We took some selfish penalties and gave them a chance. They are a strong offensive team. We put them on the power play."
All three of the Wolverines third-period goals were on the man advantage with Treais' game-tying goal coming with an empty Michigan net.
UM sophomore forward Kevin Lynch cut the Northern lead in half during a two-man advantage 8:12 into the third while junior forward Stephan Vigier (cross checking) and sophomore forward Reed Seckel (hooking) were in the penalty box for NMU for stick penalties.
Michigan sophomore defenseman Mike Chiasson cut the Wildcats' lead to one with just under seven minutes to play after a scrum behind the Wolverine net involving sophomore Ryan Kesti, senior Brian Nugent and freshman Robert Lindores for NMU and freshman Jacob Trouba and Lynch for Michigan gave the visitors a power play.
Trouba, at 6-foot-2, was tossed from the game with 5:17 to play after a violent shoulder-to-head hit on 5-foot-10 Seckel, resulting in the five-minute major for contact to the head and a game disqualification.
The shot gave Trouba Saturday's 7:35 p.m. rematch off, left the Wolverines with only five defensemen in Marquette and apparently enough time for Michigan to stun NMU.
"When we got that five minute penalty, that was a slim chance," Berenson said. "We got lucky. We not only killed it, No. 1, but we got Luke Moffatt out of the box with nine seconds left or something and we scored in the last few seconds. We got lucky on that one."