MARQUETTE, Mich. - In a high scoring affair, Northern Michigan claimed a 6-4 victory over Lake Superior State in Saturday's series finale at Berry Events Center to draw a weekend split between the Upper Peninsula rivals.
The teams skated through much of the first period without many scoring chances until Dominik Shine scored the opening score to put the Wildcats (5-17-2, 3-12-1-0 WCHA) ahead 1-0 with 2:28 remaining. Shane Sooth added his second assist of the series on the play after picking up his first of the season in Friday's game at Taffy Abel Arena.
The second goal for the Wildcats came 12:33 into the second period, 24 seconds after Connor Frantti was whistled for hooking. Once again it was Shine, this time picking up the puck in the neutral zone and streaking up the left side on a breakaway before firing a shorthanded goal over Defiel's shoulder to put NMU ahead 2-0.
Shortly after Shine's second goal, J.T. Henke scored on the power play to cut the Cats' lead in half. The Lakers (9-12-1, 6-9-1-0 WCHA) tied the contest under two minutes later on an even-strength goal by Max Humitz, the eighth goal of his freshman season.
With the score tied 2-2 late in the second period, NMU recaptured the lead with 36 seconds remaining with a goal by Troy Loggins that trickled through Lakers' goaltender Gordon Defiel. Loggins' sixth goal of the season gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead heading into the final period, despite trailing 23-21 in shots on goal.
3:13 into the final period Zach Diamantoni put the Wildcats ahead 4-2, followed by Robbie Payne putting NMU ahead 5-2 with the eventual game-winning goal five minutes into the final period. Payne's goal effectively put an end to Defiel's night and was replaced by sophomore Nick Kossoff.
Shine's hat trick goal came with 11:47 remaining to put the Wildcats ahead 6-3 on a 5-on-3 power play. Gerard Hanson and Brock Maschmeyer each picked up their second assists of the game on Shine's third goal of the game and 12th of the season.
Humitz added his second goal of the game, a power-play tally, with 7:57 remaining to cut the lead to 6-3. Anthony Nellis, who picked up a pair of goals in Friday's game, notched his third assist of the game. Henke also picked up his third point of the night on the goal with his second assist of the game.
The Lakers added their fourth goal with 4:02 remaining in regulation on Diego Cuglietta's power-play goal coming from his knees and lifting it over a sprawled Atte Tolvanen.
Kossoff was later pulled in favor of the extra attacker with under two minutes remaining, but neither team was able to add to their goal totals.
In defending home ice and drawing a series split, the Wildcats took an 8-7 advantage in total goals for the Cappo Cup series, which will be decided next Friday and Saturday (Jan. 13-14). Next week the Lakers will host Saturday's contest at 7:07 p.m., following Friday's rematch in Marquette at 7:07 p.m.