NMU hockey: Ludwig, Vigier lead Wildcats to WCHA series split at Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Northern Michigan University hockey team avoided the penalty box on Saturday and as a result, salvaged a WCHA series split in Fairbanks via a 2-1 win over the Alaska Nanooks at the Carlson Center.

All three goals in the game came in the opening period of play with the Nanooks (4-2-2 overall, 1-1-0 in WCHA) taking a 1-0 lead 1:49 into the game when Alaska sophomore forward Tyler Morley poked a puck past NMU (3-5-0 overall, 2-2-0 in WCHA) redshirt freshman goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom.

NMU senior defenseman and captain C.J. Ludwig tied the game at 1-1 at 15:57 of the first period with an assist by junior forward Ryan Kesti.

Ludwig, along with junior forward Ryan Daugherty, then assisted NMU senior forward Stephan Vigier on the game winning power play goal just 22 seconds before the first intermission.

The seventh goal of the season for Vigier not only put him atop the #WCHA in goals scored, but it matched his total from a year ago. He had 13 goals as a sophomore.

Dahlstrom, who came on in relief of sophomore Michael Doan during the second period of Friday’s 5-4 loss, earned his second collegiate victory after making 22 saves.

The Wildcats were only called for five penalties spanning 10 minutes on Saturday after taking six penalties for 15 minutes the night before, including two minors during a major in the second period that resulted in a pair of Nanooks 5-on-3 power play goals.

NMU finished just 1 for 7 on the man advantage, but held the Nanooks scoreless on four attempts.

Northern doesn’t play another WCHA series again until it returns home Nov. 22-23 to host Alabama-Huntsville.

The Wildcats travel to play at Western Michigan of the NCHC next weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Like Alaska, NMU and Western are former CCHA rivals.

Northern is on the bye the weekend of Nov. 15-16, the opening weekend of the gun deer season in Michigan.

Notes: Vigier also leads the league in game-winning goals with three. … Ludwig, who has four goals and four assists to lead all defensemen in scoring, tops the league in power play points with seven off three power play goals and three power play assists. … Alaska freshman goaltender Davis Jones finished with 28 saves.