The Northern Michigan University team scored two goals in the second period after trailing 3-0 but couldn't complete the comeback in the first game of the best-of-three Central Collegiate Hockey Association First Round series at the University of Michigan on Friday (March 8) evening.The 10th-seeded Wildcats got goals from senior forward Kory Kaunisto and freshman forward Darren Nowick. NMU falls to 15-18-4 overall and remains winless (0-9) against Michigan in the postseason."We were nervous in the first period and made some bonehead plays," NMU coach Walt Kyle said. "Once we got the nerves out we played well. I thought we played really after the first period and controlled play at times. We'll be fine if we play like that the rest of this series."Northern generated a lot of offensive pressure in the second period, outshooting the Wolverines 14-6 in the frame. Kaunisto buried his fifth goal of the season 4:57 into the period, tipping in a wrist shot off the stick of junior defenseman Wade Epp. Junior forward Jake Johnson alsoassisted on the tally.Nowick scored on a rebound after a shot by junior forward Stephan Vigier with four minutes to go to bring the Green and Gold to one (3-2). Sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty also assisted on Nowick's sixth of the season.Seventh-seeded Michigan (14-18-3) dominated the first period, scoring three special teams goals. Jon Merril opened the game's scoring with a blast from the blueline that bounced off an NMU defenseman in front of the net. It was a power play goal, after a too many men on the ice penalty, 6:39 into the game. Assists went to Cristoval Nieves and Phil Di Giuseppe.Kevin Lynch then scored two goals in 3:19. He flipped a backhanded shot past junior goaltender Jared Coreau at 15:11 also on the power play. AJ Treais and Alex Guptill assisted on the goal.Lynch then stole a puck, while shorthanded, and scored on a breakaway for the 3-0 lead with a minute and a half to go in the first.The Wildcats outshot the Wolverines 28-25. Coreau finished with 22 saves. Steve Racine extended his unbeaten streak to five games with 26 saves for the home team.NMU was 0-for-2 on the man advantage while UM was 2-for-3.The two teams met again on Saturday (March 9) at Yost Ice Arena with the puck dropping at 7:35 p.m. If necessary, the series finale will be on Sunday (March 10) at 7:35 p.m.
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