A loss tonight would have left the Falcons fighting just to stay alive in the race for a WCHA playoff berth. Tommy Burke gave the Falcons hope that they might actually host a series instead.
Mathias Dalhstrom started in net for the Wildcats, turning aside 23 of 26 attempts. Tommy Burke slotted in for the Falcons and was peppered with 39 shots, stopping 37.
Ralfs Freibergs managed to get the Falcons their first goal at 13:07. The sophomore Latvian scored from the point after taking a pass from Pierre-Luc Mercier.
Ryan Carpenter picked up his second goal of the weekend at 17:00 of the first period. Matt Dalhstrom seemed to have made an initial save but the puck fluttered in the area and spun back into the net. Kevin Dufour assisted on the goal.
Burke saved all 16 shots he faced while Dahlstrom turned aside 15 of 17.
Thanks to a boarding penalty called on NMU’s Reid Seickel the Falcons began the second period on the power play. Mike Sullivan fired a rocket from the blue line, beating Dahlstrom for the Falcons third of the game. Sean Walker and Ryan Carpenter assisted on the marker.
The Wildcats didn’t fold after the Falcon barrage, though, and scored a pair of goals in the span of just 15 seconds. First, John Seimer fired a one timer past Burke at 3:21 and then Erik Higby converted on a point blank opportunity at 3:36 after a Falcon turnover in their own zone.
Dahlstrom saved five of six attempts in the second period. Burke saved six shots on eight attempts.
Tommy Burke stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third period as the Falcons managed to split with the weekend series with a 3-2 win. Dahlstrom faced only three shots in the final frame and stopped each chance.
The Falcons will travel home for Senior Weekend to face Bemidji State. Northern Michigan will travel to Alabama-Huntsville to fight for their season’s life.
While the scenarios are numerous, the Falcons will clinch a playoff spot if they score at least two points against Bemidji.
We will update this post throughout the night with the up-to-date WCHA standings.
WCHA Standings (As of 3/2/14, 1:37am EST)
Teams sharing places are listed by tie-breaking procedure.[table “” not found /]
Bolded teams have clinched a playoff spot.
* indicates a team that has clinched a home playoff series.
Struckthrough teams have been eliminated from playoff contention.