Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wild Weekend for Wildcats

Northern Michigan hit both ends of the emotional spectrum this weekend in their series against Western Michigan.

The weekend started with Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle saying that freshman goalie Reid Ellingson had earned the started job, and the position was his to lose.

Ellingson's stay as the starter was short though. Eight minutes and fifty-five seconds to be exact. Ellingson gave up 3 goals in his first four shots before being replaced by Brian Stewart in goal. Northern fought back, but the early deficit was too much to overcome and NMU lost 4-2.

It looked like they would face a similar fate on Saturday, trailing 3-2 late in the third period. But freshman Mark Olver scored an extra attacker goal with less than a second left on the clock to tie the game and send it into overtime.

In overtime, sophomore Matt Butcher, a fifth round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, scored his first collegiate goal to give the Wildcats the win. Butcher hadn't put the puck in the net in his first 49 college games, but he picked a pretty good time to score his first goal.


shirtlessbob said...

Couldn't think of a better way for NMU to get their first conference win of the season. All that hard work finally paid off... and congrats to Matt Butcher as well.

Anonymous said...

Have their been any/many goalies that have made the jump from HS to D1 like Reid Ellingson has done? I certainly respected his talents while playing at Cloquet and thought he had the potential to be successful beyond high school, but am surprised that he did not play at least a year of juniors before making the transition. It seems to be a pretty big jump for anyone from hs to D1, particularly a goalie. I hope he does well though.

Observer85 said...

One of the most recent Minnesota goalies who made the jump w/o juniors is Matt Lundin of Apple Valley. He went to Maine for 2 years, left last year and won the USHL Championship with Sioux Falls. This year he is at Mercyhurst, however is currently out of action with a shoulder injury.

Not many have the ability to make this jump though.

Anonymous said...

I needed to put this somewhere but the Budish sweepstakes is over.

Anonymous said...

Didn't he stop 29/32 shots against Miami last weekend? Maybe he can make the jump. Time will tell.