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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Hockey looks to face Northern Michigan

The Falcon hockey team will face the Northern Michigan Wildcats Friday and Saturday nights. The Falcons will be facing Northern Michigan for the first time this season.

The most recent series between the two teams saw Northern Michigan shut out the Falcons 3-0 and 2-0 last season.

“Watching them on tape, it looks like a lot of the same,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “They’ve got individuals; Robbie Payne’s a guy that comes to mind, who’s leading the league in goals, might be leading the country in goals. They’ve got a good power play; it’s a good team, and it’s a team that’s fast.”

The teams also come into this weekend very close together in the standings, with the Falcons holding a 9-2-5 conference record, and Northern Michigan holding a 9-5-2 record.

“I know our guys are paying attention to it,” Bergeron said. “The talk of Northern Michigan has been the good story of the year in the WCHA. We’ve been in these situations before and done pretty good and done not so good. … We’re not putting any extra onus in terms of ‘we’ve got to prepare better.’ We want to do all of that the same, but, looking at the standings, this weekend matters, and it’s a pretty important weekend.”

The team also believes Northern Michigan will be a strong opponent due to their sweep of the Minnesota State Mavericks, who are currently the top team in the WCHA, as well as ranked eighth nationally.

“This is an interesting series because we haven’t seen them yet,” Bergeron said. “They’ve obviously played some pretty good hockey. I think Minnesota State’s the measuring stick of the league, and Northern Michigan’s beaten them twice in Minnesota State’s rink, so that says to me that they’re really good.”

The series will also be unique because it will be played on a wider Olympic-sized rink; however, the team doesn’t believe that it will have too much of an effect on how they get ready for the series.

“It doesn’t change how we prepare, but it’s something we have to be aware of,” Bergeron said. “It makes the game different; it would be like playing football on a bigger field or basketball on a bigger court. It’s a wider rink, so it feels like there’s more space out there obviously, but it doesn’t change the preparation in terms of practice, because you can’t simulate it.”

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