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Irish remain on the road to face Northern Michigan

Justin Schuver | Friday, January 23, 2004

They’ve proven they can beat the best. Now they need to beat the rest.Coming off one of the biggest non-conference wins of the season, the Irish will look to keep their good play going against Northern Michigan in a key CCHA matchup this Friday and Saturday in Marquette, Mich.Notre Dame, who tied and defeated No. 4 Wisconsin on the road last weekend, hope to avoid a letdown against the Wildcats (10-11-1, 8-10-0 in the CCHA). The Irish swept the Wildcats at the Joyce Center earlier this season, defeating Northern Michigan 5-1 on Nov. 28 and 4-2 on Nov. 29. Historically, the Wildcats hold a 14-10-4 advantage in the series, including a 5-3-2 mark in Marquette.Notre Dame (12-7-3, 8-6-2) will face a hungry opponent in Northern Michigan, who has dropped three straight games to CCHA opponents. The Wildcats lost two games at Alaska Fairbanks by 1-0 and 5-2 scores last weekend.Currently, the Irish sit in seventh place overall in the CCHA with 18 points. The league is still relatively close, however, with Notre Dame just three points behind conference-leading Miami (Ohio). Senior forward Rob Globke scored two goals and two assists in the Wisconsin series and was named the CCHA offensive player of the week for his efforts. That’s bad news for the Wildcats, because in 11 career games against Northern Michigan, Globke has five goals and two assists.Three of those five goals came in Notre Dame’s earlier wins this season against the Wildcats.Despite being widely outshot by Wisconsin in last weekend’s series, Notre Dame’s goalies were able to keep the Irish in the game. Junior Morgan Cey started the 2-2 tie on Saturday, making a season-high 36 saves. Freshman David Brown was in net for the 3-1 win Sunday, making 30 saves on the night and collecting his second win this season against a top-five ranked team.The Wildcats are led offensively by forward Darin Olver with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists). Defenseman Nathan Oystrick follows closely behind with 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) and is also the conference’s overall leader in assists among defensemen.Senior Craig Kowalski has started all but four games for the Wildcats in goal and has collected a 10-11-1 record with a 2.90 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in those 22 contests. Face-off for each game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.