MARQUETTE - The CCHA officiating crew working Northern Michigan University's 2-1 nonconference victory over Michigan Tech on Tuesday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette had already made two trips to the review booth for second looks at goals and non-goals by the midway point of the second period.
But with just four seconds remaining before the second intermission, Wildcat junior goaltender Jared Coreau wanted referees Bradley Albers and Brian Aaron to take another look at a possible goal scored by the Huskies sophomore forward Tanner Kero, which if held up would cut Northern's lead to one.
Coreau had a hunch as to how he wound up on his back while Kero's shot slid across the goal line.
"I just felt a guy's stick on the back of my left leg," Coreau said. "I didn't think I was off balance, but that set me off for sure.
"I told the ref and I don't think he was too pleased. It think it was his fourth time going back to the box to look it up."
Coreau's persistence paid off with the goal being waved off, allowing the Wildcats (6-8-3) to rebound from a pair of conference losses to Western Michigan over the weekend with their fourth-straight victory over the Huskies (4-8-1) and 66th all time in the 127th meeting between the Upper Peninsula schools.
The Huskies are now winless against Northern dating back to an Oct. 8, 2010 meeting in Houghton with a 48-66-13 all-time record against NMU and 19-36-5 mark in Marquette.
Tech head coach Mel Pearson, who fell to 0-3 against NMU as head coach of the Huskies, was not feeling as well after the loss.
He declined to attend the postgame press conference with local newspaper reporters and U.P. television stations, though USCHO.com was able to catch up with him outside the visiting locker room before he boarded the team bus back to Houghton.
Pearson said he didn't agree that a stick took Coreau down on the play.
"Tanner just sort of clips him, but the guy takes, in my estimation, a dive," Pearson said to USCHO. "Just incidental contact, but I have to defer to the referees."
Prior to talking with USCHO, Pearson blasted the CCHA officiating crew in his postgame interview on the radio home for the Huskies, 93.5 FM WKMJ.
"I'm glad I'm out of the CCHA," said Pearson, who was an assistant at Michigan from 1988-2011. "I'm going to say it. If I get fined, I don't care. It was atrocious. I'm going to call (CCHA director of officials) Steve Piotrowski. Even their coach (NMU's Walt Kyle) said to me after the game, 'You should be happy you're not in the league.' He was referring to the refereeing. It was, let's just say it was not good and I'll stop at that."
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after the first period and outshot the Huskies 10-3 in the first 20 minutes.