No. 3 CMU Division III hockey secures 19th victory, wins ninth straight


The Central Michigan Division III men's hockey team shakes hands after a goal against University of Michigan-Flint Friday night at the Isabella County Ice Arena in Mount Pleasant. 

Securing its 19th win of the season and winning its ninth game in a row, the No. 3 Central Michigan University men’s Division III hockey team finished the weekend with an 8-1 win over No. 14 Saginaw Valley State University Saturday night at the Saginaw Bay Ice Arena.

This was the Chippewas second game against the Cardinals and they improve to 19-4 (8-4 in Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference) and SVSU drops to 5-16 (0-12 in MCHC)

Things looked a little different tonight, as the Chippewas came out strong and fast, something they’ve struggled with all season.

It started with senior defensemen Justice Bigelow putting one past SVSU goalie Dylan Barnes with just under eight minutes into the opening period, followed by sophomore defensemen Dylan Billins and graduate forward Nathan Algaier who scored to make it 3-0 as both teams would head to their locker rooms.

As the second period would get rolling, the Chippewas kept putting up points as senior forward Ryan Tyrer would secure his 15th goal of the season and Billins would secure his first hat trick of the season as he scored two more times, putting their lead to six with svsu still not putting anything together offensively

Billins was “feeling great” to get the hat trick, but says it was his teammates that allowed him to make it happen.

“I couldn’t have done it without my (defense partner) Bigelow,” Billins said. “He had two assists on my goals and I had a nice pass from Croff to get my third one, so it was a team effort really.”

And that team mentality would put the Chippewas in a place to keep the Cardinals from taking the win away even when SVSU forward Josh Budlong would score with a little over six minutes into the third, stopping the shutout for senior goalie Trevor Whitehead.

“It felt good to have shots on net and get into a rhythm,” Whitehead said. “Even with a goal getting by, I enjoyed it more than just sitting there and getting random two minutes of action like normal.”

The Chippewas would snatch three more goals as the game would wrap up with Bigelow scoring his second of the game at the 14:42 minute mark. 

Junior forward Dalton Sutherland dodged defenders in front of the net to put one back with just under five minutes left and senior captain defenseman James Gleason ripped a strike from the blue line with 17 seconds to go in the game.

With the win in the books, the team had “a fun night” according to head coach James Cadzow.

“When they’re buzzin’ and having a good time, it’s most enjoyable for me,” Cadzow said. “I relish that and I told them ‘it was a damn fun night tonight’ and the energy was great, everyone was having a blast, we were rolling, it was beautiful.”

As the season moves along, the Chippewas will look to win their 10th game in a row when they play next at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at Davenport University.