The scoring opened just 2:38 into the contest when Northern Michigan junior Nick Sirota took a Jared Brown pass in the high slot and beat Spartan goaltender Jeff Lerg over his right shoulder.
Later in the first, Michigan State would respond to tie the game with a power play goal on a pretty give-and-go between Justin Abdelkader and Tim Kennedy, that ended with Abdelkader beating Stewart under the cross bar.
The second period opened with a barrage from the Spartans who would light the lamp three times in the first seven minutes.
After Rowe put Michigan State ahead with his first collegiate goal, Matt Schepke would add to the lead when his shot missed the net and the puck careened off the boards back out front and off of Stewart and into the net.
Freshman Corey Tropp would add to the lead just 90 seconds later when a Dan Vukovic slap shot hit off his stick and into the back of the net for his first career goal.
Tim Kennedy would add a rebound goal with just under five minutes to play in the frame, and the Spartans were in control after 40 minutes up 5-1.
Things however would get dicey in the final period for the Spartans.
Northern began their comeback when sophomore Ray Kaunistos weak wrist shot dribbled through the five-hole of Lerg. Then with a little over four minutes remaining junior forward Tim Hartung would redirect an Alan Dorich shot to light the lamp and draw the Wildcats within two goals.
After Kaunisto added his second of the game with just 22 seconds remaining, Michigan State would hang on for a 5-4 victory in front of more then 4500 fans at Munn.
"I thought for our team we were too loose," said Comley of the final period, "but we'll take the win and certainly have to make some corrections for tomorrow."
The victory puts the eighth ranked Spartans at (3-1-0) on the season riding a three game win streak. Michigan State will look to improve to 2-0-0 in conference play tomorrow night back at Munn for a rematch with the Wildcats.
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