Wildcats Take Momentum into Tech Series

Wildcats Take Momentum into Tech Series

MARQUETTE, Mich.—No. 20 Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (5-3, 3-1 WCHA) will turn their attention to archrival Michigan Technological University (4-5-2, 2-4-2 WCHA) with a home-and-home series set for Friday and Saturday. Friday's contest will begin at 7:07 p.m. in Houghton, Michigan, while the puck will drop at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Berry Events Center.

Coverage of the contest can be found at nmuwildcats.com, while there will also be in-game updates on Twitter at @NMU_Wildcats.

Weekly Notes: 

For complete game notes, click HERE.

Weekend Recap. NMU met then-No. 9 Minnesota State University Mankato after a week off. The Wildcats earned their second-consecutive split with a top-10 ranked opponent after falling in Friday's opener before bouncing back with a 4-1 win on Saturday. The Wildcats trailed after the first period Saturday, but scored three times in the second period to take the lead and secure a win.

Offensive Outburst. After being shutout in back-to-back games, the Wildcats erupted, scoring four goals including three in one period Saturday against Mankato. Troy Loggins also snapped his two-game scoreless streak with a pair of goals and an assist in the victory. Loggins' first score was a power-play goal that tied the game, while his second was an empty-net goal.

Among the Nation's Best. After a two-game drought, Robbie Payne scored his seventh goal of the season in NMU's 4-1 victory over #9 MSU. The score moved Payne into a tie for third in the country for most goals. Leading the way with 12 shots in the MSU series, Loggins is tied for ninth in the NCAA with 37 shots in 2017.

Mattie's Moment. Mathias Israelsson garnered the start in game-two of the MSU series Saturday. The sophomore recorded a season high 23 saves en route to his first victory of the season and fourth of his career. Holding the high-powered MSU offense to just one goal, his effort between the pipes earned him WCHA Goaltender on the Week honors for the first weekly award of his career. Israelsson has now made three appearances and one start in 2017, making 44 saves with a 1.30 goals-against-average. 

Receiving Votes. NMU entered the national rankings for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign appearing at #20 in the latest USCHO.com Poll. The Wildcats were receiving votes for consecutive weeks before entering this week's rankings. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, the Wildcats are receiving votes.

Early Season Success. Despite being tabbed to finish seventh in both preseason WCHA polls, the Wildcats currently sit in third after two conference series. NMU is tied with Michigan Tech as both programs have nine points in conference play. Bowling Green and Minnesota St. both have 12 to lead the conference.

Potulny in his First Season. Grant Potulny is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. Potulny owns a 5-3 mark overall and 3-1 record in WCHA play at NMU. As an eight-year assistant coach at his alma mater, Minnesota, Potulny helped the Gophers to a 182-105-26 (.623) record and two Frozen Four appearances.

NMU versus Michigan Tech. The two programs have competed 144 times in 39 seasons with NMU owning a 70-60-14 mark over the Huskies. Playing four games a season ago, MTO took the first three matchups before NMU ended the losing streak in the regular season finale.

2017-18 Captains. A trio of wildcats were named captains after a vote by their teammates. Payne and senior forward Zach Diamantoni will be co-captains for this years' campaign. Senior defenseman Jordan Klimek was selected as the alternate captain.