Wildcats Earn 3-1 Victory in Return to Home-Ice

Wildcats Earn 3-1 Victory in Return to Home-Ice

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (8-7, 6-3 WCHA) earned a 3-1 victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville (5-9-1, 4-4-1 WCHA) in their return to the Berry Events Center after a four-game road trip.

The Wildcats dominated the puck in the opening period, outshooting the Chargers, 15-3. NMU recorded the first 14 shots of the contest and held UAH without a shot for the first 10 minutes of the game.

It took the first 30 minutes of the game before either team would find the back of the net, with UAH scoring the game's first goal at the 9:17 mark of the second period.  The power-play goal gave the Chargers a lead that would not survive long.

Despite Huntsville owning the on-ice skater advantage, junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) netted a shorthanded goal at 16:55 of the period for his fourth of the year. Junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) earned his team-leading 10th assists of the season on the two-on-one breakaway score.

Another penalty on the Wildcats put the Chargers in a five-on-three power-play opportunity. For the second time in less than two minutes, NMU netted shorthand goal to take their first lead of the game. Rockwood scored his second goal of the year at the 18:48-mark of the period, while senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) earned his fifth assits.

Senior forward Zach Diamantoni (Montgomery, New Jersey) gave the Wildcats some insurance in the final period scoring just over five minutes into the third period. His third goal of the year was assisted by senior defender Jordan Klimek (Langley, British Columbia) and junior defender Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minnesota). For Klimek, it was his fourth helper of the year, while Black earned his third.

The score helped the Wildcats to their 3-1 win in their return to the Berry and Western Collegiate Hockey Association action. It is the third straight victory for NMU on their home ice with the team controlling the puck most of the evening. The Wilcats doubled up UAH in shots, 32-16.

Between the pipes, sophomore goaltender Mathias Israelsson (Ytterby, Sweden) picked up his second win of the year, making 15 saves in the process. Israelsson's season save percentage climbed to .896, while his goals against average improved to 2.72.

The Wildcats continued their stretch of dominate special teams stopping four power play chances Friday evening. In the past nine games, NMU has gone a combined 44-of-47 in the penalty kill, improving their penalty-kill percentage from 70% to 84.4% over that span.

NMU will go for a series sweep in Saturday's contest. The Wildcats have split five of their seven series this season, and earned a sweep over Ferris State University to begin conference play. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.