Wildcats Travel to Bemidji for WCHA Series

Wildcats Travel to Bemidji for WCHA Series

MARQUETTE, Mich.— Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (8-8, 6-4 WCHA) hits the road this weekend for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with Bemidji State University (5-6-3, 2-4-2 WCHA). The two teams will square off Friday and Saturday with an 8:07 p.m. puck drop. 

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 earned a WCHA split over the weekend with Alabama-Huntsville for their sixth series split of the season. The Wildcats special teams scored a pair of shorthanded goals and a power-play goal in Friday's 3-1 victory. Junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) recorded a goal and an assist in the win. NMU fell in Saturday's game, 3-2, while senior defender Jordan Klimek (Langley, British Columbia) earned a pair of assists in the loss.

Another Weekly Honor. After recording three assists over the weekend Klimek was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. The alternate captain recorded one on Friday and two more in Saturday's contest. It is the first conference weekly award of Klimek's career and the fourth for the Wildcats this season. Senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) has earned the offensive award twice while sophomore goaltender Mathias Israelsson (Ytterby, Sweden) earned the goaltender award once.

Among the Nation's Best. Despite having not scored in five games, Payne is currently tied for fourth in the country with 12 goals. The senior captains goal total is tied for the top spot in the WCHA, while his 17 points is also second in the conference. Teammate junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) is first in the league and ninth in the country with 64 shots.

Adam's Assists. With an assist in each game of the UAH series, Rockwood has recorded an assist in each of the last six contests. During that span, the junior has eight points on two goals and six assists. His 11 assists on the season are tied for third most in the WCHA.

Between the Pipes. Israelsson has made the start at goaltender in four-consecutive contests to bring his season total to six. For the season, Israelsson owns a 2-4-0 record with a save percentage of .891 and goals against average of 2.78, while making eight appearances. Before an injury, junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) owned a .916 and 2.43 in 10 starts.

Special Teams Success. Four of the Wildcats five goals over the weekend came on special teams with two power play and two shorthanded goals. NMU is second in the country with four shorthanded scores this season and are one of 10 teams that have scored a shorthanded goal but have not allowed one. In the past five series, NMU has gone a combined 48-of-52 in the penalty kill, improving their penalty-kill percentage from 70% to 84.1% over that span.

Potulny in his First Season. Grant Potulny is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. Potulny owns an 8-8 mark overall and 6-4 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 Bemidji St. The Wildcats trail the Beavers in the all-time series, 5-11-3. The two programs played a pair of series last season with BSU sweeping all four regular season matchups. NMU and BSU met again in the opening round of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs, where the Wildcats were able to force a third game before being eliminated.