Offense Erupts in Wildcat Victory

Offense Erupts in Wildcat Victory

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (9-8-2, 7-4-2-2 WCHA) exploded for a 6-1 victory over Ferris State University (9-11-1, 6-6-1 WCHA) Friday evening in the Berry Events Center. It was the most goals scored by the Wildcats since October 6 of last season when NMU beat Lake Superior State University 6-3.

Senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) got the scoring started with a power play goal nearly six minutes into the opening period. His fourteenth of the season was assisted by junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota).

Neither team would score again until the start of the second period when Rockwood put one into the net for his fourth goal of the season. A penalty against the Bulldogs as time expired in the first period put NMU on the advantage to begin the second. Junior forward Denver Pierce (Sault St. Marie, Michigan) recorded his second helper of the year, while Beaulieu picked up his second of the game.  

FSU cut their deficit to one just shy of three minutes later, but senior defenseman Jordan Klimek (Langley, British Columbia) pushed the lead back to a pair 9:34 into the second period. His first score of the season came off assists from senior forward Zach Diamantoni (Montgomery, New Jersey) and junior defender Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minnesota).

Later in the period, Klimek put the Wildcats up 4-1 with his second goal of the game at the 15:39 mark. Diamantoni took the face-off in the Bulldogs zone, flipping it back to Klimek for the score. It was the second assist of the game for Diamantoni and his seventh of the season.

Another quick score to begin the third period put NMU up 5-1, tying the most goals the Wildcats have scored this season. Payne collected his second goal of the game and his fifteenth of the year, moving him into second in the country for most goals. Rockwood was credited with an assist on the play giving him his second of the game and his third point. Black also earned his second assist of the game on the Payne goal.

Beaulieu scored the final goal nearly five minutes into the period for NMU's sixth of the game. Beaulieu's fifth of year came from Klimek and junior forward Anthony Paskaruk (Spring Airdrie, Alberta). It was the first point of the season for Paskaruk.

NMU attempted 37 shots in the victory, allowing the Bulldogs to record just 15. The Wildcats also recorded three power play goals in eight chances, the most NMU has scored in a game all season. In the penalty kill, FSU was held to just one power play goal in four chances.

Between the pipes, junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) returned from injury to record a one-goal victory. Tolvanen recorded 14 saves to improve his season record to 7-4-0. His season save percentage rose to .916, while his goals against average improved to 2.30.

The Wildcats will look for the sweep over the Bulldogs Saturday evening in the Berry Events Center for a 7 p.m. contest. NMU earned a road sweep of FSU to begin conference action earlier this season.

Saturday's game will feature a "Sock Toss" during the first intermission. Children will receive free admission if they bring new socks to game with the socks being donated to various organizations in the community.