MARQUETTE, Mich.—No. 16 Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (20-11-3, 18-6-2-2 WCHA) will compete in their final series of the regular season this weekend against rival Michigan Technological University (16-14-5, 11-10-5-2 WCHA). The home-and-home series will begin on Friday with the team squaring off in the Berry Events Center at 7 p.m. The four seniors will be honored prior to Friday night's game in the Berry. The regular season will come to a close after Saturday's matchup in Houghton, Michigan set to begin at 7:07 p.m.
Standing-room only tickets remain for Friday night's contest in the Berry. Students admitance will be capped with the first 1,200 students being admitted.
Coverage of the contests can be found at nmuwildcats.com, while there will also be in-game updates on Twitter at @NMU_Wildcats.
For complete game notes, click HERE.
A Decade in the Making. After a sweep of UAF two weekends ago, the Wildcats improved their season record to 20-11-3. It is the first time NMU has won 20 games in a season since the 2009-10 campaign when the Wildcats finished 20-13-8. The Wildcats will have an opportunity to reach 25 wins this season which has not happened since the 2001-02 season.
Home, Sweet Home. The Wildcats clinched home-ice in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs earlier this season for the first time since the 2012 campaign. NMU owns a 12-2 overall mark in the Berry Events Center, including wins in their past eight home contests. The team will play one more regular season contests and at least two playoff games in the Berry.
Second Half Standouts. Since the start of 2018, junior forwards Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) and Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) have shot up the national rankings. In 12 games, Loggins has nine goals and seven assists, including the WCHA Offensive Player of the Month Award for January. Rockwood has four goals and 13 assists and is currently on an 11-game since the start of 2018. Rockwood is also tied for second in the NCAA this season with 29 assists and tied for 10th with 37 assists.
Between the Pipes. Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) owns the sixth-most wins in the NCAA this season with a record of 18-6-1 despite missing six games due to injury. The .740 win percentage is fifth-best in the nation. Since the start of the new year, Tolvanen has appeared in all 12 contests, earning a 9-1-1 record.
Record Book Watch. A number of Wildcats are making their mark on the NMU record book. Senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) needs just one goal to become the 35th NMU skater to score 50 in his career. With 18 wins this season, Atte Tolvanen now sits at eighth in NMU history with 36 career wins. Sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) will be entering the record book soon in multiple categories, including career goals, assists, and points by a defenseman.
WCHA Standings. Despite being picked to finish seventh in both preseason polls, NMU is second in the WCHA standings headed into the final weekend. Their 58 points are six shy of preseason favorite No. 5 Minnesota State University, while Bowling Green State University is third with 55 points. The Wildcats have clinched home-ice for the opening round of the WCHA Playoffs, and secured a top-three finish in the standings.
Potulny in his First Season. Grant Potulny is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. Potulny owns an 20-11-3 mark overall and 18-6-2-2 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 Wildcats lead the all-time series with the Huskies, 71-61-14. The series begins Friday in the Berry where NMU is 39-24-6 all-time against MTU. The series will finish in Houghton, Michigan on Saturday where the Huskies have the all-time advantage, 33-30-8.