MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (23-12-3, 19-7-2-2 WCHA) dropped game-two of a best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff series Saturday evening, 3-2, to the University of Alabama-Huntsville (12-22-2, 10-16-2-1 WCHA). The loss forces a third game of in the quarterfinal series with the winner advancing to the WCHA Playoff semifinals.
Unlike Friday where four goals were scored in the first period, neither team was able to find the back of the net in the opening period on Saturday. There were only eight combined shots in the period, five by the Chargers and three for the Wildcats.
The floodgates opened in the second period with each team scoring a pair of goals. Junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) netted the first goal of the game less than four minutes into the second period. His 19th goal of the season was assisted by senior defenseman Jordan Klimek (Langley, British Columbia) and sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota). It was Klimek's 15th and Beaulieu's 25th of the season.
UAH evened the game 12 minutes into the period, but freshman forward Mitchel Slattery (Lino Lakes, Minnesota) put the Wildcats back on top at the 14:18 mark of the second period. Beaulieu picked up his second assist of the game on Slattery's second assist of the season, while junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) earned his 35th assist of the season.
For Rockwood his 35 assists this season are tied for the NCAA lead, while his 43 points are tied for eighth in the country. His 35 assists are the most for a Wildcat since Chad Theuer's 39 in the 2001-02 season. Beaulieu's 36 points this season are second-most among NCAA defensemen and tied for ninth-most by a defenseman in program history.
Despite taking the late lead in the second period, the chargers managed to knot the game up at two goals each with less than three minutes to play in the second period. The Wildcats went into the final period tied with their opponent for the ninth time this season.
Neither team was able to score for most of the third period. Despite outshooting the Chargers, 9-4, in the period, NMU surrendered the game-winning goal to UAH with 29 seconds remaining. The goal gave the Chargers the win and forced a deciding third game of the quarterfinal series.
Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) saw just 14 shots in the contest making 11 saves. His season record fell to 20-8-1, while his save percentage now sits at .903 and his goals against average is now 2.38.
Sunday's game-three is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Berry Events Center. Fans can purchase tickets online at tickets.nmu.edu or by calling the Berry Events Center Ticket Office at 906-227-1032. The Berry Events Center Ticket Office will open Sunday at noon for any fans interest in ordering tickets.