Wildcats Return to WCHA Action Against Michigan Tech

Wildcats Return to WCHA Action Against Michigan Tech

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (6-9-0, 5-3-0-0 WCHA) returns to action this weekend when they host arch rival No. 20 Michigan Technological University (8-5-1, 7-0-1-1 WCHA) for a home-and-home series. Friday's contest will take place in the Berry Events Center with puck drop set for 7 p.m. A "Teddy Bear Toss" will take place during the first intermission with the bears being donated around the community. On Saturday, the two teams will square off in Houghton at 7:07 p.m.

On Friday afternoon, NMU Athletics will host a Wildcat Luncheon in the Wildcat Room of the Berry Events Center. The event is open to the public and will include a meal and a panel of NMU head coaches from Wildcat Hockey, Men's Basketball, and Women's Basketball. Tickets for the event are $15.

For complete game notes, click HERE.


In their first matchup since the 2012-13 campaign, NMU traveled to No. 8 University of Notre Dame for a single game on Tuesday. The Wildcats trailed by a goal after the first period, but junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) netted a power play goal with 20 seconds to play in the second period to tie it. Neither team could take an advantage in the third period forcing the first overtime contest of the season for NMU. A Wildcat penalty was called just 30 seconds into the extra period resulting in a Notre Dame power play goal to seal a victory.


Craighead, along with senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California), now leads the team with six goals after his power play goal on Tuesday. Loggins also leads the team in points with 12 while junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) and senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) both have 10 points on the season. The duo of Beaulieu and Rockwood also sit atop the assist category for NMU with nine and eight, respectively.


After his 37th contest with 30-plus saves in his career, senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) now has 389 saves for the season. That number is the most in the WCHA and third-most in the country for the 2018-19 season. Tolvanen also owns a .920 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average.

Already ranked in the top-five in five of six career goaltender records at NMU, Tolvanen now has his eyes set on some of the top spots in Wildcat history. He is within reach of five of the six career goaltender records including games played, shutouts, and saves. With one more shutout, Tolvanen will tie the NMU career record for shutouts with 12 and needs 512 saves to tie the career saves record.


In four of the six Wildcat wins this season, NMU has scored the first goal of the game in the opening 10 minutes of action. When it comes to scoring early, NMU is 5-1-0 this season when leading after the opening period of play.


In their first seven series of the season, NMU has been pitted against four ranked opponents, a pair of which were ranked in the top-10. The Wildcats took on a fifth ranked opponent in a single midweek matchup with No. 8 Notre Dame before Thanksgiving. The early season schedule gives NMU the 14th hardest strength of schedule in the NCAA. That number is set to increase after their series with a ranked MTU squad.


Grant Potulny enters his second season at the helm of the Wildcats after leading a program turnaround in 2017-18. In his first season, the Wildcats advanced to the WCHA Championship game and finished the year with a 25-15-3 overall record. Prior to NMU, Potulny was an eight-year assistant at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota.


The Wildcats own a 72-63-14 all-time record against the Huskies including a 40-25-6 record on their home ice. Over the past three regular season series, the two team have split with each team getting one win.