Wildcats Head to Fairbanks After Holiday Break

Wildcats Head to Fairbanks After Holiday Break

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (9-10-0, 8-4-0 WCHA) returns to the ice after two weekends off with a road series at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (4-12-2, 4-7-1-1 WCHA) Friday and Saturday evening. Puck drop is set for 11:07 p.m. (EST) both nights.

For complete game notes, click HERE.

  FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can follow both contests this weekend using the links below. These links can also be found on the team schedule or composite calendar at NMUwildcats.com. 

Twitter Updates: https://twitter.com/NMU_Wildcats
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2LLJEbD
Live Audio: https://bit.ly/2oibr8T
Live Video: http://bit.ly/2OVPPdY

  FIRST HALF RECAP

The Wildcats played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country this season when they played five ranked opponents in seven contests. Some highlights of those non-WCHA games included a series split at Michigan State University to open the season and an overtime contest with then-No. 8 University of Notre Dame. In league play, they began with a pair of series splits but have now won six of their last eight WCHA matchups.

  SECOND HALF OUTLOOK

The second half of the season will open with the Wildcats spending back-to-back weekends in Alaska before getting two series in the Berry Events Center against ranked opponents. After two more road series, NMU will end the year with three of four on their home ice including a home-and-home series with Michigan Technological University to end the regular season. A season ago, NMU finished the regular season going 10-3-1 after the start of the new year and advanced to the WCHA Championship Game as the two seed.

  SEASON STAT LEADERS

Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) is the top scoring Wildcat this season with eight goals and seven assists. After scoring five points over the team's first nine games, Loggins has led the Wildcat offense with 10 points over the last 10 games. Not far behind is junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) who is second on the team with 14 points but leads the way with 13 assists. Senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) also have double digit points with 11 and 10, respectively.

  ATTE DOES IT ALL

After being named WCHA Goaltender of the Year as a junior, senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) has continued to perform as one of the best goaltenders in the country this season. His 490 saves are third-most in the NCAA this season and he is one of just 10 goaltenders with three-or-more shutouts this season. He has nine wins this year along with a .919 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.

As if his defensive presence was not enough, Tolvanen saw an offensive outburst in December. He scored an empty net goal against Michigan Tech on December 7 to become the 11th NCAA goaltender ever credited with a goal and the fourth to ever shoot the puck themselves. Just a week later, Tolvanen picked up an assist in the Wildcats' 4-1 victory over FSU for the third of his collegiate career.

  RECORD BOOK WATCH

A number of Wildcats are making their mark on the NMU record book or close to making appearances in the all-time lists. Atte Tolvanen is already well-established in Wildcat history with an opportunity to reach five of the six NMU career goaltender records including games played, shutouts, and saves. With one more shutout, Tolvanen will tie the NMU career record with 12 and needs 412 saves to tie that career record. 

When Philip Beaulieu took the ice on December 15, he competed in his 100th game for the Wildcats where he has earned 75 career points in 15 goals and 60 assists. His career points are tied for 14th most for a Wildcat blue-liner while his career assists are 13th-most for an NMU defenseman. Troy Loggins is also near a pair of NMU all-time lists. He is 19 points shy of becoming to 50th Wildcat ever to reach 100 career points and nine goals shy of being the 36th to score 50 career goals.

  FRESHMAN FORWARDS

Six of the team's seven freshman forwards have recorded points during the first half of the season. A pair of those skaters have four points in Ty Readman (Edmonton, Alberta) and Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, New York). Readman earned a pair of assists just before break in the FSU series, while Loughran scored a goal and two assists in NMU's 4-2 victory in game-two of the Ferris St. series. Two more freshman have multiple points this season with Garret Klee (Morrison, Colorado) and Grant Loven (East Grand Forks, Minnesota) each earning two.

  NMU VERSUS ALASKA FAIRBANKS

The Wildcats swept a series with the Nanooks in Marquette a season ago including an overtime victory to open the weekend. NMU has won six of the last seven matchups and have not lost a series on the road to UAF since the 2012-13 campaign.