Wildcats Finish Alaska Trip with a Pair in Anchorage

Wildcats Finish Alaska Trip with a Pair in Anchorage

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (11-10-0, 10-4-0-0 WCHA) finishes up their four-game road trip to Alaska when they take on the University of Alaska Anchorage (2-17-1, 1-12-1-0 WCHA) on Friday and Saturday. The two games are set for an 11:07 p.m. (EST) puck drop in Sullivan Arena.

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

  LAST WEEKEND

After getting two weekends off for the holiday break, the Wildcats returned to action with their first of back-to-back series in Alaska. Taking on the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Wildcats recorded their third and fourth-consecutive victories in a weekend sweep. On Friday, NMU scored two goals in the first period and two more in the final period to shutout the Nanooks. UAF led after two period on Saturday, but four goals in the final period sealed the comeback victory.

  PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Two Wildcats were named Western Collegiate Hockey Association Players of the Week with senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) earning his third goaltender award of the season and junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) garnered the defensive honor. Tolvanen was one of two league goaltenders to earn two victories last week extending the team's win streak to four games. He also had the lone shutout by a conference goaltender which brought his career total to 12, tied for the most in Wildcat history. Beaulieu recorded a third period hat trick to fuel NMU to a comeback victory and lead the WCHA with four points last week.

  COMEBACK WIN

The comeback victory over UAF on Saturday marked the first time the Wildcats have recorded a win when trailing after two periods since Head Coach Grant Potulny took the reins in 2017-18. NMU has been known for jumping out to early leads and have led or shared the lead after the first period in 73% of contests under Potulny's direction.

  IT'S ABOUT HOW YOU FINISH

Over the past three regular seasons, NMU has played their best hockey in the second half of the season. In each of the past two seasons, the team has owned the best record in the WCHA after the start of the new calendar year including a seven-game win streak last season en route to a conference finals run. Since the 2015-16 campaign, the Wildcats are a combined 26-14-4 in the regular season after the calendar turns.

  STAT LEADERS

After his four-point weekend, Beaulieu leads the team in both points and assist with 18 and 14. Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) has been the team's offensive leader for much of the season and has 17 points. He leads the team in goals with nine, followed by junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) and senior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan). Senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) has also been a catalyst for the Wildcat offense this season with 10 assist and three goals. 

  SHUTOUT RECORD

With his shutout on Friday, Tolvanen tied the NMU career record with 12 shutouts. He currently has four this season which are tied for second-most among NCAA goaltenders. Having started in all 21 games this season, Tolvanen owns a .923 save percentage and a 2.16 goals against average en route to 11 wins. He is within reach of five total NMU career goaltender records and is 13 games and 360 saves shy of tying the NMU career marks.

  NMU VERSUS ALASKA ANCHORAGE

The Wildcats swept the Seawolves earlier this season in the Berry Events Center to extend the win streak over UAA to seven games. The two programs have split each of the past three series held in Sullivan Arena.