Four Goals in Final Period Push NMU to Sixth Straight Victory

Four Goals in Final Period Push NMU to Sixth Straight Victory

ANCHORAGE, Alas.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (13-10-0, 12-4-0-0 WCHA) scored four goals in the final 7:10 of the contest to complete a weekend sweep of the University of Alaska Anchorage (2-19-1, 1-14-1-0 WHCA) by a 4-1 score. The victory gave the Wildcats their sixth-consecutive victory and moved them into second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings.


Midway through the opening period, UAA grabbed their first lead of the season versus the Wildcats in four matchups. The Seawolves score the first goal of the game 10 minutes into the period and would hold that lead through the rest of the period. NMU did outshoot their opponent in the opening period, 9-7, with junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) leading the way with a pair of shots on-goal. 


The Wildcat offense showed signs of life in the second period, again outshooting UAA, 9-7. However, two penalties, including a major call against NMU, left them a skater down for long stretches of the period. The Seawolves failed to take advantage with NMU killing both penalties and entering the second intermission in the same one-goal deficit.


For the second-consecutive Saturday, the Wildcats found themselves trailing late in the final period. For the second-consecutive Saturday, NMU managed a flurry of goals in the final minutes to seal a series sweep. Freshman forward Jarrett Lee (Hibbing, Minnesota) scored the first Wildcat goal at 12:50 to tie the contest. His first collegiate score was assisted by sophomore defenseman Robert Fosdick (Brookfield, Wisconsin) and senior defenseman Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) for their second and fourth assists of the season.


The tie game did not last long as sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta) scored his third goal of the weekend just 46 seconds later. His sixth of the season put NMU ahead for the first time in the game with the assists going to freshman forwards Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, New York) and Ty Readman (Edmonton, Alberta). It was also the third point of the weekend for Loughran who recorded a pair of assists in Friday's matchup and now has nine points in his last five outings.


Already leading by one, 2-1, the top line forwards for the Wildcats put the game away with two more goals. The top line, all seniors, accounted for both goals and the four accompanying assists. Senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) scored just 31 seconds after Nardi for his fifth of the season. Assists on the score went to senior forwards Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) and Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan).

Loggins added an empty net goal for the second straight weekend for his 10th goal of the season. He now leads the Wildcats with 21 points this season, tied for eight-most in the WCHA. Pierce added his second assist of the game on the score while Rockwood also added an assist.  


The victory marks the sixth-consecutive for the Wildcats who have also won 10 of their last 13 contests. It remains the longest win streak of the season for NMU and the longest since the Wildcats earned seven straight victories during January of 2018.


 Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) now has 13 victories on the season, the fourth most in the NCAA. His 579 saves rank fifth-most in the country this season while he also improved his save percentage to .925 and goals against average to 2.06. Tolvanen earned the victory after making 17 stops between the pipes and is still within reach of setting the NMU career mark for saves. He needs just 323 more saves to tie the record and could also set the Wildcat records for shutouts, games played, save percentage, and goals against average.


NMU will now get a week off after their two weeks in Alaska. They will take the ice again January 25 and 26 when they host the current WCHA leader Minnesota State University-Mankato in the Berry Events Center.