NMU Hockey Heads to Bemidji State for WCHA Series

NMU Hockey Heads to Bemidji State for WCHA Series

MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (15-13-1, 14-7-1-0 WCHA) heads to Bemidji State University (14-12-4, 12-8-2-1 WCHA) looking to secure a home playoff series in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. 


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
Friday's Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2Ic3NcP
Saturday's Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2S05WrR
Live Audio: https://bit.ly/2oibr8T
Live Video: http://bit.ly/2OVPPdY 


Northern Michigan took the road and headed south this past weekend to face University of Alabama-Huntsville. Friday night went longer than usual for the Wildcats with a tie in overtime. Saturday night was quite a different story with no shortage of goals, two of which were achieved on the Wildcat power play advantage and the last puck finding an empty net to finish the night with the Wildcats up 6-3.


NMU is currently tied for third place with nationally ranked #16 Bowling Green State. Both teams have 43 points, but trail #5 ranked Minnesota State in the league standings. In a tight WCHA race, the Wildcats will host the first round of the WCHA Playoffs as long as they remain in the top four. They can improve their standing as they still take on three teams within six points of the Wildcats in the remainder of the regular season. This weekend, NMU takes on Bemidji State University (5th place, 39 points). They then face Lake Superior State University (4th place, 41 points) and Michigan Technological University (6th place, 37 points) to close out the year.


As the season continues, senior Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) continued his climb up the NMU record book. After tying the career shutouts record with 12 last month by shutting out Alaska Anchorage, he is one shy of the school record with another chance for a shutout this weekend. Tolvanen needs just six more games played and 204 saves to reach the top of those statistical records as well. His career goals average of 2.42 and save percentage mark of .917 both approach the school record (2.24 GAA and .924 save percentage).


Junior Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minn.) has moved into being the top point earner for the Wildcats with 28 total points this season. This ties him for first place in the conference and sixth in the nation. Beaulieu also leads the team in most assists with 19 of total points being from assists. Following closely behind Beaulieu is senior Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with 21 total points. Loggins is tied for fifth in the conference and is ranked ninth nationally. He leads the team in goals scored with 14 of his total points coming from goals.


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 32-17-5 in the regular season after the calendar turns. The Wildcats start off this calendar year up 6-3-1 with their only losses coming from ranked opponents.


This weekend Northern Michigan takes on Bemidji State University on the road. NMU has only taken on Bemidji State 21 times since their first matchup in 2009. The Wildcats split a series with the Beavers earlier this season with NMU capturing a 3-0 victory Friday night in the team's home opener. BSU is currently in fifth place and just four points behind the Wildcats for second place in the WCHA standings.