MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey captured their second-straight season of 20 wins and hosted the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Semifinals for the second year in a row as the Wildcats saw records fall and milestones attained in the 2018-19 season.
The season came to a close with a total of 21 total wins, six of which came from nationally ranked opponents, along with two six-game winning streaks. The Wildcats finished second in the WCHA for the second-straight season.
Leading goal scorer, senior Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, Calif.), posted 23 goals for the season and added 17 assists for a total of 40 points to conclude his senior season. Toward the end of the season he hit two milestones, scoring 50 career goals and passing 100 career points. He recorded his first career hat trick at Michigan Technological University in a 5-3 victory on March 3rd. Aiding the Wildcat offense this season, junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, B.C.) and senior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste Marie, Mich.) both scored a total of 10 goals. Junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minn.) led the team in assists with 29, and added six goals for a total of 35 points. Following close behind Beaulieu with 28 assists was senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, B.C.) who added an additional seven goals to tie Beaulieu with 35 overall points on the season.
Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vhiti, Finland) finished his career for the Wildcats breaking a number of records, scoring a goal, and added 2 assists to his overall record. Over the course of this season he broke four school records setting new marks in career shutouts (13), career games played in goal (137), and career saves (3,564). In the team's victory at Michigan Tech, he broke the single-game saves record with 58 saves, breaking the record held since the 1984-85 season. On December 7, Tolvanen found the back of an empty net versus #20 Michigan Tech in the Berry Events Center. It was just second time in WCHA history and only the fourth time in NCAA history that a goalie has scored a goal off his own shot.
Four players were named All-WCHA as Loggins, Tolvanen, and Beaulieu earned First Team honors with Rockwood earning Second Team. Loggins went on to be named the WCHA Player of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year while Beaulieu was named Defenseman of the Year and Tolvanen earned Goaltender of the Year for the second-straight time. 20 NMU players received academic honors.
To date three NMU players have signed to play for AHL teams since the end of the Northern Michigan season. Loggins has signed with the grand Rapid Griffins. Rockwood has begun playing for the Springfield Thunderbirds and has picked up 1 goal, 3 assists and 4 points in his 4 games played. Tolvanen has begun playing for the Syracuse Crunch earning his first professional win March 30th with 23 saves, he has played in two games with 54 saves, and .907 save percentage.
Looking into next season, newly named captain Beaulieu and the Wildcats will look to build off of this year's success as 76% of their current roster along with 155 points return from the 2018-19 squad.