NMU Hockey blanks Michigan State to split series

(NMU Graphic)
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MARQUETTE, Mi. The Wildcats of Northern Michigan (1-1-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) and the Spartans of Michigan State (1-1-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) finished their series with a split following a 2-0 shutout victory in front of 4,071 fans Saturday night at the Berry Events Center.

Griffin Loughran, a sophomoe forward netted the game-winning goal just 12:34 into the game as he found the back of the net on the power play. Fellow sophomore forward Vincent de Mey tallied a late goal for his third point of the weekend while senior Philip Beaulieu tallied his first multi-point game of the season. Freshman goaltender John Hawthorne highlighted the night with his first career shutout in his first career start. Stopping 15 shots on the night, he became the first Wildcat netminder to open his career with a shutout in over a decade.

GOALS
As the clock wound down on the Wildcat's power play Griffin Loughran redirected Ty Readman's pass to open the scoring at 12:34 of the first frame. Philip Beaulieu carried the puck over the blue line before shooting the puck to the left face-off circle where Readman one-timed a pass to Loughran who beat Michigan State's goaltender Drew DeRidder stick side.
Bringing the puck out of the defensive zone, Vincent de Mey dumped the puck deep towards the net where DeRidder misplayed the puck and it found its way into the netting with 1:59 remaining in regulation. Grant Loven and Philip Beaulieu earned the assists on the play.
PUCKS ON NET
The Wildcats came out firing early, posting 11 shots through the first 20 minutes of play. They held the Spartans to a mere three shots in the period to head into the first intermission with the 1-0 lead and 11-3 lead in shots on goal. They outshot the opponent in each period posting a 7-6 edge in the second frame and an 8-6 margin in the final period.

HOT START IN NET
Rookie goaltender John Hawthorne made his debut for the Wildcats stopping 15 shots faced for his first career shutout. It was Northern Michigan's first shutout since Atte Tolvanen blanked Michigan Tech on March 2, 2019 when he stopped 20 shots in route to a 3-0 Wildcat win.

KEY STATS
Northern Michigan posted 26 total shots on goal, compared to just 15 for the opposing Spartans.
The Wildcats were perfect on the penalty kill while posting a .250 average with the man advantage. Loughran's power play tally in the first period was the team's third of the series, where they went 3-9 on the weekend.
UP NEXT
The Wildcats make their first road trip of the season next weekend when they head East to take on Boston University October 18 and 19.