Quick Starts Propels NMU to 3-2 Victory Over #13 BGSU

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) — Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey scored three goals in the first period on their way to a 3-2 victory and series split with #13 Bowling Green State University in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday night.

JUMPING OUT EARLY
The Wildcats outshot the Falcons 10-8 in the first period which helped the team jump out to a 3-1 lead after the first period. Freshman Grant Loven (East Grand Forks, Minn.) found the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season at 10:36 into the first period, getting assists from senior James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alta.), and junior Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minn.), to put NMU up 1-0. It was Vermeulen's third assist of the year and Beaulieu's 19th.

Just over a minute later, junior Luke Voltin (Blaine, Minn.) added to the NMU lead, taking assists from senior Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minn.) and freshman Vincent de Mey (Los Angeles, Calif.) to score his third goal of the season. Black tallied his sixth assist of the season while it was also de Mey's first career assist.

Bowling Green was able to narrow the gap with a power play goal 14:25 into the quarter, but junior Darien Craighead (Surray, B.C.) answered at the 16:09 mark to put NMU up 3-1. Senior Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and senior Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, B.C), both notched their 12 assist this season to help Craighead score his eighth goal of the season.

AN EVEN SECOND PERIOD
The teams played even in the second period to keep the game at 3-1. Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) notched six saves in the period. Loggins notched a total of two shots while senior Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minn.), freshman Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, N.Y.) and sophomore Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alta.) all tallied a shot each.

GETTING THE VICTORY
Tolvanen was strong throughout the remainder of the game as he collected 13 more saves in the third. The Falcons managed to slip one in for a goal with 23 seconds left on the after playing with six men on the ice for nearly three minutes, but it would not be enough as the Wildcats held on to capture the 3-2 victory.

STAT LEADERS
In total, Tolvanen finished with 26 saves on the night and now has 3,190 saves in his career. The senior is just 23 saves away from fourth place in NMU history. Loggins finished the night with four shots and Rockwood added three to help lead the team to a total of 23 shots.

UP NEXT
The Wildcats improve to 14-13-0 on the season and are now 13-7-0-0 in the WCHA while the Falcons fall to 18-8-3 overall, 13-7-2-2 in the league. NMU returns to action next weekend as they visit the University of Alabama-Huntsville for another conference matchup.