FAIRBANKS, Ak. Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (10-10-0, 9-4-0-0 WCHA) reached .500 with a 4-0 shutout of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (4-13-2, 4-8-1-1 WCHA) Friday evening. NMU has now won three-in-a-row and four-of-five since the beginning of December.
THAT WAS FAST
Sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta) got the Wildcat offense off to a fast start in 2019 with a goal just 51 seconds into the contest. His third of the season came with assists going to freshman forward Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, New York) and senior defenseman James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alberta) for their third and second assists, respectively, of the season.
Just before the end of the period, freshman forward Grant Loven (East Grand Forks, Minnesota) found the back of the net for the third time this season. His goal with 84 seconds remaining in the period was assisted by fellow freshman forward Garrett Klee (Morrison, Colorado) and sophomore forward Caleb Schroer (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin). For Klee, it was his third assist of the season while Schroer picked up his fifth.
For the second-consecutive period, NMU attempted 12 shots at the Nanooks' net. They outshot UAF, 12-10, and totaled a 25-16 advantage for the contest after two periods. The Wildcats managed the shot advantage despite a pair of power play chances for the Nanooks late in the second period, both of which were killed by NMU.
SEALING THE WIN
Already with their two-goal lead, freshman forward Ty Readman (Edmonton, Alberta) gave the Wildcats a three-goal advantage late in the contest with his second of the season. Assists on the score went to Loven for his first career multi-goal game and Loughran who recorded multiple points for the second-consecutive contest.
UAF opted to pull their goaltender late in the contest while on a power play to take a two-man on-ice advantage. Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) would take advantage of the empty net scoring his ninth goal of the season in the final minute. It was his second empty net goal of the season and his first shorthanded score. Junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) picked up his team leading 15th assist of the season on the play.
TOLVANEN MATCHES SHUTOUTS RECORD
Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) recorded his fourth shutout of the season bringing his career total to 12. The 12 career shutouts tie Tolvanen with Craig Kowalski for the most in NMU history. Despite sharing the record, Tolvanen reached the mark in 14 fewer games and will break the record with one more shutout this season.
Tolvanen also moved into fourth for career goaltender games played with 118 while he won his 51st career game, good-enough for fifth-place in the Wildcat record book. In total, the senior is within reach of five NMU career goaltending records including, games played, wins, shutouts, saves, and save percentage.
The Wildcats will go for their second-consecutive series sweep on Saturday when they square off against the Nanooks at 11:07 p.m. (EST). NMU has defeated UAF in three straight contests and six of their last seven matchups.