BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WLUC) -- Two members of the Northern Michigan hockey program have been named Players of the Week by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) following their weekend sweep at Ferris State. With his game-winning goal Friday, accompanied by a hat trick on Saturday, sophomore Griffin Loughran has been named Forward of the Week while his classmate Nolan Kent stopped a career-high 39 shots Saturday night en route to Goaltender of the Week honors.
Loughran helped lead the team to a 2-0-0 behind his four goal weekend, including both game-winners in Big Rapids, Michigan, to open WCHA play. Loughran posted the game-winning goal in Friday night's 4-3 victory before storming back to net two in the final 1:30 Saturday night to boost the Wildcats to a 6-4 final. Following his consecutive game-winners, Loughran stands alone for first in the nation, scoring three in 2019-20. He also ranks third in goals per game, averaging one and is sixth in power play tallies with three. In conference play he is first in goals per game (2), points per game (2) and game winning goals (2). He also ranks fourth in power play goals (1) and total shots on net (9). On the weekend, he led the Wildcats in points (4-0-4) and shots with nine.
Nolan Kent backstopped the Wildcats to a 6-4 victory in Saturday's contest, stopping a career-high, and 2019-20 team-leading, 39 shots on goal for a .907 save percentage on the weekend. In his first WCHA conference win, Kent stopped 17 shots faced in the opening period to lead the team to a 4-1 lead through 20 minutes of play. He kept his team in the game on a huge 5-on-3 penalty kill before stopping a flurry of shots late in the third to hold the 6-4 lead to the final horn. This season, his 2-1-0 overall record ranks third among WCHA netminders, with a .667 win percentage, and is 15th in the country.
With six points through two games, the Wildcats are tied for second in the conference with Minnesota State and are one of just two undefeated teams in league play.
After two weeks on the road, Northern Michigan returns home to host seven of their next eight games at the Berry Events Center. This weekend, they welcome Alabama Huntsville to town before their final non-conference home series gets underway November 8-9.