Wildcat Hockey sweeps Bulldogs, heads to Alaska next

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MARQUETTE, mI. Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (9-10-0, 8-4-0 WCHA) earned their second series sweep of the season with a 4-2 victory over Ferris State University (4-13-1, 2-9-1-0 WCHA) Saturday evening in the Berry Events Center.

QUICK START
It did not take long for the Wildcats to grab an early lead when freshman forward Griffin Loughran (West Seneca, New York) scored his second goal of the season. The goal came just 2:36 into the game with assists going to senior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) and sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta). For Pierce, it was his third assist of the season while Nardi picked up his fourth.

BIG LEAD AT FIRST INTERMISSION
Nearly 12 minutes went by without a score after Loughran's goal, but the Wildcats would quickly add two more goals before the first intermission. Senior defenseman Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) found his third goal of the season with six minutes to play, putting NMU up a pair. Freshmen forwards Ty Redman (Edmonton, Alberta) and Loughran each recorded assists for their third and first of the season.

With less than three minutes remaining in the period, senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) scored his third of the season. Loughran recorded his first career multi-point outing when he was credited with an assist on the goal along with junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) who also picked up his third of the season.

NARDI ENDS COMEBACK BID
The Bulldogs attempted to mount a comeback in the opening minutes of the second period. They scored less than three minutes in and then cut the deficit to one in the seventh minute of the period. It was Nardi who thwart the comeback bid for FSU with his second goal of the season nine minutes in. It was Loughran who again picked up an assist for his second of the game and third point of the evening. Senior defenseman Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minnesota) sent the puck to Loughran for his third assist of the season.

SERIES SWEEP
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the final period, giving NMU the 4-2 victory. It was the second sweep of the season for the Wildcats who now move into fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 24 points. NMU will look to carry the momentum into 2019 after finishing the 2017-18 regular season campaign with 10-3-1 mark after the calendar year began.

ATTE IN GOAL
Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) picked up his ninth victory of the season in-goal after making 24 saves. He now has 490 saves on the season which are currently second-most in the NCAA and needs just 412 more to break the NMU all-time saves record. Tolvanen also now owns a .919 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average this season.

100 GAMES AND COUNTING
Junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) skated in his 100th career contest for NMU on Saturday joining Loggins, Tolvanen and senior defenseman James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alberta) as current Wildcats to accomplish the feat. Craighead, junior forward Luke Voltin (Blaine, Minnesota), and senior defenseman Connor Frantti (Spring Grove, Illinois) could also reach 100 games this season.

HOLIDAY BREAK
The Wildcats will now get two weekends off for the holiday's before beginning 2019 on the road. NMU will spend two weeks in Alaska for a series against the University of Alaska Fairbanks on January 4-5 and series with the University of Alaska Anchorage January 11-12.