MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) — Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (4-7-0, 3-2-0-0 WCHA) opened up a series with the University of Alaska Anchorage (1-7-1, 0-6-1-0 WCHA) by getting a 3-0 victory. The win marked the third shutout of the season for the Wildcats who will look for their first series sweep of the season on Saturday.
ALL WILDCATS, ALL PERIOD
The Wildcat offense was the story of the first period with NMU outshooting the Seawolves, 14-4. Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) had three shots in the period while junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) and freshman forward Vincent de Mey (Los Angeles, California) each had a pair.
As the period was winding down, senior defenseman Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) found the first goal of the game when the puck ricocheted over the UAA goaltender. Sophomore defenseman Caleb Schroer (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) and freshman forward Garret Klee (Morrison, Colorado) each picked up assists on the score as the Wildcats took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
NMU went up a pair of goals near the midway point of the second period when de Mey connected for his first goal in a Wildcat sweater. Both of his line mates, sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta) and Loggins, were credited with assists on the score. For Nardi it was his third assist this season while Loggins added his fifth.
With an on-ice advantage later in the period, Loggins netted his first goal of the weekend and fourth of the season. His power play goal came at 16:29 and was assisted by senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and Beaulieu. For Loggins, the goal marked the 16th multipoint game of his career and second on as many games.
The third period was much of the same with the Wildcats outshooting UAA, 8-6, and finishing the contests with a 30-18 shot advantage. NMU did not allow a Seawolf goal in the final period, taking a 3-0 victory in their return to Western Collegiate Hockey Association action. The Wildcats earned a 3-0 shutout making it the third time this season they have blanked their opponent.
Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) continued his climb up the NMU record book with his third shutout of the season. He now has 11 for his career, good enough for second-most in program history. Tolvanen recorded the shutout after stopping 18 shots to give him 2,809 for his career. That total moves the senior past volunteer assistant coach Dieter Kochan for fifth-most in NMU history.
For the season, Tolvanen has 276 saves which is currently tied for fourth-most in the NCAA and the most in the WCHA. His save percentage and goals against average both improved to .914 and 2.38 after Friday's win.
Both teams will be back at it again Saturday night. The Wildcats will go for their first series sweep of the season when the puck drops at 7 p.m. in the Berry Events Center. Saturday's contest will also be the second "Community Night" with the city of Munising being honored