ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WLUC) — Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (1-3-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) fell victim to No. 4 St. Cloud State University (4-0-0, 0-0-0-0 NCHC) Saturday evening in the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The contest ended the Wildcats four-game road trip to begin their 2018-19 campaign.
For the second-consecutive night, the Wildcats found themselves in an early deficit when the Huskies netted the first goal of the contest seven-minutes in. A penalty called against NMU shortly after the goal put SCSU in the power-play where they quickly took a two-goal advantage.
The first period would end with the Huskies maintaining their 2-0 lead. Despite the two goals, senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) managed to make 10 saves in the first period. Additionally, the NMU defense blocked six shots in the opening period.
NMU managed to fend off the Huskie attack for much of the second period as they faced 18 shots, 11 on-goal during the 20-minute span. SCSU added a third goal late in the period with a score at 16:21. It sent both squads into the second intermission with the Wildcats trailing, 3-0.
The Huskies were able to add to their lead in the final period with two more goals. SCSU scored their fourth goal of the game less than two minutes into the final period. Just before the eight-minute mark of the period, the Huskies tacked on their second power-play goal of the contest to take a 5-0 advantage.
NMU was not able to cut into their opponent's lead over the rest of the final period, falling 5-0. Despite the back-to-back losses, the Wildcats have earned a victory in four of the past six matchups.
TOLVANEN IN GOAL
Finishing the game with 26 saves, Tolvanen now has 122 on the season to go along with a .891 save percentage. His total saves are now second-highest in the NCAA. Tolvanen surpassed the 10-save mark twice on Saturday and also did so three times in the series.
Three Wildcats led the team with a pair of shots on-goal including senior defenseman James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alberta) senior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan), and junior forward Luke Voltin (Blaine, Minnesota). On the defensive end, sophomore defenseman Robert Fosdick (Brookfield, Wisconsin) recorded for blocked shots, while Vermeulen was not far behind with three.
The Wildcats will begin their home season on Friday after a four-game road trip to begin the regular season. NMU will welcome Bemidji State University to the Berry Events Center for what will also be the Western Collegiate Hockey Association opener. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday evening.