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Friday February 22, 2019
Wildcats Win Cappo Cup; Clinch WCHA Playoffs

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

MARQUETTE---Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (15-10-3, 13-5-2-2 WCHA) retained the Cappo Cup with a 3-2 victory over Lake Superior State University (6-18-4, 4-13-3-0 WCHA) Saturday evening in the berry Events Center. The Cappo Cup is given annually to the winner of the season series between the two programs.

The Wildcats will also officially advance to postseason play after clinching a spot in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs with the win and University of Alaska Anchorage loss. Currently, NMU is in second place in the league standings with 43 points, two behind preseason favorite Minnesota State University Mankato. The top four teams in the league will host opening round series.

For the second-consecutive night, the Wildcats fell into an early deficit with the Lakers taking a 1-0 lead 1:14 into the contest. This time, NMU quickly found a goal of their own before the five-minute mark. Sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) evened the game with his seventh score of the year.

Junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) and junior forward Troy Loggins(Huntington Beach, California) each recorded assists on the score. For Rockwood, it was his team-leading 22nd of the season, while Loggins recorded his 15th.

Just 26 seconds into the second period, Loggins added to his point total with his second of the game, scoring his sixth goal of the season. Beaulieu intercepted the puck near mid-ice before bouncing it back to Loggins who took it to the net for the goal. The score gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 2-1. For Beaulieu, it was his 15th assist of the season.

LSSU managed to tie the game at two goals 4:52 into the second period on a redirected shot at the net. The Laker goal made it a 2-2 contest, a score that lasted the rest of the period despite NMU outshooting their opponents in the frame.

Outshooting the Lakers, 11-6, in the final period, it was only a matter of time before the Wildcats regained the lead. They did so 8:19 into the period after Rockwood cleared the puck down the ice to Loggins. Going all the way to the net, Loggins put a shot wide before grabbing his own rebound and sent it to Beaulieu for his second goal of the game.

Beaulieu's eighth goal of the season gave NMU the lead, while Rockwood and Loggins picked up their 23rd and 16th assists. Rockwood is now tied for the NCAA lead in assists with his two Saturday evening.

The lead would hold the rest of the way, securing a 3-2 victory for the Wildcats on their home ice. NMU outshot LSSU 26-19 in the contest marking the 15th time this season they have outshot their opponents. Additionally, they were perfect in the penalty kill for the 13th time this season, holding the Lakers scoreless in four chances.

Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) improved to 13-5-1 on the season with his 17 saves and fourth consecutive victory between the pipes. Since his return from injury, Tolvanen owns a 7-1-1 mark in 10 contests. For the season, Tolvanen owns a .908 save percentage and 2.52 goals against average.

The victory marked the fourth-consecutive for NMU, who have now swept back to back WCHA series. The victory also marks their sixth-straight win in the Berry Events Center where their overall record this season is 10-2-0.

NMU looks to continue their win streak when they make their second road trip of the season to Alaska next weekend. The Wildcats will take on Alaska Anchorage for a two-game series. The puck will drop at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) both Friday and Saturday evening.



--Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (14-10-3, 12-5-2-2 WCHA) earned their fifth-consecutive win on their home ice Friday evening defeating Lake Superior State University (6-17-4, 4-12-3-0 WCHA), 3-2. It is the Wildcats ninth victory in the Berry Events Center this season and fifth-consecutive.

The victory also put the Wildcats up, 2-1, in the Cappo Cup series going into the final contest of the regular season between the two squads. The Wildcats also currently own the goal differential, 10-8.

It was a slow start offensively for both squads with neither team registering a shot in the opening three minutes. Not long after the first shot, the Lakers captured an early lead with a score at 4:33 of the first period. An intercepted pass in front of the net allowed LSSU to score the first goal of the game, grabbing a lead that would last the rest of the period. Despite trailing, the Wildcats controlled the puck the rest of the way, outshooting their opponents, 12-6, in the period.

NMU began the second period the same way the ended the first, dominating the puck. The Wildcats got on the board just 55 second into the period with a score from junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia), his fifth of the season.

Initially, senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) took a point blank shot that bounced to sophomore forward Demico Hannoun (North Delta, British Columbia). Hannoun sent the puck back to Rockwood for the score giving himself and Payne an assist on the goal.

Sophomore forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) took over the rest of the period, scoring a pair of goals before the midway point

He scored his 14th of the season to gibe NMU their first lead of the game at 2:10 of the period with assists going to sophomore forward Luke Voltin(Blaine, Minnesota) and junior defenseman James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alberta) It was the first point of the season for Voltin and Vermeulens's fifth assist.

Craighead's second goal came nearly seven minutes later when a shot from junior defenseman Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minnesota) deflected to Craighead at the net for a power play score. Assists on Craighead's 15th goal of the year went to Black and senior forward Zach Diamantoni(Montgomery, New Jersey). It was the 11th assist of the season for both players.

LSSU would get a score back late in the period to make it 3-2, with 20 minutes to play. NMU continued to dominate the puck, again, nearly doubling their opponents shot total in the period, 15-8.

Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) stepped up in the final period against a flurry of Laker shots. LSSU recorded 15 chances at the net, more than the first two periods combined. Tolvanen was able to stop all 15 to finish the game with 27 saves, securing NMU's third straight victory.

Tolvanen's victory between the pipes improved his season record to 12-5-1 with his third-consecutive win. Since returning from a six-game injury absence, Tolvanen has gone 6-1-1 in nine contests. For the season, he has a save percentage of .908 and a goals against average of 2.55.

The final game of the Cappo Cup will be Saturday evening when both team face off for the fourth and final time this regular season. The Wildcats will retain the Cup with a victory, otherwise, it will be decided by goal differential. NMU has outscored LSSU, 10-8, in the first three contests. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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