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Sunday May 19, 2019
Northern Hockey Team Splits Series With Spartans

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (1-1-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) used three special teams goal to seal a 4-3 victory over Michigan State University (1-1-0, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) Saturday evening at Munn Arena.

The victory secured a series split for the Wildcats to begin the 2018-19 campaign.

After a scoring correction took away sophomore forward Joseph Nardi's (Edmonton, Alberta) first goal of the season, he left little doubt as to who scored the first goal of the game Saturday evening. His first goal of 2018-19 came just 7:11 into the game with assists going to junior forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) and sophomore defenseman Robert Fosdick (Brookfield, Wisconsin).

For both Nardi and Craighead, it was their second points in as many nights.

Early in the second period, the Spartans managed to tie the game at one goal each on a power play goal but their lead was short-lived.

Senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia)found the back of the net for the first time this season while the Wildcats were a man down. Senior defenseman Ryan Black (Stillwater, Minnesota) picked up his first assist of the season on the goal.

Last season, the Wildcats netted nine short handed goals to lead the NCAA Division I.

Through the first two weekends of the 2018-19 campaign, NMU is one of 13 teams to score a shorthanded goal.

Just before the end of the second period, NMU found another special teams goal in the power play. At 18:01 the Wildcat captain scored his first goal of the season. Senior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) put NMU ahead, 3-1, with assists gong to Rockwood and senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California). For Rockwood it was his second point of the game and third of the series.


MSU managed to quickly offset the two Wildcats goals in the second period with a pair of their own early in the third period. The Spartans netted two goals just 40 seconds apart in the opening minutes of the final period to tie the game at three goals each.

It didn't take NMU long to regain their lead courtesy of Craighead and his second goal of the series. At 6:29 of the third period, Craighead scored while the Wildcats were in the power-play with help from junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota). The goal gave NMU a 4-3 advantage that would last the rest of the way to seal a series split with Michigan St. to open the season.

Craighead finished the game with two points, along with Rockwood. He was the lone Wildcat to score multiple goals on the weekend, netting one each night

In his 100th appearance for the Wildcats, senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) stopped 26 shots to finish the weekend with 67 saves. His record moves to 1-1-0 after the first series of the season while his save percentage is at .918.

Tolvanen has made his mark in the Wildcat record book in his 100 appearances. His 42 wins are sixth-most in program history while his career goals against average of 2.45 is third-best in Wildcat history.

Tolvanen's .918 career save percentage is tied for third-best in the NMU record book.

In his 100th appearance for the Wildcats, senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) stopped 26 shots to finish the weekend with 67 saves. His record moves to 1-1-0 after the first series of the season while his save percentage is at .918.

NMU travels to St. Cloud State, Minn., for two games against the SCSU Huskies next Friday and Saturday. Friday's game starts at 8:07 ET and will be broadcast live on WUPT-FM (100.3 The Point). Saturday's game starts at 7:07 ET and will also be broadcast on 100.3-FM, as well as on WUPF-FM (Eagle 107.3).

Both games will be broadcast on-line at www.radioresultsnetwork.com.

This story about Friday's game  was written by NMU Sports Information

Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (0-1-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) dropped their season opener, 4-2, on the road at Michigan State University (1-0-0, 0-0-0-0 BIG TEN) Friday evening to begin the 2018-19 campaign.

After Michigan St. jumped out to a lead eight minutes into the season opener, senior defenseman Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) netted his first goal in a Wildcat sweater. The graduate transfer scored at 11:32 of the first period to tie the match at one goal each with assists going to freshman forward Ty Readman (Edmonton, Alberta) and sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta). 

Both teams went into the first intermission locked at one goal each, but MSU regained the lead less than six minutes into the second period. The Spartans lead was again short lived as NMU tied the match at two goals at 9:41 courtesy of junior forward Darien Craighead's (Surrey, British Columbia)first goal of the season.

Earning an assist on the Craighead goal was senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) his first of the 2018-19 campaign. A season ago, Rockwood lead the NCAA with 40 assists. The total was 13th-most in a single season in program history and the most for a Wildcat skater since the 1991-92 season.

The difference maker came in the final minutes with MSU netting their third goal of the game at 18:46 of the third period. The score put NMU in a 3-2 deficit that quickly climbed to 4-2 after the Wildcats opted to pull their goaltender.

With less than two seconds remaining, Michigan St. found an empty net goal seal a 4-2 victory in the season opener for both teams.NMU attempted nine shots in the third period, the second-consecutive period the team managed nine shots at the net.

Throughout the opening 18 minutes of the final period, the Wildcats also stopped a pair of Spartan power plays.

Tolvanen was the last Wildcat goaltender to record 40-or-more saves in a game doing so almost exactly one year ago against Ferris State University on October 13, 2017.Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) earned the start in the season opener and made 41 stops. He made double digit saves in each of the three periods, including 17 in the second period.  It marks the 13th-time in his career that Tolvanen has surpassed the 40-save plateau.

NMU had their way in the face-off circle for much of the night.

For the game, the Wildcats won 32 face-offs with Rockwood earning 14 wins. Not far behind, Nardi recorded 12 face-off victories.  Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) led the team with four shots, while Nardi was right behind him with three. Six Wildcats attempted a pair of shots in the game.

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