Northern Michigan's Tolvanen Honored as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

Northern Michigan's Tolvanen Honored as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

EDINA, Minn. — Northern Michigan's Atte Tolvanen took home his second WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award of the season, the league office announced Monday afternoon.

Tolvanen was recognized after making 75 saves to lead the Wildcats to back-to-back shutouts at Bowling Green on Feb. 3-4.

In Friday's 3-0 win, Tolvanen turned aside 35 shots to help Northern Michigan snap a six-game losing skid to the Falcons. He then made a season-high 40 saves to lift the Wildcats to a 2-0 victory the next night.

Tolvanen also finished the weekend as Northern Michigan's consecutive scoreless minutes record holder. His shutout streak, which dates back to the second period of Jan. 20's game against Alaska-Anchorage, now stands at 215:42 minutes.

Tolvanen and the Wildcats have blanked three-straight opponents dating back to Jan. 21's 4-0 win over Alaska-Anchorage at the Berry Events Center. It is the first time in program history Northern Michigan has posted shutouts in three-consecutive games.

Since the calendar turned to 2017, Tolvanen has been among the nation's elite. He leads the country in goals against average (1.23) and shutouts (3) and stands second in save percentage (.957). He is of only four NCAA goaltenders with a save percentage north of .950 and one of only five with multiple shutouts during the new year.

Tolvanen has been even more impressive during Northern Michigan's past six games, allowing only three goals and making 177 saves. He turned aside more than 30 shots in each of his shutouts.

Through the first three months of the 2016-17 campaign, Tolvanen's goals against average stood at 3.19 and his save percentage at .897, both in the bottom half of the national standings. His efforts during January and the first week of February improved those marks to 2.58 and .915.

Tolvanen was previously honored as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 23 after he stopped 59 of 60 shots during the Wildcats' series with the Seawolves. As a freshman, he earned the award on Nov. 2, 2015 after he turned aside 80 of 81 shots during Northern Michigan's series against Bemidji State.

Tolvanen and the Wildcats, who are unbeaten in their past seven games at 5-0-2 and winners of their past four, welcome Alaska-Fairbanks to the Berry Events Center this weekend. Tickets can be purchased at Tickets.NMU.edu.

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