Three Wildcats Capture All-WCHA Honors, 15 Named to All-Academic Team

Three Wildcats Capture All-WCHA Honors, 15 Named to All-Academic Team

EDINA, Minn. — Northern Michigan's Darien Craighead, Dominik Shine and Atte Tolvanen captured all-Western Collegiate Hockey Association accolades, the league office announced Thursday afternoon.

Tolvanen and Shine, repeat honorees, were voted to the second and third teams respectively by the league's coaches. Craighead became the second Wildcat in two seasons to be selected to the rookie squad.

Tolvanen started 27 of Northern Michigan's 28 WCHA games and stopped a league-high 756 shots. He tied Bemidji State's Michael Bitzer for first in conference shutouts (5) and also finished third in conference save percentage (.919).

Overall, Tolvanen made 1,048 saves in 38 appearances, the most by a WCHA goaltender. He wrapped up the year with a 2.64 goals against average, a .918 save percentage an a 12-22-4 (10-15-3 WCHA) record.

From Jan. 21 to Feb. 11, Tolvanen blanked five-straight opponents, breaking the WCHA men's record and tying the NCAA men's record. His scoreless streak, over which he made 220-consecutive saves, ended at 339:05, good for first in WCHA men's history and second in NCAA men's history.

Tolvanen, who was tabbed to the 2015-16 rookie team, was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the week three times and Player of the Month once this season.

Shine recorded 19 points (13g-6a) in 24 WCHA contests. He tied for third in conference goals and was one of only two skaters who registered two hat tricks in league play. He also ranked in the WCHA's top 10 in conference shorthanded goals (t-1st, 2), conference power-play goals (t-6th, 4) and conference shots on goal (t-8th, 84).

Overall, Shine was nearly a point-per game player with 30 (20g-10a) in 33 games. He was the first WCHA skater to reach the 20-goal plateau during the 2016-17 campaign and one of only 15 in the Division I ranks to have done so to date.

A 2015-16 second-team pick, Shine was selected as the WCHA Offensive Player of the week twice and Player of the Month once in 2016-17.

Craighead tied Robbie Payne for the Wildcat lead with 20 points (4g-16a) in 28 WCHA games. Among WCHA skaters, he tied for second in conference assists with five other skaters, including Philip Beaulieu.

Craighead's 20 points was good for second among WCHA rookies while his 16 helpers placed him in a tie for first with Beaulieu and Ferris State's Joe Rutkowski. Overall, he recorded 25 points (7g-18a) in 39 games, good for second among WCHA newcomers.

Craighead had eight multi-point outings in 2016-17, placing him in a tie for fifth in the WCHA with two other skaters, including Gerard Hanson. He was one of only six WCHA newcomers to have at least five multi-point nights this season, a group that also included Beaulieu.

In addition, 15 Wildcats were named to the All-Academic team for compiling a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or achieving a GPA of at least 3.0 over the past two semesters. Freshmen and first-year transfers were not eligible for this award. 

Of Northern Michigan's 15 All-Academic honorees, 11 were previously recognized as WCHA Scholar-Athletes for having a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50. That group included two seniors, Brock Maschmeyer and Sami Salminen, who will graduate having earned the award each season they were eligible to receive it.

All-Academic Team Members

Ryan Black So. Entrepreneurship Stillwater, Minn. / Bonnyville (AJHL)
Zach Diamantoni Jr. Finance & Risk Management Montgomery, N.J. / Chilliwack (BCHL)
Mathias Israelsson So. Finance & Risk Management Ytterby, Sweden / Fargo (USHL)
Gerard Hanson Sr. Economics Lidingö, Sweden / Lidingö (SWE Div. 2)
Brendan Jacques So. Entrepreneurship Calumet, Mich. / Springfield (NAHL)
Jesse Junttila So. Biology Calumet, Mich. / Jersey (USPHL-Pr) 
Jordan Klimek Jr. Economics Langley, B.C. / Dubuque (USHL)
Brock Maschmeyer Sr. Public Relations Bruderheim, Alta. / Nanaimo (BCHL)
Anthony Paskaruk So. Marketing Airdrie, Alta. / Brooks (AJHL)
Robbie Payne Jr. Finance & Risk Management Gaylord, Mich. / Chicago (USHL)
Denver Pierce So. Industrial Technologies Sault Ste Marie, Mich. / Soo (NAHL)
Sami Salminen Sr. Management Helsinki, Finland / Wichita Falls (NAHL)
Filip Starzynski Jr. Finance & Risk Management Warsaw, Poland / Bismarck (NAHL)
Atte Tolvanen So. Management Vihti, Finland / Minot (NAHL)
James Vermeulen So. Management Stony Plain, Alta. / Whitecourt (AJHL)