MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (3-1, 2-0 WCHA) heads to a neutral site in Green Bay, Wisconsin for a pair of contests with No. 5/6 University of Wisconsin (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) Friday and Saturday at the Resch Center. Friday's contests in scheduled for 8 p.m. (EST), while Saturday's game will begin at 5 p.m. (EST).
Live stats and live video can be found at nmuwildcats.com, while there will also be in-game updates on Twitter at @NMU_Wildcats.
WCHA Sweep. In their Western Collegiate Hockey Association opening series, NMU came away with a pair of victories over Ferris State University. On Friday, NMU earned a 3-2 win, while the Wildcats scored a goal with 0.5 seconds remaining in the third period to grab a 1-0 win in Saturday's contest.
Last Second Goal, Literally. In Saturday's 1-0 shutout of the Bulldogs, the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie for 59 minutes, 59.5 seconds to begin the contest. With overtime looming in the third period, the Wildcats attempted three shots in the final two minutes of action. The final of those three shots managed to find its way into the net on a sophomore forward Darien Craighead shot from the face-off circle. Craighead scored the goal with 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock for his first score of the season, securing the sweep of FSU.
Tolvanen in Midseason Form. Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen nearly shut down the Bulldogs in the two-game series recording 75 saves against 77 shots, including his 12th career 40-or-more save game on Friday.
National Leaders. After his stellar weekend Tolvanen climbed the NCAA rankings in both wins and saves. The junior is currently fifth in wins with three and ninth in saves with 116. On the offensive side, senior forward Robbie Payne leads the nation outright with five goals and is tied for third with a plus-minus rating of plus-seven, while junior forward Troy Loggins is tied for fifth in the country with 20 shots on the season.
Receiving Votes. NMU received six votes in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings. The third addition of the poll has the Wildcats making their first appearance of the 2017-18 season.
Potulny in his First Season. Grant Potulny is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. After the first weekend of conference play, Potulny owns a 3-1 mark overall and 1-1 record in WCHA play at NMU. As an eight-year assistant coach at his alma mater, Minnesota, Potulny helped the Gophers to a 182-105-26 (.623) record and two Frozen Four appearances.
NMU versus Wisconsin. The two programs have competed 88 times in the past with UW owning a 31-49-8 mark over the span. The Wildcats took on the Badgers four times a season ago with two games at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin and two more at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The teams split each series with NMU taking game one on each occasion.
2017-18 Captains. A trio of wildcats were named captains after a vote by their teammates. Senior forwards Robbie Payne and Zach Diamantoni will be co-captains for this years' campaign. Senior defenseman Jordan Klimek was selected as the alternate captain.
2017 Preseason Rankings. The Wildcats were chosen to finish seventh in both the Mankato Free Press Coaches' Poll and the UAHHockey.com Preseason Media Poll. Minnesota State University Mankato, Bemidji State University, and Michigan Technological University were picked to finish first, second, and third in both polls. Currently, the Wildcats lead the conference after a sweep of FSU in their WCHA opening series.