GREEN BAY, Wis.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (4-1, 2-0 WCHA) needed overtime to defeat No. 5/6 University of Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) Friday night, 5-4, from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Wildcats ended the first period with the lead after a pair of goals from the squad's top line. The nation's top goal scorer, senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan), picked up his sixth of the season just over half way through the opening period. Sophomore forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) earned his third assist of the season on the play.
After the Badgers evened the score minutes later, NMU regained the lead with 43 seconds to play in the period when Craighead scored his second of 2017. Sophomore defender Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) and junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) each recorded assists. It was Loggins' fifth of the season and Beaulieu's second that gave NMU the 2-1 lead after the first period.
Two more goals in the second gave the Wildcats a 4-2 lead going into the final period. The first score came from junior forward Denver Pierce (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) on his second of the season with senior forward Zach Diamantoni (Montgomery, New Jersey) picking up his first assist. The goal was scored on a break away with NMU in the penalty kill, down five skaters to three, on the ice.
Later, Beaulieu added to his point total scoring on the assists from junior forward Adam Rockwood (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) and Payne. It was Rockwood's second assist of the season and Payne's second.
A pair of goal for Wisconsin in the third period evened the score at four goals each to send the game into overtime. The sudden-death overtime period came to an end with just 17 seconds remaining when Pierce found the net for his second time on the evening. His third goal of the season was assisted by Loggins who increased his season total to six, tied for second most in the country.
Between the pipes, junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory. In just over 64 minutes of action, Tolvanen recorded 23 saves to bring his season total to 135.
NMU will look to return to Marquette, Michigan with a sweep over a top-five ranked team in tow when Wildcats and the Badgers square off Saturday from the Resch Center. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (EST).