MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (4-3, 2-1 WCHA) retuned to the Berry Events Center Friday evening, falling, 3-0, to No. 9 Minnesota State University Mankato (6-2, 4-1 WCHA) in the series opener. It was the first game for NMU in nearly two weeks after being off last weekend.
The Wildcats gave up the lead early in the contest to the ranked Mavericks. MSU found a goal just over 10 minutes into the first period. NMU would end the period with that 1-0 deficit, attempting just five shots to Mankato's 11.
Picking up the offensive tempo, the Wildcats tripled the shot attempts of the Mavericks in the second period. Despite the 12 shots in the period, NMU was unable to score, but did gain the overall lead in shots, 17-15.
MSU put the game out of reach in the third period scoring a pair of goals. At the eight-minute mark, Mankato found their second goal, while they went up, 3-0, with a power-play goal with less than four minutes to play in the contest.
Junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) lead the Wildcats offensively, attempting seven of the team's 26 shots in the game. Sophomore defender Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) took three chances, while five other NMU skaters attempted a pair of shots.
Defensively, the Wildcats went 4-5 in the penalty kill on the evening. More impressively, NMU held Mankato to just seven shots in during those MSU power-plays. NMU attempted 12 shots during their six power-play chances.
In goal, junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) made 24 saves against 27 shots on-goal, including double digit saves in both the first and third period. Tolvanen's season saves number rises to 177, while his save percentage sits to .908.
NMU will look to split the series Saturday in the second game of the series. The puck will drop for game two at 7 p.m.