MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (7-7, 5-3 WCHA) will return to the Berry Events Center after a four-game road trip. The University of Alabama-Huntsville (5-8-1, 4-3-1 WCHA) will make their way to Marquette, Michigan, for a pair Western Collegiate Hockey Association contests Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
Coverage of the contest can be found at nmuwildcats.com, while there will also be in-game updates on Twitter at @NMU_Wildcats.
For Complete game notes, click HERE.
Weekend Recap. Hitting the road for the second-consecutive weekend, the Wildcats were swept by the University of Nebraska-Omaha in their last series. In the first contest, NMU grabbed the lead minutes into the second period, but UNO scored three goals in the second period to seal the win. On Saturday, a pair of scores less than two-and-a-half minutes into the game gave the Mavericks the lead the rest of the way, earning a 4-1 victory and series sweep. Sophomore defender Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) recorded a score in both games to lead the team over the weekend.
Among the Nation's Best. The series with Neb.-Omaha marked the first of the year that senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) did not score a goal. The senior captain has 12 goals and 16 points in 14 contests this season. His goals total is third most in the country, one behind the national lead. The senior captain also ranks atop the WCHA goal scorers and is tied for second in the conference for most points.
Lending a Helping Hand. Junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) owns a share of the team lead in assists with nine on the season. The senior forward did not record a point over the weekend in Omaha, allowing junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) to take a share of the team lead. Rockwood has recorded five points in the last four contests with one assist in each of the past four contests. The duo is tied for seventh in the WCHA with their nine assists.
Between the Pipes. A pair of Wildcat goaltenders have split much of the playtime in 2017. Junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) leads the team with a .916 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average in 10 starts this year. Junior goaltender Mathias Israelsson (Ytterby, Sweden) was named WCHA Goaltender of the Week earlier this season and has made six appearances and four starts. His save percentage sits at .891, while his goals against average this season is. 3.10.
Shutdown Special Teams. Over the past four series, the Wildcats have gone 40-of-42 in the penalty kill. During the span, NMU has increased their penalty kill percentage from 70% to 84.7%. In their last series with UNO, NMU held the Mavericks 0-for-13 in power play opportunities. For the season, opponents are 11-of-72 in their power-play chances against the Wildcats.
Early Season Success. Despite being tabbed to finish seventh in both preseason WCHA polls, the Wildcats currently sit in third after eight conference contests. NMU owns 15 points in conference action with a 5-3 mark. The Wildcats are just ahead of this weekend's opponent, UAH, who are fifth with 13 points.
Potulny in his First Season. Grant Potulny is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. Potulny owns a 7-7 mark overall and 5-3 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 Alabama-Huntsville. The Wildcats own the lead in the all-time series with Chargers, 11-4-3. A season ago, the two teams met in Marquette, Michigan with UAH taking a pair of victories in the Berry. The Wildcats last victory over Huntsville came in February of 2016. NMU earned a two-game sweep over the chargers, also in the Berry.