BOWLING GREEN, Ohio—Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (2-5-0, 1-2-0-0 WCHA) dropped the first game of a series with No. 9/10 Bowling Green State University (6-1-1, 1-0-0-0 WCHA) Friday evening on the road. Despite the 3-1 loss, the Wildcats held the nation's best offense well below their season average in a number of offensive categories.
The Wildcats managed to hold the nation's highest scoring offense to one goal in the first period after the Falcons found an early lead. BGSU scored near the nine-minute mark, but NMU outshot their opponent through most of the first period. At the first intermission, the Wildcats had attempted seven shots to the Falcons' eight with sophomore forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta) and junior defender Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) each attempting a pair of shot on-goal.
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Bowling Green took a two-goal advantage just two minutes into the second period but penalties were the story of the second period. There were a total of 11 penalties and 22 minutes served between both teams.
Senior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California) took advantage of the Wildcat power play opportunities, netting his first goal of the season. Loggins took the puck off a face off in the Falcon's zone while NMU was on the advantage in the 11th minute. He sent the puck past the Falcon's goaltender with Nardi earning his second assist of the season. The score made it a 2-1 BSGSU advantage heading into the final period.
NMU's offense threatened in the final period, outshooting BGSU on-goal, 9-7. Despite the increased offense, the Wildcats were unable to find the back of the net in the final period and settled for a 3-1 loss to open the two-game series.
Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) recorded 20-plus saves in a contest for the seventh-consecutive contest to begin the season with his 24-save outing. He now has 186 on the season, currently enough for fourth-most in the NCAA. His save percentage sits at .903 and his goals against average is 2.86.
As a team, NMU combined for five blocked shots in the game. Nardi led the way with a pair of blocked shots, while three others recorded a single block. Sophomore forward Robert Fosdick (Brookfield, Wisconsin) senior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia), and Beaulieu each recorded one blocked shot.
Coming into the matchup, BGSU was connecting on 32.5% of their power play opportunities this season and had 13 total power play goals. NMU held the fifth-best power play team in the NCAA without a score in five chances to open the series. The Wildcats had six power play opportunities with Loggins finding his goal on the advantage.
The second game of the conference series will take place Saturday evening. Puck drop in the Slater Family Ice Arena is set for 7:07 p.m.