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Thursday March 21, 2019
Wildcats Get Last-Second Goal To Complete Sweep

This story was written by NMU Sports Information

BIG RAPIDS---Northern Michigan University Men's Ice Hockey (3-1, 2-0 WCHA) found a goal with less than a second remaining in the contests to finish a sweep of Ferris State University (1-3, 0-2 WCHA), 1-0, Saturday evening on the road.

The Wildcats junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihti, Finland) picked up right where he left off in Friday's contests successfully defending all 17 shots faced in the opening period. Tolvanen recorded a 40 saves in the Western Colligate Hockey Association opener Friday night.

Neither team was able to score in the first period with NMU recording just nine shots. Coming into the game, the Wildcats had recorded at least one goal in every period through their first three games of the season.

The story of the second period was the power-play as both teams recorded three opportunities to score with the on-ice advantage. Ferris St. converted on two of their four power-play chances on Friday, but finished the weekend going just 2-10. NMU failed to record a power-play goal in five chances for the series.

FSU started the series on the attack, recording double-digit shots in each of the first five periods of the series. That streak came to an end in the third period on Saturday when NMU held the Bulldogs to just six shots. It was also the first time the Wildcats outshot the Bulldogs in a period with a two-shot advantage.

In the final minutes of action, the Wildcats pressed on the offensive end looking to find the first goal of the game. NMU found three shots in the final two minutes with the last of those three proving to be the difference maker.

Sophomore forward Darien Craighead (Surrey, British Columbia) found his first goal of the year with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation to seal the Wildcat win.

A pair of NMU shots were blocked just in front of the FSU goal crease before being deflected back to the blue line. Junior defender James Vermeulen (Stony Plain, Alberta) came up with the puck before sending it to sophomore defender Philip Beaulieu (Duluth, Minnesota) with seconds to play.

Beaulieu found Craighead just in front of the blue who sent it in for the score. Both Beaulieu and Vermeulen earned their first assists of the year on the play.

Between the pipes, Tolvanen recorded his first shutout of the season and seventh of his career. The junior saved 35 shots on Saturday, while recoding 75 saves of 77 shots in the two-game series. For the season, Tolvanen has 116 to lead the WCHA, while his 2.04 goals-against-average is good enough for fifth.

His 116 saves are currently second best in the NCAA.


Northern Michigan University Hockey opened up Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with a 3-2 victory over Ferris State University Friday evening.

The Bulldogs began the game attacking heavily on the offensive end of the ice. FSU recorded the first seven shots of the contest, including a possession with back to back shots from just in front of the goal crease.

NMU recorded one shot in the first 10 minutes of action, with that shot coming from freshman forward Caleb Schroer (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Recording six shots in the second half of the period, NMU scored the first goal of the game when freshman defender Adam Roeder (Ballwin, Missouri) found the net at the 15:21 mark.

Roeder scored his first collegiate goal on assists from sophomore forward Darien Craighead(Surrey, British Columbia) and senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan). It was the second assist of the year for Craighead, while Payne earned his first.

Early in the second period, the Wildcats found themselves in the penalty kill after a slashing penalty on junior forward Troy Loggins (Huntington Beach, California).

Additionally, NMU was called for having too many men on the ice giving the Bulldogs a 5-3 skater advantage. A strange sequence of events evened the game at one goal each when a shot by FSU's Mitch Maloney went off the post, bounced off the glass behind the goal, hit junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen (Vihiti, Finland) in the back, and fell into the goal for a score.

Payne continued his scoring streak with his fifth goal of the season at the 13:19 mark of the second period. Freshman forward Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alberta) was credited with assist for his second of the year.

Payne, the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week, came into the contests tied for the NCAA lead in goals scored and has scored atleast one goal in all three games this season.

Another power-play for Ferris St. late in the period knotted up the contest at two goal each when FSU's Ryker Killins found a goal with 45 seconds to play in the period

The Wildcat have struggled in the penalty-kill in 2017 allowing six power-play goals against in 13 opportunities.

Handing out four assists this season, Loggins scored a goal of his own in the third period to give NMU a 3-2 advantage seven minutes, 18 seconds into the period.

Junior forward Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, British Columbia) picked up the assist on the goal for his third of the season. The score proved to be the game-winner with the Wildcats fending off the Bulldogs for the final 13 minutes of action to secure the win in the WCHA opener.

Tolvanen was a force between the pipes the entire evening facing double-digits shots in every period. While NMU recorded their lowest shot total of the season, Tolvanen faced the most shots through the season's first three contests.

The Wildcat goaltender saw 42 shots, successfully defending against 40.

Tolvanen nearly doubled his season save total after successfully defending against 41 shots in the season opening series against Lake Superior State University. It marks the 10th time in his wildcat career the goaltender has recorded 40-or-more saves.

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