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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
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My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Club hockey wins four of last six games

The NMU men’s club hockey team is coming back from a big win over Delta College and a very relaxing break that has them energized and anxious to get back on the ice.

After a losing streak, the team pulled through with a successful series against Delta College from downstate Michigan, finishing 4-2 and 8-2.

Captain David O’Donnell was really happy with the team’s performance against Delta.

“The two wins off Delta were huge. We had a rough patch, but we used the systems we’d been working on in practice and they worked great,” O’Donnell said.

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Alternate captain Mark Novak passes the puck across the ice to keep things moving for the Wildcats. Novak has six points for the season, with two goals and four assists for the 7-12-1-1 team. // Justin Key/NW

While the win against Delta was important, assistant coach Nino Fogaroli is more impressed and excited about the losing series against St. Norbert College two weeks before the Delta match (Nov. 19 and 20). The team lost both games to the top 11 ranked team 1-8 and then 1-2.

“The win against delta was good for self-esteem; I was a little more impressed with St. Norbert. It was good; second game they were in the lead for a while.  They executed the systems we’d been working on in practice,” Fogaroli said.

The fact that the Wildcats were able to keep up with such a highly ranked St. Norbert team should be a big confidence boost, Fogaroli said.

“Hope they come off of that feeling positive,” Fogaroli said.

Even though the team is going into the second half of the season, they are still excited to get back on the ice and play some solid hockey. Assistant captain Evan Weber is enthusiastic about the overall mood of the team.

“Being back from break, everyone’s excited to play with each other again. We want to go out and have some fun,” Weber said.

The team didn’t have any required practices over break, but most of the team got in a little ice time here and there, Weber said.

“We aren’t that strict. Some people only skated once over break, others two and three times a week,” Weber said.

Fogaroli is glad some of the team took the initiative to get some ice time, but also understands that its not only their bodies that need the break.

“We didn’t assign any workouts. With academics and hockey, especially so late, it’s good to give mind and body a rest. Anything that they did was up to them; if they did it, it would benefit, but not mandatory at all. We hate to ask kids to be on ice during holiday season anyway,” Fogaroli said.

Now the team has to look forward to a game against the club from University of Wisconsin Madison whose current record of 10-5-2 has them ranked 13th in the Central Region. The last time the Wildcats played this team was the 2008-09 season where they won the series 7-5 and 7-6.

Weber is optimistic about the upcoming series against Wisconsin.

“We’re a little out of the hunt of regionals, it’s do or die right now. St. Norbert was a really close series for us and a huge confidence booster.  A combination of all that should boost the team’s esteem and drive to win. The ultimate booster will be a possible win against Wisconsin,” Weber said. “We have to come in prepared, understand that defense is going to have to play conservative, forwards are going to have to play both sides of the puck. Being prepared is what we’re going in with.”

Nick Mankoci, a practice goalie who will be playing for the team next year, has seen an improvement in the teams play.

“Our biggest weakness is defense. In practice we’ve been doing a lot of drills for defensive conditioning and strategies,” Mankoci said. “We are really optimistic going into the second half especially with Wisconsin being in our conference next year.”

The Wildcats will be playing University of Wisconsin Jan. 14 and 15 at The Shell (Camp Randall Sport Center) at 8:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. respectively.

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