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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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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.

Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics
Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Catching up with former Wildcat Erik Gustafsson

NMU alums Erik Gustafsson scored his second career playoff goal with the NHL Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, April 30.

Gustafsson has spent the last four seasons with the Flyers and their AHL affiliate the Adirondack Phantoms.

NMU head coach Walt Kyle said Gustafsson’s hard work has equated his success throughout the years.

“Gustafsson was a great player here, and has proven to be a solid NHL player,” Kyle said. “He’s a really good kid who absorbs coaching well and focuses on being the best player that he can be.”

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North Wind sports editor Ray Bressette spoke with Gustafsson to discuss his play in the Stanley Cup playoffs and reflect on his career at NMU.

NW: How have you fit in with the Flyers through your first four years of your career?

Gustafsson: When I first joined the Flyers, I spent a lot of time in the minors with the Phantoms the first few seasons improving my play.

When I started seeing more playing time in my third year, the NHL lockout hit, and kind of threw me and everybody off a bit, but I was able to find my game as time went on.

I wish I could have seen more playing time this year, but it’s just the way it was, and hopefully I’ll be able to build off of the success I had down the stretch.

NW: How did it feel scoring a playoff goal against one of the NHL’s premier goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist?

Gustafsson: When we tied the series after winning game six, we thought we had the momentum going into game seven the next night and we were going to move on to the next round.

 It really felt awesome to get the goal, especially in my first playoff game in two years.

I came out of the penalty box after getting called for a penalty that was questionable from the start, but when I got out I found the puck on my stick in the middle of a breakaway, and was able to get it in the back of the net. When you can capitalize like that and turn a bad situation into a positive one, that’s just great.

NW: What went wrong with the Flyers in Game 7?

Gustafsson: We came out and competed well in game seven, but we weren’t able to capitalize and actually score, and we were pretty outplayed. When we were down by two goals in the third, we competed well and were able to cut the deficit in half, and we probably should have tied the game but just couldn’t do it. Our missed opportunities early in the game probably cost us a real chance to win the game.

NW: Are there things you miss from Marquette and your time at NMU?

Gustafsson: Of course, Marquette’s a great hockey town, with a ton of great people that I met over the years there. I talk with old teammates quite a bit, some who have a place up there, and I always want to go back up and visit the place and everyone.

NW: What did you learn at NMU that’s paid dividends to your professional career? 

Gustafsson: I really did learn everything I know from my time at NMU. My three years there were some of the best days of my life. I learned a tremendous amount there, and I went from being an average player to getting a chance in the NHL. I would have never gotten here if it was from my coaching staff, from Walt Kyle to John Kyle, they’ve done everything for me and I can’t thank everyone there enough.

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