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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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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 Wiertella April 30, 2024

Wildcats sweep Big Ten opponent

The hockey team will open conference play on the road this weekend as they travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. to take on the Lake Superior State Lakers. Last weekend, the Wildcats swept the No. 18-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in a two-game series at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

Sophomore goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom was named WCHA defensive player of the week following his performance, shutting out the Badgers in a 2-0 win on Friday, Oct. 17.

Sophomore forward Dominik Shine opened the scoring for the ’Cats’ season 9:27 into the first period on a goal assisted by sophomore forward Shane Sooth. Junior forward Darren Nowick added to the ’Cats’ lead on a power-play goal minutes later, with assists from sophomore forwards Gerard Hanson and John Siemer.

Both teams were held scoreless the next two periods and the Wildcats finished with the victory. Freshman forward Robbie Payne said he sees a lot of positives with his new team.

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“I think we played our first game really well as a team,” Payne said. “The series win gives us a lot of confidence. We’re excited with the way we’re playing so far, we’re taking care of the puck and stepping up big on defense, and I’m excited with this team through my first few practices and games.”

Saturday night, Nowick earned his second goal on the power-play goal once again 7:41 into the game with assists from Siemer and sophomore forward Sami Salminen. In the second period, junior defenseman Ryan Trenz scored his first goal of the season 2:08 into the period with assists from Shine and Sooth.

Dahlstrom held the Badgers scoreless the majority of the series before senior forward Brad Navin scored the Badgers’ only goal past Dahlstrom with 1:33 remaining in Saturday’s game. Shine and senior forward Ryan Kesti each scored empty net goals en route to the Wildcats 4-1 win, completing the ’Cats’ sweep of the Badgers.

Head coach Walt Kyle said his players have shown improvement the first few weeks.

“We saw our players look better in camp over the offseason, and our guys stepped up and played well down in Green Bay,” Kyle said. “We weren’t as good Saturday night as we were Friday, but we had Dahlstrom play exceptional both nights and we were good enough to win. The big thing now will be having consistency and backing up these wins this weekend.”

The ’Cats were two for five on the power play over the weekend, and killed off all 12 penalties they were called for, including a five-minute major assessed to freshman forward Zach Diamantoni in Saturday night’s win.

Kyle said the penalty kill was a step up from last season.

“The penalty kill really did a good job, it was one of the main things we put emphasis on this past summer,” Kyle said. “Our guys executed and did the things we needed them to do at the right time. We can still reduce those penalty minutes we’re taking, and we can certainly be more efficient in areas of our penalty kill still as well.”

The ’Cats will visit Lake Superior State University at 7:37 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 and at 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at Taffy Abel Ice Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The Lakers are 0-6 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. Last weekend, the Lakers dropped a pair of games to Notre Dame by scores of 5-3 Friday, Oct. 17 and 5-1 on Saturday, Oct. 18 in South Bend, Ind.

Lakers’ starting freshman goaltender Gordon Defiel is 0-5 with a .906 save percentage, and is giving up 3.92 goals per game on average.

Sophomore forwards Alex Globke and Ian Miller lead the Lakers in points with three each.

Last season, the Wildcats split a game apiece in their series with the Lakers at Berry Events Center. The Wildcats have not won at Taffy Abel Center since December of 2011.

Kyle said the ’Cats cannot overlook a team like the Lakers.

“They’re certainly a team that’s good enough to beat us,” Kyle said. “We’re not even .500 against LSSU in the last four years. The guys in our locker room better understand that, and they better show up ready to play and compete.”

Damon Whitten is entering his first season as head coach for the Lakers after previous nine-year head coach Jim Roque’s contract was not renewed at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.

Nowick said the team looks forward to opening up conference play against a U.P. rival.

“There’s definitely a rivalry there with them being one of our closer opponents,” Nowick said. “It’ll be a great atmosphere there with it being their homecoming, and hopefully we’ll get some of our fans out there too.

“Any given day, anyone can come out and get in a win in this conference. It all comes down to how you perform, how you come together and rally your team. We’re in a pretty close conference, so it’s just about who shows up ready to play.”

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