Wildcat Hockey team bested by Huskies in series

AnnMarie Kent

A hard-fought weekend was met with defeat when the Wildcat Hockey team played rival Michigan Tech.

re-hockeyvstech2-jmThe home-and-home series began on Friday night when the two teams faced off in Houghton at the John MacInnes Ice Arena. The Wildcats were defeated by the Huskies in 2-0 shutout.

Wildcat head coach Walt Kyle was disappointed in the results of the weekend.

“The mistakes that we made gave them great opportunities,” Kyle said. “They were good enough to take advantage of it.”

Friday night was freshman goaltender for the Huskies Angus Redmond’s second time in net all season, and his impressive performance cost the Wildcats points. Stopping 48-of-49 shots during the weekend, Redmond earned the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week award.

Head coach for Tech Mel Pearson said Redmond’s excellent week in practice is what led them to putting him in net for such an important series.

“We didn’t play Angus the first eight games, and I don’t know why,” Pearson said. “I’m sure I’m going to get some questions about that.”

Both teams traveled to Marquette to finish the series at the Berry Events Center on Saturday.

The Huskies capitalized on the 32 minutes of penalties the Wildcats took, and scored three goals on the penalty kill. The Wildcats were unable to fend off the Huskies even when NMU had the man advantage, and Tech scored its other two goals while shorthanded.

Junior forward Robbie Payne was able to get one on the board for NMU during a Wildcat powerplay less than a minute into the final frame of the game.

The rival teams got scrappy during the game, causing several fights to break out. Freshman forward Colin Peters’ check from behind to a Tech player caused tension on the ice and cost him a 5-minute major penalty. At the same time freshman forward Luke Voltin took a 2-minute minor penalty, putting Tech at 5-to-3 advantage.

“We had good players make big mistakes,” Kyle said. “We had some young guys take penalties and make some big mistakes that cost us.”

After taking five goals against him in 32 minutes of play, sophomore goaltender Atte Tolvanen was pulled from the net and replaced by sophomore goaltender Mathias Israelsson. Israelsson took only one goal against him in the final 28 minutes of the game.

“Atte is our guy right now but [Israelsson] is a good goalie and we’re certainly not going to go away from giving him opportunity.”

NMU hits the ice again at 7:07 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 in Madison, Wisconsin for their second series of the year against the University of Wisconsin.

They’ll finish the series Saturday night in Madison.