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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.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal Wiertella March 1, 2024

Hockey splits with Tech

Photo+by+Lindsey+Eaton%3A+On+Saturday%E2%80%99s+game+against+Michigan+Tech%2C+senior+forward+and+captain+Robbie+Payne+makes+a+cut+towards+the+puck+and+prepares+to+go+to+the+net.+Payne+currently+has+nine+goals+this+season.
Photo by Lindsey Eaton: On Saturday’s game against Michigan Tech, senior forward and captain Robbie Payne makes a cut towards the puck and prepares to go to the net. Payne currently has nine goals this season.

The Wildcats bounced back from a 4-1 loss the night before to blow out the Michigan Tech Huskies 4-0 in front of a 4,260 home crowd in their second game of the rival series, Saturday,  Nov. 11.

“That’s two weekends in a row where on Friday I didn’t think we were competitive enough in a lot of areas,” head coach Grant Potulny said. “Then one night later, the effort was great, the outcome was great. We need to find a way to replicate that recipe for two nights in a row.”

Freshman forward Joseph Nardi kicked off scoring for the Wildcats on Saturday at the 16:12 mark of the first period. Over a minute later, senior forward Robbie Payne found the back of the net and went on to score a power-play goal in the second period, his ninth so far in 10 games.

Senior forward Filip Starzynski’s first score of the year brought the Wildcat lead to four points and proved to be the last score of the evening, sweeping the Huskies 4-0.

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Payne has proven he has the potential of an elite college goal scorer, Potulny said. Although he recognizes the senior forward as an asset to the team’s offense, he said he believes the team’s offense must be more productive so they don’t risk relying too heavily on Payne.

“[Payne] has been driving our offensive engine but we’ve got to get some more depth in scoring,” Potulny said. “Everybody in our program is expected to score and help with the offense.”

While Potulny has said that the Wildcat’s special teams still needed some development in the past, in recent games the team has not only been able to kill off penalty time, but they have produced offensive opportunities as well.

On Saturday, the Wildcats were able to hold MTU 0-5 in the power-play for the second-consecutive night. NMU is now perfect in their last 15 penalty-kill opportunities, a span that stretches three games.

Returning to man the goal for NMU was junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen, who recorded his second shutout of the year and his fifth victory. Tolvanen recorded 19 saves to bring his season save percentage to .916, while his goal-against-average improved to 2.40.

The Wildcats now prepare to hit the road to take on the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks (3-7-3, 1-4-1 WCHA). The puck will drop for both Friday and Saturday’s contests at 11:07 p.m.

Potulny said that the Nanooks are known for being competitive and noted that the team is probably the first to utilize a more defensive structure while teams they have played so far tended to be more offensive.

“The challenge for us will to be to push the game to a pace that is uncomfortable to them,” Potulny said. “If we do that, I think we have some opportunities to have success.”

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