From intramurals to Division I hockey: Braden Golisek’s wild three-day ride


LIVING THE DREAM—Braden Golisek takes the ice for the Wildcats during warm-ups before the Michigan Tech game on Tuesday, Feb. 8. After just playing hockey for fun while in college, Golisek is now on the Northern roster. Travis Nelson/NW

Travis Nelson, Sports Editor

It was a normal Sunday for Northern Michigan University senior public relations major and sports information intern Braden Golisek. While at work, he got a call from hockey coach Grant Potulny to ask him to join the team as back-up goalie.

Golisek played goaltender at local Marquette Senior High School until graduation in 2018 and has played the position in intramural hockey as a student at NMU. The Wildcats’ goalie situation is in flux after injuries to the top two goalies on the depth chart, Rico DiMatteo and Charlie Glockner. The next day on Monday was Golisek’s first practice with the ‘Cats, and suited up as the back-up on the next night with Michigan Tech coming to town for a Tuesday night clash on Feb. 8. 

Student equipment manager Karsten Kamps happens to play on the club team and Golisek’s intramural team, and he was tasked with getting the coaching staff all of the potential goalies to take the spot on the team. After going through the options and eligibility, the choice was made to go with Golisek. In his free time, Golisek plays hockey whenever he can, and now this opportunity has arisen. Growing up in Marquette, it has always been a dream of his to play for the Wildcats.

“It was a crazy couple of days, it was kind of a frantic feeling,” Golisek said. “From there I was filling out paperwork, I got on the ice Monday, and obviously the game. It was a wild 48 hours I would say. I grew up watching NMU, it was a dream of mine to play on this team ever since I was a little kid. This is a dream come true for me and an incredible experience, I’m just going to try to take it in as much as I can.”

In the little time that Potulny has gotten to know Golisek, the coach said that he carries himself well, he looks you in the eye and he has confidence in himself. With an unprecedented injury to the goalie position, it’s been unusual circumstances but the team is glad to have Golisek.

“He’s doing us a huge favor,” Potulny said.

There isn’t a current timetable for how long Golisek will remain on the team, but there are only four more regular-season games left. However long he continues to be a part of the team, he will just go along with the ride. 

“My mom’s going to hate me for this, but I haven’t taken any photos,” Golisek said with a laugh.

The team’s ride continues this weekend with a series on the road against Bowling Green. Both games are at 7:07 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.