M Hockey: NMU splits with Tech, heads to Ferris before mid-season break


Christopher Anderson/NW

GET READY – The Men’s Hockey team warms up in the Berry to get ready for this weekend at Ferris State. The Cats are coming off a weekend split with the MIchigan Tech Huskies.

Chris Anderson

The men’s hockey team was able to sneak away with a win at home in a 4-3 overtime win last weekend over the Michigan Tech Huskies. The ‘Cats were down 3-2 in the third period and with about 90 seconds left senior freshman forward Josh Zinger was able to set up overtime for the Wildcats in the final seconds. NMU would go on to win the match off a goal from senior forward Alex Frye.

“Every time it felt like we were kind of getting to a point where maybe we could take the lead. Something happened, and then obviously, that the game winning goal was an important win for us,” Head Coach Grant Potulny said.

This was the first time in three years that Potulny and the ‘Cats were able to get a win at home over the Huskies. That last win came in the 2019-20 season when the ‘Cats swept MTU in back-to-back games.

“Standings and all that stuff aside, it was an important win for our team and for our community and for kind of everybody involved in our side of it,” Potulny said.

Potulny believes the crowd and the bench played a huge role in the win for the ‘Cats and was glad the team was able to take advantage of such a great home game and came up with a huge win for the program.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they were unable to ride the momentum of the previous night heading into Houghton to face the Huskies as penalties were a major problem for NMU as they lost the match 3-1.

“I thought we were out playing them. We had the better scoring chances. We were out shooting them, and you know all of a sudden, you go from feeling pretty good about where you’re at, to going, and we got to kill four minutes in a row of this five on three,” Potulny said.

After the Wildcats were able to kill four minutes of five on three play and an additional minute of five on four seemingly unfazed, the rest of the match would be too much to fight back from after a goal from Huskie forward Tyrone Bronte, five minutes into the second period. NMU would go on to tie it but were unable to find consistent play in the 3-1 loss with eight total penalties giving the Wildcats their third straight weekend split.

“We just need to find a way to put it all together because there’s games that we score and there’s games that we defend,” Potulny said. “We just haven’t found a way to do that in the same game twice in a row.”

NMU will be looking to find some consistent play from their roster as they head down to Ferris State this weekend Dec 9 – 10. The Bulldogs are coming off a weekend where they swept the nationally ranked Minnesota State Mavericks on the road. This was the first time the Mavericks were swept at home since 2015.

“I don’t think you’re ever fully in control of the game there. It’s a very small rink, high glass, lively board,” Potulny said. “So, starting fast and getting acclimated to the rinks is going to be important.”