M Hockey: Wildcats, Ferris State face off in the Berry for final home weekend


Molly Birch/NW

PUCK DROP — The Wildcats will travel to Arizona this week to face off against the No.19 Sun Devils before heading home to play on the resized ice rink put in over the off season.

Lily Gouin

NMU Men’s Hockey traveled to Mendota Heights, Minnesota to face off against the Tommies of St. Thomas University. The weekend ended in a split with the Wildcats winning the game on Friday 3-0 then falling short to St. Thomas on Saturday with a final score of 2-4.

One player that stood out during these games was freshman goalie Beni Halasz. Halasz stopped all 29 shots attempted on Friday night, and on Saturday night Halasz was able to stop 30 of the 33 shot attempts on the goal.

“Beni’s a competitive kid … he’s mentally tough …he’s so competitive, that he’s making that next save,” Head Coach Grant Potulny said.

Senior forward AJ Vanderbeck played on Saturday for the first time in three games, and came away with a big turnover for the Wildcats.

“If that’s the version of the player we get, it would be worth it all. At the end of those two games, we won those two games,” Potulny said. “So, there are some other pieces to it too but if we get that version of AJ, he’s going to have a great finish to the year.”

Senior forward Vincent De Mey scored two out of the Wildcat’s three goals on the shutout win on Friday. The third goal on Friday came from senior forward Andre Ghantous. Junior defenseman Aiden Gallacher assisted on two of the three goals also from Friday’s game. On Saturday the Cats’ two goals came from freshman forward Joey Larson and junior forward Michael Colella.

“We’re at the time of the year when you get to enjoy what you’re doing. There are times that coaches have to be hard, and there are times they have to push, and there are times you have to pull your team,” Potulny said. “And sometimes you’re doing this with them, but you got to get them where you want them. Now’s the time that all that is going to pay off.”

As the season starts to come to an end, the playoffs are just around the corner. Getting ready to compete in them is what the team will be using for motivation down the final stretch.

“That’s kind of the focus. The rest of the year is ensuring that we’re healthy, we’re rested and we’re energized,” Potulny said.

The Wildcats faced off against the Bulldogs of Ferris State this weekend. The last time the Wildcat’s played the Bulldogs, the series ended in a split with both teams winning one game.

“I think there’s just a whole different feel about Ferris State and where their programs are right now. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be a great weekend,” Potulny said.

The Cats’ will honor their seniors with this series of games being the last of the season. Both games were played in the Berry Events Center with Friday’s puck drop at 7:07 p.m. and the second matchup at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, Feb 18.