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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

‘Cats drop back-to-back games to Bemidji State Beavers

In the wake of two tough matchups, Men’s hockey nears the end of regular season play.
Molly Birch
WINDING DOWN — ‘Cats drop two weekend games to the Bemidji State Beavers as the end of the regular season nears.

The Northern Michigan men’s hockey team suited up at home against the Bemidji State Beavers on Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10. The ‘Cats dropped the game to their GLIAC opponent on Friday night 4-2 and finished in a tie Saturday night with a 3-3 score. 

After the weekend, the Wildcats dropped their overall record to 9-14-5 and their CCHA conference record to 7-10-3. NMU fell to seventh in the conference rankings. Grad Student Andre Ghantous scored his seventh goal of the season to reach 150 career points.

“[The] power play was good, two for three and they almost got on the last. They were in their zone for two minutes and just couldn’t get it to fall,” Head Coach Grant Potulny said. “Disappointing things for me are penalties again, [that’s] just what happens is the guys that kill penalties are also the guys that generate the most offense for you. So, now those guys are just tired the whole game because they’re killing penalties the whole time.”

WILDCAT GOAL — Slukynsky scores the first goal of the night for the ‘Cats on Saturday.

On Friday night, the Beavers started the scoring 10 minutes into the first period with an even strength goal. The rest of the period was scoreless from both teams.

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Early in the second period, the Wildcats answered back with a two-on-one opportunity resulting in a goal from Freshman Kevin Marx Noren. Just seven minutes later, the ‘Cats took the lead with a power-play goal from freshman Grant Slukynsky. BSU then scored a pair of even strength goals to snag back the lead. The Beavers scored on the power play in the final 10 minutes to end the game 4-2.

“The same thing just keeps popping up and we can’t take a step forward until we can string two, three, four, five, six [goals], that’s just how you play and [these are] the things that are costing us,” Potulny said.

In the game on Saturday, the first period was uneventful with just one Beaver penalty. The ‘Cats opened up the scoring nearly three minutes into the second period with a goal from Slukynsky. The Beavers were quick to answer back with a goal from an unguarded forward to tie the score. Senior Artem Shlaine put another point up against BSU with a lead that only lasted two minutes before the Beavers scored their second goal. 

The back and forth continued into the third period with goals from each team sending the game into a goalless overtime. The Beavers made their second shootout attempt, but the Wildcats were not able to make any of their three attempts. The game final was 3-3. 

CELLE — The team gathers for a group hug after scoring the second goal of Saturday’s game. (Molly Birch)

“We live in a results-based business and that’s a fact, but as a team we have to live in a process-based world, so the repeatable success things we talked about last night when you hold a team to 15 shots and you get 30, most nights [those] are going to win that game and tonight, just, it didn’t happen,” Potulny said. 

The ‘Cats have an off weekend before their next CCHA matchup against the Ferris State Bulldogs on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24 in Big Rapids, Michigan. The Bulldogs are currently sitting at last place in the CCHA conference with an overall record of 10-18-1 and a conference record of 5-9-1. 

“You have to coach for the end of the year, and we have an off weekend this weekend, and I told the guys we might have an off weekend, but we don’t have an off week, so we got to make sure that we get to work this week and keep getting better,” Potulny said.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson, Sports Editor
Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the day. I am extremely excited to be a part of the North Wind with hopes of improving as a writer!
Molly Birch
Molly Birch, Editor-In-Chief
My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty (google “The Tridge Midland, MI”; it’s worth it, trust me). I enjoy reading, writing, knitting, and learning new things in my free time. I speak fluent-ish German, and I’m naturally a blonde. I’ve always loved journalism. I started taking journalism classes in my freshman year of high school and immediately fell in love with everything about the field. My favorite stories to write are profiles of everyday people because I love the intimate personal aspect of telling their stories. I am also an avid photographer.