Cats have clutch performance

NMU icers snap six-game losing streak to Tech, will face Bemidji in WCHA playoffs

By Journal Sports Staff

HOUGHTON — With its season on the line Saturday night, the Northern Michigan University hockey team came through in the clutch against its archrival.

The Wildcats knocked off Michigan Tech 5-3 and clinched a WCHA playoff bid. The win also snaps a six-game losing streak against the Huskies. With Alabama-Huntsville losing to Bowling Green State, Northern finishes in eighth place and will play at Bemidji State in a best-of-3 series next weekend.

Tied 3-3 at the start of the third period, the Wildcats (12-20-4, 10-15-3 WCHA) notched the game-winning goal at the 4:05 mark when senior captain Shane Sooth tipped in a shot from Philip Beaulieu. Fellow senior Gerard Hanson then put the finishing touch on the win with an empty netter.

The Huskies (18-13-7, 15-7-6) got on the board first as Joel L’Esperance tapped a rebound past NMU goalie Atte Tolvanen early in the opening period. However, Northern bounced back with 50 seconds left in the frame when Troy Loggins beat Tech goalie Angus Redmond on the power play.

The Wildcats then took the lead with another power play goal at the 4:14 mark of the second period. Darien Craighead fired a shot from the blue line that zoomed past Redmond to put Northern up 2-1.

Tech answered back though at the 9:34 mark when Jake Jackson backhanded a shot through Tolvanen’s five-hole.

With a minute remaining in the frame, NMU senior forward Dominik Shine stole the puck from Tech’s Mark Auk and picked up an unassisted tally to give the Wildcats a 3-2 advantage, but Tech tied it up again just 15 seconds later off a power play deflection by Gavin Gould.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is