4 Northern Michigan University Wildcat hockey players earn WCHA honors

Northern Michigan University’s Griffin Loughran, left, stands his ground as he looks up at Ferris State’s Justin Michaelian in a game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Northern Michigan University hockey team’s season may have ended sooner than it had hoped, but some of its players still had impressive seasons.

On Monday, four Wildcats were acknowledged for their performances by earning spots on the All-WCHA teams.

Forward Griffin Loughran and defenseman Phil Beaulieu made the Second Team, winger Darien Craighead got a slot on the Third Team and freshman goalie John Hawthorne made the Rookie Team.

Loughran was a Hobey Baker Award nominee and definitely made a strong case for himself by finishing as the conference’s scoring champion with 20 goals and 32 points. His 23 goals overall were second in the country as he racked up a hat trick against Ferris State in October.

Senior captain Beaulieu was the country’s leading defensive scorer until the last day of the regular season. He finished the year with six goals and 25 points to cap off his Wildcats’ career with 121 points.

Northern Michigan University's Philip Beaulieu, front center, leaps to the inside of an attempted check by Bemidji State's Tyler Vold in the third period of their WCHA game on Feb. 15 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

This is the third season Beaulieu has earned All-WCHA honors as he made the First Team last year and Second Team the season before. Like Loughran, Beaulieu was also a Hobey Baker nominee.

Fellow senior Craighead became the Wildcats’ go-to scorer during the second half of the season and notched the game-winning goal against Michigan Tech in the regular-season finale to lock up home ice in the WCHA playoffs for NMU.

He was the conference Forward of the Month in January and won Forward of the Week twice, while his 13 game-winning tallies were tops among active players. This is Craighead’s second Third Team award after making the squad after the 2017-18 season.

Finally, Hawthorne split starting goaltending duties with Nolan Kent this year and earned a shutout in his first outing. He racked up five wins in net, four in league play, while making 306 total saves and having a goals-against average of 3.10.

The Wildcats also had 14 players make the WCHA All-Academic Team, including Beaulieu, Loughran and Kent.

Teammates earning spots on the squad were forwards Vincent de Mey, Garrett Klee, Grant Loven, Joe Nardi, Ty Readman, Caleb Schroer, Mitch Slattery and Luke Voltin; as well as defensemen Ben Newhouse, Adam Roeder and Rylan Yaremko.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.


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