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NMU opens with draw at Wisconsin

By Journal Sports Staff

MADISON, Wis. – The Northern Michigan University Wildcats opened up the 2015-16 season Friday night with a tight battle against Big Ten foe Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Down 1-0 in the third period, NMU notched back-to-back goals to take the lead, but gave up a goal with just seconds left and were forced to settle for a 2-2 tie. The Wildcats did win the shootout 2-1, but the game will go into the record books as a draw. NMU outshot the Badgers 34-27.

NMU No. 1 goalie Mathias Dahlstrom did not play due to a sore knee, so the Wildcats went with freshman Atte Tolvanen in net.

In the opening period, the Badgers peppered Tolvanen with 13 shots, but the freshman netminder stood tall. Wisconsin did get on the scoreboard at the 4:20 mark in the second period on a power-play goal by Jake Linhart and NMU went into the break down by one.

The Wildcats tied the game at 5:47 into the third with the man advantage on a shot by Shane Sooth. Sooth got a feed from Sami Salminen and sent the puck past Badgers goalie Adam Miller.

Two minutes later, Gerard Hanson disrupted a play deep in Wisconsin territory and the puck came out to the stick of Filip Starzynski, who fired it past Miller to give NMU a 2-1 advantage.

Wisconsin tied the game with 42 seconds left in regulation when Grant Besse scored during a scramble in front of Tolvanen.

After a scoreless overtime, NMU got goals from Troy Loggins and Starzynski to win the shootout.

The two teams tangle again tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.