Bretzman, Lee score key goals in Wildcats’ win

By Journal Sports Staff

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Tony Bretzman scored the go-ahead goal and Jarrett Lee put in what proved to be the game-winner less than three minutes later as the Northern Michigan University hockey team upended Alabama-Huntsville 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The win salvaged a split of the series in the eyes of the WCHA standings after the Chargers pulled out a 3-2 double-overtime victory on Friday night. However, NMU gets a win and tie in the NCAA’s eyes as Friday counted as a deadlock in their standings.

Bretzman’s and Lee’s goals both came late in the second period. Bretzman scored with 3:25 left in the period to break a 2-2 tie, while Lee’s came with 46 seconds left, the fourth goal that counts as the game-winner.

Denver Pierce added two goals in the final seven minutes to provide insurance for the Wildcats, who improved to 15-13-1 overall and 14-7-1-0 in the WCHA. UAH falls to 6-24-2 and 6-16-2. Pierce’s first goal with 6:49 left came on a power play while his second, with 24 ticks to go, was an empty-net unassisted tally.

The Chargers opened the scoring not quite six minutes into the game on a goal by Connor James, his first of two in the game. NMU’s Vincent de Mey answered just 1:37 later to tie it on a power play as Philip Beaulieu got the first of two assists.

The Wildcats took their first lead about four minutes into the second period on an even-strength goal by Griffin Loughran. Joseph Nardi, who also had two assists, and Ryan Black were credited with helpers.

After UAH’s Hans Gorowsky retied it 2-2 barely two minutes later, Bretzman and later Lee untied it to make it 4-2 heading into the second intermission.

Huntsville pulled back within one, 4-3, when James scored his second goal on a power play about 8 1/2 minutes into the third.

The Wildcats peppered UAH goalie Jake Theut with 40 shots as he made 34 saves, while Northern netminder Atte Tolvanen was called on to make just 24 saves.

Tolvanen moved into fourth place all-time at NMU as he now has 3,236 saves.

Next up for the Wildcats is another road series, this time in Minnesota, as they face Bemidji State next weekend.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is