Marquette, Mich. (WJMN) – The Northern Michigan hockey team got a good test in an exhibition match against the United States National Team Development Program, this past Saturday.
NMU had the advantage in shots on goal, outshooting their opponent 31-28.
Their special teams were solid, the Wildcats went 1-2 on the power play while killing three of four opportunities on their opponent’s power play.
Four different Wildcats were able to find the back of the net in this one en route to a 4-3 win.
Freshman, Andre Ghantous scored his first goal in his career and added an assist. Senior Luke Voltin, sophomore Ty Readman and sophomore Grant Loven also scored.
The goaltending duties were shared as both sophomore Nolan Kent and freshman John Hawthorne split the duties, something that head coach, Grant Potulny, said would continue.
“I thought some of the sophomores took some steps. I thought some of our defensemen who are freshmen played very well. I thought our freshman forwards played very well. The most important position with the least experience on our team is goaltending and I thought both guys played pretty good. It’s important that those guys get a chance to play. It’s important that they get to play at home and that they get to play on the road because once you start to get into your conference schedule that is not too far away, you want to make sure you know who you’re going with. If you don’t know, it’s okay. Hey, I’ve been on teams that have played for the national championship against teams that have been rotating goalies all year. So, I’d love to do that. That means they are both playing great.”
Wildcat hockey fans will get their first look at the team this weekend when the cats open up their regular season at the Berry Events Center against Michigan state.
Nmu hosts Michigan state Friday and Saturday in a weekend doubleheader.
These two teams split a series last season in East Lansing.
After dropping the first game, nmu came back to beat Michigan State, 4-3.
In the last 22 meetings, nmu is 13-7-2 against the Spartans.
“They’re a lot like us. They’re much deeper than they’ve ever been. They do have two returning goalies that have both played. Top line is good and their top four ‘D’ is good. We’re going to have to worry a lot about us this week, which we do typically, but early in the year, there’s just not enough sample size to know, you know, what they really do well, or what are some areas you might have some success. You kind of focus on what you can do and what you do well. There are certain things, that historically, knowing dan, how their teams play. You know things that are going to make you nervous, things that they do. You know, maybe hone in on that a little bit more.”
The puck drops for game 1 of the series between NMU and Michigan State Friday night at 7 pm eastern.