MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan hockey team is currently 2-2-2. Two wins, two losses, two ties.
The number two has been a great way to describe a lot things about the team. Goalie Mathias Dahlstrom is still being eased back into the lineup due to a lingering knee injury, but freshman Atte Tolvanen has more than held his own to start the season, giving the Wildcats two reliable options between the pipes.
Earlier this week, Tolvanen was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. The Finland-native has a 92% save percentage and he’s enjoyed his time with the team so far.
“I like it. I like it so far. It’s been a fun experience. The guys in the locker room have been great to me,” Tolvanen said.
“I think we thought he was a good young goaltender. We didn’t think we were going to have to force-feed him as many games or as many minutes as we have. But he’s played exceptionally well. The thing I’ve found about him as we’ve had him here is his demeanor and his focus are just exceptional and that’s a big skill for a goaltender,” Kyle said.
The Wildcats are taking on Bemidji State in a two game home series beginning tomorrow and the team is well versed on this familiar foe.
“I know that they’re a good team. I’ve played against a lot of their forwards in juniors and stuff like that. They have a lot of speed and they have a lot of good players. I’m looking forward to the series,” said Shine.
“They’ve had arguably the toughest schedule in the country this year, playing North Dakota, Duluth and Mankato, all three nationally-ranked teams. They’ve played a number of those games on the road so they haven’t had it easy. I know that we’ll have our hands full. They have a real dynamic group of forwards. They are very good in goal and they have a solid core of defensemen so it should be an interesting series for us,” Kyle said.