|1st||9:36||NMU||1-0||EV GW||Demico Hannoun (1)||Philip Beaulieu/11|
|2nd||4:48||NMU||2-0||EV||Robbie Payne (9)||Darien Craighead/13, Connor Frantti/2|
|3rd||1:08||NMU||3-0||EV||Robbie Payne (10)||Zach Diamantoni/11, Dominik Shine/6|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Northern Michigan (10-17-4)||0/3||7/14||0|
|Davis Jones (L, 4-8-2)||59:44||3||10||11||5||26|
|Northern Michigan Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Atte Tolvanen (W, 9-17-4)||60:00||0||11||14||14||39|
MARQUETTE, Mich. - Atte Tolvanen made 39 saves to propel the Northern Michigan hockey team to its fourth-straight shutout victory Friday night at the Berry Events Center.
The Wildcats found the back of the net during each period to down Alaska-Fairbanks, 3-0, and move to 6-1-2 in 2017.
Tolvanen has tied the all-time (and 63-year-old) WCHA record with four-straight shutouts. The only other goaltender to accomplish the feat was North Dakota's Gerald 'Spike' Schultz, who blanked Michigan Tech in four-straight contests from Jan. 14-29, 1954.
Tolvanen is also one shutout shy of the NCAA record of five-straight, set by Lake Superior State's Blaine Lacher from March 4-14, 1994.
Demico Hannoun's first career goal broke the stalemate at 9:36 of the opening stanza. Philip Beaulieu broke up a Nanook breakout, and the puck kicked out to Hannoun at the right point. Hannoun immediately fired a shot on net, and the puck found the space between Davis Jones's pads and his blocker.
Tolvanen finished the first period with 11 saves. In the first three minutes, Colton Leiter had an uncontested look from the slot, but Tolvanen directed the puck wide. Later on, Leiter had another golden opportunity in transition, but he rang the puck off of the crossbar and out.
With less than two minutes remaining in the frame, Josh Erickson managed to weave through the Wildcat defense to find a shooting lane in tight, but Tolvanen blocked the shot and then covered the puck before a Nanook could pounce on it.
Robbie Payne extended the Wildcats' lead to 2-0 at 4:48 of the middle frame. While being dragged to the ice on the goal line, Darien Craighead managed to send a backhanded pass to Payne in front of the net. Payne drew the puck from his forehand to his backhand before flipping it just inside of the left post.
The final six minutes of the second period were spent on special teams as Northern Michigan took three penalties and Alaska-Fairbanks was assessed one. Twenty-four seconds into what would have been a 1:12 Nanook 5-on-3 advantage, Jordan Klimek drew a penalty to make it 4-on-3 instead.
Tolvanen made 14 saves in the second period, with nine coming during that penalty marred stretch. At one point, he denied James LaDouce's point shot through a heavy screen and held on to the puck in a heated scrum.
Just 1:08 had elapsed in the third period when Payne and Zach Diamantoni teamed to make it a 3-0 game with a tic-tac-toe goal. After Dominik Shine sprung the junior duo on a 2-on-1 rush, Payne passed the puck off to Diamantoni, who gave it right back to him to fire past Jones.
Tolvanen preserved his shutout streak by coming up with three saves during the Nanooks' final man advantage of the game. After stopping back-to-back bids by Tyler Cline, Tolvanen sprawled out to deny LaDouce's attempt to stuff the loose puck home.
The Wildcats, who are unbeaten in their past eight games (6-0-2) and winners of their past five, wrap up their series with the Nanooks tomorrow at 7:07 p.m.
NOTES: Northern Michigan leads the all-time series, 34-13-12 ... Tolvanen, who broke the school record for consecutive scoreless minutes on Feb. 4 at Bowling Green, has now gone 275.42 minutes without allowing a goal ... Tolvanen has made at least 30 saves in each of his shutouts, combining to make 148 ... Payne's multi-goal effort was his second of the season and fifth of his career ... Connor Frantti picked up the secondary assist on Payne's first goal; it was his first assist since Dec. 3 at Alaska-Anchorage ... The Wildcats held the Nanooks scoreless on six power-play opportunities.