Sunday, February 12, 2017

Atte's coming

Minnesota State will be back in action at home on Friday when it begins a series against Northern Michigan.

That's Northern Michigan, which comes in on a nine-game unbeaten streak. Northern Michigan, with goaltender Atte Tolvanen, who has shutouts in his last five games (including a 48-save performance against Alaska on Saturday), which has tied an NCAA men's record.

In total, his shutout streak has gone 335 minutes, 39 seconds, which ranks second in NCAA men's history. He has made 207 saves over that span.

The Wildcats were in last place in the WCHA standings at one point but are now tied for sixth. Less than three weeks until the league playoffs begin, it's fair to say that no one wants to face them. But Minnesota State, trying lock down third place and maybe slide into second, will have the task of breaking Northern's and Tolvanen's stress this weekend.

Here's what teams have left in the WCHA season (in order of standings, points in parenthesis):

1. Bemidji State (61)* — bye ... vs. Minnesota State
2. Michigan Tech (51) — bye ... at/vs. Northern Michigan
3. Minnesota State (42) — vs. Northern Michigan ... at Bemidji State
4. Bowling Green (38) — bye ... vs. Alabama Huntsville
5. Ferris State (32) — vs. Alaska Anchorage ... at Lake Superior State
6. Lake Superior State (31) — at Alaska ... vs. Ferris State
    Northern Michigan (31) — at Minnesota State ... vs./at Michigan Tech
8. Alaska (30) — vs. Lake Superior State ... at Alaska Anchorage
    Alabama Huntsville (30) — bye ... at Bowling Green
10. Alaska Anchorage (26) — at Ferris State ... vs. Alaska Anchorage

* MacNaughton Cup champion

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