By @MichaelCaples –
While they’re busy preparing for the WCHA title game this weekend, the Wildcats have a few other things to celebrate.
New head coach Grant Potulny has been named the WCHA coach of the year for the 2017-18 season, while junior goaltender Atte Tolvanen has been named the goaltender of the year for the conference.
Potulny, in his first year as a NCAA Division 1 head coach, led NMU to its best league showing in 26 years. The Wildcats finished second in the conference with a 19-7-2-2 record after being picked by both the coaches and the media to finish seventh in the WCHA preseason polls.
The Wildcats are playing in their first conference championship game since 2010.
Meanwhile, Tolvanen is now in the running for WCHA player of the year after being named the conference’s top goaltender. The native of Vihti, Finland, finished tied for the conference lead in wins despite missing six games due to injury. He was second in the conference with a .917 save percentage and two shutouts, and third in the WCHA with a 2.05 goals-against average.