Tough Weekend Leads to Pivotal MCHC Playoffs

MCHC – East Preview

Weekend Recap

The Golden Grizzlies took on #37 Northwood Timberwolves this past weekend. The weekend games come as the latest round of rankings have the Golden Grizzlies sitting 12th in the country.  Coming into the weekend, coach Stirling and his staff were 4-0-0 against the Timberwolves and currently fighting for a 2nd place position amongst the MCHC – East rankings.

In the first of the two-game series, the Golden Grizzlies were at home for their senior night which saw the team honor the six seniors before the game.  In what was a clean game at Buffalo Wild Wings Arena, the Grizzlies would find themselves down 2-1 with just over a minute to go in regulation.  With the net empty, senior forward Evan Chippa found Senior Dylan McMullen to tie the game in the final minute.  As the game would wind down, the Grizzlies would take a boarding call that would carry into overtime.  In overtime, Northwood would score on that powerplay to take a 3-2 victory. Scoring the other goal in the contest was Chippa on an assist from Tommy Davis and Thomas Monte.  In the net for the Golden Grizzlies was junior goalie Tate Potteiger who made 23 of 26 saves in the contest.  Oakland led the game with the final shots being 45-26.

The next afternoon was the second and final game of the series against Northwood.  The Grizzlies found themselves in another competitive game at Midland Civic Arena.  Oakland would find themselves in an all too familiar spot as the game would be forced to overtime for the 10th time this season.  As overtime progressed, there would be ample chances for the Grizzlies but with no conversion as the game would end tied 2-2.  Goaltender Caleb Godlewski would play in the contest and made 22 of 24 saves.

After 15 weeks of play (record of 18-6-3-3), the team highlights are below:

Leading in Goals: Brendan Danou (19)

Leading in Assists: Jack Abbo (27)

Leading in Points: Jack Abbo (39)

Team Powerplay: 30 of 123 (24.39%)

Team Penalty Kill %: 94 of 117 (80.34%)

Leader in Wins: Tate Potteiger (10)

Leader in GAA (at least 180 minutes played): Evan Hays (1.70)

Leader in Save % (at least 180 minutes played): Evan Hays (94.02%)


MCHC – East Preview (#6 MCHC – East, #37 Northwood University)

The first round of MCHC – East playoffs begins Friday at Crystal Fieldhouse hosted by U of M – Flint. The Grizzlies finished 3rd in the MCHC–East and will take on the Timberwolves again on Friday night. Northwood is led by forwards Milos Todorovic (GP 20, 24 Points, 1.20 Points per game), Donald Gooley (GP 18, 18 Points, 1.00 PPG), and Thomas Kroll (GP 20, 17 Points, 0.85 PPG).  In goal for the Timberwolves is first-year goaltender Aidan Schultz (GP 16, 5-9-1, 90.1 Save %, 3.54 GAA). Schultz has accumulated 948 minutes in net so far this season.

The game times for this coming weekend are as follows.  Friday night’s game is at Crystal Fieldhouse with a 6:45 PM start time.  If the team advances after Friday’s game, there will be a game Saturday evening also at Crystal Fieldhouse.


Other News and Notes

Program Notes:

With the final home game of the season, the Golden Grizzlies would like to honor the six seniors for this year’s senior class.  Michael Sana, Griffin Geerts, Evan Chippa, Brody Plant, Thomas Monte, and Dylan McMullen will be part of the senior class that will be graduating at the end of the season.  We congratulate them on their accomplishments on and off the ice.  Evan Chippa leads the group in games played while Dylan McMullen joined the team this semester.

With only two weeks of ranking period games left on the schedule, the team currently sits in 12th place in the Nationals rankings.  The MCHC playoffs are a single-elimination format with some national ranking implications.  Games in the first two rounds of the MCHC playoffs (February 16th and 17th) count in the national ranking period and will consist of all MCHC – East games being played at Crystal Fieldhouse in Flint.  Rounds three and four are being played at Davenport which will include the remaining two teams from the MCHC – West division as well.


The sixth ranking period of the season was announced on 2/2 via social media and the ACHA website.  The Golden Grizzlies are currently ranked 12th in the national ranking system.  The seventh ranking will be on 2/16/2024 in the afternoon. This will include any games played by other teams and the games against U of M and Northwood.

The rankings will continue throughout the season on a bi-weekly basis until the final ranking period in the middle of February (games through 2/18, rankings released 2/23).  The top 16 teams with some automatic bids for league winners (must be in the top 25 nationally) will make the tournament which is hosted in St. Louis this season.  There is currently one auto bid outside of the top 16 (Sacred Heart, MCHC-NE League, 19th) as of this writing, that will potentially replace the 16th seed.  There is another (Saint Vincent, CHE, 28th) that is trying to crack the top 25 for a chance at their auto bid.

MCHC – East Play

#4 Michigan vs #5 CMU

#3 Oakland vs #6 Northwood

#2 SVSU vs #7 U of M – Flint

#1 LTU vs #8 Adrian

Please visit our website for more information about game times, stats, and more.