Northern Michigan's Griffin Loughran Seizing Opportunity

Griffin Loughran, Northern Michigan

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

The loss of key contributors left the Northern Michigan offense in limbo ahead of the 2019-20 season, but the youth has taken full advantage of the increased opportunity — and now the offense flows through Griffin Loughran.

The 20-year-old leads the nation with nine goals, while his 15 points are good enough for third among national scoring leaders. The sophomore has already eclipsed his rookie goal total and is just three points shy from his 15-point campaign last season.

Loughran’s development since the end of last season has made the difference for a team that lost three of its top four scorers from 2018-19, a trio that accounted for nearly 50 percent of the team’s total goals scored last season (50/104).

The Wildcats’ 6-2-2 record is their best mark through the first 10 games of a season since 2014-15, and the diminutive forward is making sure the team leaves no points on the table ahead of its trendy winter semester pushes.

Even in the small, fast game of collegiate hockey, Loughran’s 5-foot-6, 145-pound frame (via Elite Prospects) is still considered small. Even if he’s not racking up the points on a given night, he’s still filling up the scoresheet with an agitating persona, one that dates back ahead of his days in Marquette.

“Aggravate as many people as possible and put the puck in the net,” Loughran told Chris Murphy of Inforum.com back in May of 2018. “That's really my go-to.”

The comment came just days before Loughran’s Fargo Force was set to take on Youngstown for the USHL’s Clark Cup. The Force would claim the three-game series, in which Loughran recorded three goals and an assist, in addition to four penalty minutes that would bring him up to 122 total through all 63 games played that season.

On the outside, he’s a liability, but a closer look shows he knows just what it takes to truly agitate his opponents. It’s why he recorded a team-leading 72 PIM as a rookie with the Wildcats, 26 more than his next-highest teammate.

This year, Loughran is adding more of an offensive side to go along with his offensive side, and beating opponents on the scoresheet is just as frustrating as beating them with a quip.

As one of coach Grant Potulny’s first recruits, Loughran’s development is another signal that the bench boss is taking the program in the right direction. In his third season behind the bench, Potulny is eyeing a third consecutive 20-win season, with Loughran and fellow recruits are leading the way.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

Inside The Atlanta Gladiators' Decision To Opt Out For 2020-21

Atlanta Gladiators

There were 5,000 fans in Infinite Energy Arena the last time the Atlanta Gladiators played a home game.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Atlantic Hockey Preview: RIT Reloads On Scorers, Plus Niagara & Holy Cross

RIT

With Atlantic Hockey announcing return-to-play schedules to begin as early as November 13, the dream that was college hockey being played in 2020 seems to finally be a reality. In its 17th year of existence, Atlantic Hockey looks to set the standard for safe, exciting, and competitive hockey to be played. In honor of the season starting next month, here is installment one of four team preview issues that will identify every need to know factor for all 11 teams in the conference.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

WCHA Men's League Announces 2020-21 Composite Schedule

Bemidji State

Via WCHA press release

James Melindy Is The Engine That Makes The Newfoundland Growlers Go

James Melindy, Newfoundland

A quick Google search on James Melindy does not take long to yield one of the everlasting images of the last season the ECHL managed to complete.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Dryden McKay Leads The Mavericks As Hastings & Minnesota State Reload

Dryden McKay

Minnesota State entered the 2019-20 campaign with its eyes on a national championship, but as the pandemic hit, the sudden end of the season was just another bout of disappointment in Mankato.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Unselfishness, Attention To Detail At The Center Of The Worcester Rebuild

Worcester Railers HC

Often, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the fortunes of a struggling franchise change.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Colorado Avalanche's Bednar Credits ECHL Experience In Big League Success

Jared Bednar

Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche does not fit the stereotype of the NHL’s hottest young coach: he’s a graying 48-year-old who spent 16 years playing and coaching in the ECHL, never once getting a sniff at playing in The Show. When he finally got his dream job, coaching the Avs in 2016-17, it quickly devolved into a nightmare — a 56-loss horror show, alone in last place.

'We All Love The Game Of Hockey': Adirondack Is Ready To Bounce Back

null

From the outside looking in, it would not be hard to look at the way things were going for the Adirondack Thunder towards the tail end of their 2019-20 campaign and assume that the unexpected early end to their season was a welcome one.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

From Crease King To Cuisine Editor: Parker Milner's Life After The ECHL

Parker Milner

By Jason Guarente

During his long road trips with travel teams, from Cleveland to Detroit to wherever, Parker Milner was laying the groundwork for life after hockey.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Butrus Ghafari Brings Aggressive, Physical Edge To Toledo Walleye Blue Line

Butrus Ghafari

The ECHL’s Toledo Walleye have continued to pluck undervalued talent from the NCAA to build on their perennial success with the addition of defenseman Butrus Ghafari from the Michigan State Spartans.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In