MENOMONIE, Wis. – There’s an entire corner of the North Iowa Bulls goaltending record book that still bears Tommi Ahlgren‘s name.
Career save percentage? Career goals-against average? Single-season shutouts? Yes, yep and affirmative. All of those records and more belong to the Tampere, Finland native. Now, he’s more than come into his own as the starting goaltender for the University of Wisconsin-Stout Blue Devils. Ahlgren was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Athlete of the Week this past week, thanks to two shutout wins over the past weekend.
The Blue Devil junior started his weekend with a 32-save performance in a 3-0 win over Lawrence University on Friday night, and stopped 27 Marian shots the following night in a 4-0 triumph over NCAA Division III’s seventh-ranked team. It’s only the third time that a UW-Stout goalie has ever shut out back-to-back opponents on the road. At 6-2-0, the Blue Devils are off to their best start in more than a decade.
Over the last four games, the former Bull has allowed just three goals and stopped 97 percent of the chances that have come his way. This success is nothing new to Ahlgren, coming off of a season that saw him pick up first-team all-WIAC honors. This season, he’s one of four former Bulls headlining the UW-Stout roster.
In 2018-19, though, he’s reached a new level – his 1.52 goals-against average and .934 save percentage have him on pace to carve out another corner of another team’s record book. No Blue Devil goaltender has ever posted a save percentage above .927, nor a goals-against average below 2.10.
Ahlgren played two seasons in Mason City, from 2014-16. In both seasons, North Iowa brought home national championships, both in the final season of the USA Hockey national junior tournament in 2015, and in the Bulls’ 51-win Silver Cup national championship run in 2016. His .944 career save percentage and 1.55 career goals-against average remain the standards that all Bulls netminders have chased since.
The second of those seasons is by far the top all-around single-season showing in Bulls history – his 17-2-2 record, 1.17 goals-against average and .958 save percentage that year helped propel the Bulls to their third NA3HL championship in four seasons.
Wisconsin-Stout continues its season, and hopefully its torrid start, with a road trip to Eau Claire next Wednesday to face the UWEC Blugolds. Former Bulls Braxton Collins and David Johnson are donning UW-Eau Claire uniforms this season.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Tommi Ahlgren on his weekly honor from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and wish him continued success as a valued member of the University of Wisconsin-Stout hockey program.
(photo courtesy of Wisconsin-Stout athletics)