The Huskies earned a shootout loss and win against Minnesota State this weekend, finishing their regular season series with the Mavericks 1-2-1. The offense found a groove, scoring four each night. However, it was the defense under pressure Friday, giving up four straight to MSU before coming back to tie. On Saturday, the defensive core was much tighter and Angus Redmond (Fr., G) stopped all 22 shots on goal for his third shutout in his freshman year.
After an embarrassing stumble two weeks ago against Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech's performance against Minnesota State pulled back a few of the first-place votes they had ceded to Bemidji State in last week's poll.
Michigan Tech (14-9-5) tries to forget about the most frustrating weekend of the year when Minnesota State (14-8-2) comes to Houghton for a two-game set. There is now no room for error for these Huskies, who run into a Minnesota State team who just split with Bowling Green but likely feels like they should have picked up all six points.
Michigan Tech has had interest Jack Becker for a long time. On Monday, they finally received a commitment from the 19-year-old. He currently plays forward for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL but was originally recruited by former assistant coach Billy Muckalt while Becker was still playing high school hockey with his home town Mahtomedi Zephyrs.
The Huskies and Alaska-Anchorage split the hard way over the weekend, with each team winning three of the six WCHA conference points over two 2OT games. With both games going beyond regulation OT, each game went down in the NCAA book as a tie.
While it's normal for the voting to start to stabilize at this point in the season, the number of close series going beyond regulation—and often beyond NCAA overtime—has caused quite the shakeup in our poll.
A few weeks ago, two things happened. First, Tech Hockey Guide launched The Smelter, our weekly email newsletter that highlights some of the best content from the week and includes a short note from Editor-in-Chief Alex Slepak. Second, John Scott released his memoir, A Guy Like Me. We've been lucky enough to acquire not one, but two signed copies of the book to give away on this site.
After over a month away from conference play, Michigan Tech (14-9-3) reenters the battle for the McNaughton Cup with every remaining game on the schedule counting towards the WCHA standings. The Huskies start off the stretch run looking to avenge being swept in Houghton last season by the pesky Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (5-14-3).
Tech wrapped up the weekend with a split in South Bend against a ranked opponent this weekend. Overall, the feel to the last three games (Western Michigan at the GLI, and Notre Dame over this past weekend) was of a Michigan Tech Huskies team setting the tone for the rest of the season and potential post season. Scoring has been the largest question for this Huskies team, recently, and the lack of offense let Friday's game slip away. Tech came out Saturday and put four behind Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen (Jr., G - UND).
We have a new #1 in the polls this week as the Huskies have finally wrested one more first-place vote from the Bemidji State Beavers. Both team split this week, Michigan Tech with Notre Dame and Bemidji State with Bowling Green, and it seems that the Black and Gold's split with the higher-ranked Notre Dame was enough to earn an extra vote over last week.