Weekend Wrap-Up: MTU sweeps Colorado College and moves on to Final Five

Michigan Tech stayed in Colorado Springs after getting swept at Colorado College the last weekend of the regular season. The extra time in the altitude and an olympic sheet to practice on helped the Huskies prepare for best-of-three rematch against the Tigers. It paid off with a solid start Friday night and continued into Saturday, and the Huskies trailed only once the entire weekend. Michigan Tech booked their ticket to the WCHA Final Five with a series sweep of 3–1 and 4–3 victories.

Friday

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After a maintenance day off last Saturday, Josh Robinson resumed his starting role and proved to be up to task early with two big saves in the first three minutes. After the initial thrust by Colorado College, the Huskies took over and out shot the Tigers 29–17 for the game. Early on it appeared Josh Thorimbert would carry the Tigers as the Huskies controlled play through the first period without finding the back of the net. In the second period, freshman David Johnstone broke through the Tiger defense and beat Thorimbert on the short side to open the scoring for the game. As the second period ticked down, the Huskies were whistled for consecutive penalties, giving the Tigers a 5-on-3 advantage to start the third. They seized the opportunity, notching the tying goal 40 seconds in. Three minutes later, Dennis Rix put the lead back in the Huskies' hands. Alex MacLeod closed out scoring in the 3–1 victory with his 22nd career goal. "Robinson was key for us tonight," said Mel Pearson. "He kept us in the game early when CC came out strong. After we got our feet under us, we were able to play like we wanted."

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Saturday

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Looking to seal their trip to the Final, Michigan Tech came out strong and jumped out to an early lead when David Johnstone buried a Tiger turnover in the slot. Brett Olson added a goal three minutes later with top shelf shot giving the Huskies a 2–0 lead. In the first period's closing minutes, Colorado College got within one by beating Robinson on a odd-man rush after Sweeney lost his footing. Colorado College stepped up the pressure in the middle stanza, resulting in an equalizer from Andrew Hamburg less than four minutes in. The Tigers continued to pressure through the third period, taking their first lead of the weekend halfway through. With less than 90 seconds remaining, Pearson pulled Josh Robinson for the extra attacker, and the increased pressure led to a flurry in front of Thorimbert. From the goal-mouth scramble the puck squirted out to Blake Pietila, who sent a pass to the point and Steven Siego wristed the puck to the back of the net, tying the game at 18:55. Entering overtime, Michigan Tech continued the pressure, dominating with strong puck movement. Just as with the tying goal, another flurry led to the winning goal as a Daniel Sova shot was tipped in by David Johnstone for his third goal of the weekend. "The kids deserve to be playing in St. Paul," said Pearson.  "They played really hard and put in a gutsy effort tonight. We hope to see all our great fans in St. Paul."

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Stick Salute

This week we salute David Johnstone as he led the team with 3 goals and an assist on the weekend. The freshman is tied with Brett Olson with a team-leading 30 points and leads the team with 12 goals. Johnstone showed his skill set on Friday as he intercepted a pass in the defensive end, took the puck coast to coast and put a wrist shot past Thorimbert short side to start the scoring for the Huskies. His presence on the ice was noticed by many as he found himself in the right place time after time, culminating with a series-clinching deflection in overtime on Saturday."I tipped it, but did not know it went in until I saw my brother celebrating," said David Johnstone. In only his first season, Johnstone has shown that he'll be a strong offensive threat in Pearson's strong puck-moving system.