Wrap Up: Week 5 2016

Rivalry Week Sweep!

The Huskies were able to bring out the brooms for the first time this season, with two wins against UP rivals the Northern Michigan Wildcats in both Houghton and Marquette during the first of their two home-and-home series. This series was typical of what many expected from the 2016-2017 MTU Huskies team, and Angus Redmond (Fr., G - MTU) got his first start and subsequent first shutout of his college career. In fact, the only goal Redmond gave up on the weekend was with 0:50 left in the 3rd, while MTU was fighting off a 5-on-3 PK. Overall, a great start to his career.

Photo from Oct. 16, 2015, credit Bob Gilreath

Photo from Oct. 16, 2015, credit Bob Gilreath

Redmond answers goalie question

As it has been noted a few times this season, the goal-tending situation for MTU has been one of the biggest questions the team has faced this year. Angus Redmond (Fr.) received his first start of his career on Friday night at home, and stopped all 19 shots he faced. Redmond was the first goaltender in recent memory to receive his first career SO on his first start. Redmond also posted an offensive assist on Saturday, the first of his career. For his efforts, Redmond was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week.

I still have confidence in all of our goalies, I really do. That’s the important thing to remember.
— Mel Pearson (Mel Pearson Show, Oct. 31, 2016)

While it is important to remember that many of the early season losses were against top-20 opponents, the goal tending situation was still a question many Tech fans were asking themselves. With Redmond's performance this weekend, it will be interesting to see what Coach Pearson does for the next series against Michigan State.

Recent goaltenders and early first career shutouts:

- Jamie Phillips: 3rd start (Mar 8th, 2013 against FSU)

- Pheonix Copley: 8th start (Dec 29th, 2013 against UM)

- Josh Robinson: 8th start (Dec 20th, 2008 against NMU)

Special Teams returns to form

The Huskies started the weekend with only 6 PPG on the year, but scored four this weekend, and two additional SHG on Saturday. Dylan Steman (Jr., F - MTU) scored the first SHG at 6:08 into the first period, while Mike Neville (Sr., F - MTU) scored the second SHG with 2:59 left in the 2nd. Neville's goal with MTU's fifth special teams goal on the night. Five of the six goals for MTU on the weekend were on special teams, including each Tech goal on Saturday. Tech is now 10/55 (18.2%) on the PP and 54/67 (80.6%) on the PK this season, up from 14.3% and 77.4%, respectively, prior to the NMU series. Tech is still -1 on special teams this year, fifth in the WCHA.

It was a great individual play
— Mel Pearson, speaking about Mike Neville's SHG Saturday night (Mel Pearson Show Oct. 31, 2016)

THG Three Stars of the weekend

1. Angus Redmond (Fr., G - MTU): 49 SV (.980 SV%), 1 SO, 1 Assist

2. Dylan Steman (Jr., F - MTU): 1 SHG, unassisted

3. Mitch Reinke (Fr., D - MTU): 1 PPG, 1A (2 PPP)

MTU in the Rankings

Tech is now #3 in the WCHA Standings with 11 points through six conference games. League leader Bemidji State has 18 points through six games. Even with the sweep this passed weekend, MTU fell off the "others receiving votes" list on the USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll this week. Tech has moved up to #32 in the Pairwise Rankings PWR, the mathematical system designed to mimic the NCAA selection committee. With only the top 12-16 receiving bids to the NCAA tourney, MTU has a long way to climb to potentially receive a bid. Also notable is that Angus Redmond was named WCHA Rookie of the Week.

Around the WCHA

#9 Alaska-Anchorage at #1 Bemidji State

Friday: 1-2 (OT), Saturday: 0-4

The Beavers are leading the WCHA points and have gone toe to toe with several big teams this year including North Dakota. Michael Bitzer (Jr., G - BSU) stopped all 17 UAA shots Saturday night for his 13th career shutout, the most in Bemidji State history. Anchorage, for their part, were able to take the Beavers to OT on Friday, but were ultimately defeated just 2:05 into the added time. The Seawolves were out-shot 32-69 on the weekend. 

Good News for Huskies fans: Bemidji is #13 in the PWR and #18 in the USCHO.com D1 Men's poll. Tech plays the Beavers four times yet this season, an excellent opportunity for some quality wins.

Bad News for Huskies fans: Tech has struggled against good opponents early this season. BSU will present four difficult games the Huskies need to win.

#7 Ferris State at #2 Minnesota State

Friday: 2-4, Saturday: 4-3

Ferris State took their first regular time WCHA conference win Saturday at USCHO.com D1 Mens Poll #10 Minnesota State. Gerald Mayhew (Sr., F - FSU) scored four points (2G, 2A), including the game winner with 1:01 remaining in Saturday's third period. For Minnesota State, Brad McClure (Jr., F - MSU) had three goals on the weekend, for five total this season. The Mavericks rank near the top of the WCHA in offense and defense with 4.12 GPG and 2.12 GAA. 

Good News for Huskies fans: Ferris has started off the season with a real slow start, against good and bad teams alike. Defeating MSU in regular time goes a long way toward showing Tech that we could beat them when the Mavericks come to Houghton in January

Bad News for Huskies fans: We know that MSU is good this year, so if Ferris can split with MSU, then we definitely cannot overlook the Bulldogs when we face off with them in February.