Weekend Wrap Up: Week 17

Huskies Earn Four of Six Points Against Mavericks 

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 this weekend, 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. Redmond boasts a national-best 1.50 goals against average.

Huskies Take Third Straight to Overtime

For the third game in a row on Friday, the Huskies went to OT against a WCHA opponent. After taking a two-goal lead Friday, the Huskies gave up four unanswered Maverick goals. Zeb Knutson (Jr,. F - MSU) scored the third and fourth in 1:26. This defensive breakdown was very uncharacteristic for this Huskies team in the 2016-2017 season and was the first time MTU has allowed four goals since October 21st. MTU dug deep after the second Knutson goal and were able to fight back to tie. Tyler Heinonen (Sr., F - MTU) scored the tying goal with 9:27 remaining in the third, his third point of the night. Heinonen now has 11 points on the year (6G, 5A).

The Huskies were unable to get a shootout goal in three rounds on junior goalie Aaron Nelson and Redmond matched until finally allowing a lone goal off the stick of Parker Toumie (Fr., F - MSU). As the home team, Coach Mel Pearson chose to shoot first, as he has shown a preference for in the past. This strategy puts the pressure onto the opposing scorers against the red-hot Angus Redmond. The downside however, is that Friday's game ended abruptly in favor of the Mavericks. The Huskies are now 1-3 in shootout games this season.

Parker Toumi (Fr., F - MSU) beat Angus Redmond in the Shootout third round in Friday's game. The Huskies were unable to beat MSU goaltender Aaron Nelson (Jr., G - MSU). Photo Courtesy: Bob Gilreath (Jan. 20, 2017).

Parker Toumi (Fr., F - MSU) beat Angus Redmond in the Shootout third round in Friday's game. The Huskies were unable to beat MSU goaltender Aaron Nelson (Jr., G - MSU). Photo Courtesy: Bob Gilreath (Jan. 20, 2017).

Tale of Two Nights - Defense Tightens Up

After allowing four goals and a shootout win the previous night, the Tech defense stopped any Maverick surge cold in it's tracks Saturday. The Huskies did not allow a single goal in Saturday's contest, for Redmond's third shutout of the season. Similar to Friday's game, Tech went up 2-0 on a Mitch Reinke (Fr., D) bomb from the point. Mike Neville was screening Maverick goaltender Nelson who didn't have a chance to see it. Unlike Friday, the defensive power Michigan Tech showed on Saturday lead to further scoring opportunities. Alex Gilles earned his second goal of the night at 4:57 in the 3rd. Gilles has four goals on the season. 

Before Saturday’s game we brought in all the defensemen, all eight of them, and had a really good conversation. Really, the message was, as a group, this is the best defensive core in the country. They don’t know how good they can be... I don’t know if I’ve been around 7 or 8 guys who can dominate a game from the blue line like they can.
— Mel Pearson (Mel Pearson Show, Jan. 23, 2017)
Alex Gilles (Jr., F) scored two goals in Saturday's 4-0 victory over Minnesota State. Gilles now has five points on the season (4G, 1A). Photo Courtesy: Bob Gilreath (Jan. 21st, 2017).

Alex Gilles (Jr., F) scored two goals in Saturday's 4-0 victory over Minnesota State. Gilles now has five points on the season (4G, 1A). Photo Courtesy: Bob Gilreath (Jan. 21st, 2017).

Update on Michigan Tech's Stats Year To Date:

  • Goals Scored: 79 during 30 games (2.63 per game, 40th nationally)
  • Goals Allowed: 61 during 30 games (2.03 per game, 5th nationally)
  • Power Play: 24 for 139 (17.3%, 35th nationally)
  • Penalty Kill: 142 for 161 (88.2%, 4th nationally)
  • Penalty Minutes: 486 (16.2 Per Game, 9th nationally)

THG Three Stars of the Weekend:

Hard to pick three stars from this weekend since several Huskies had multi-point games. 

  1. Tyler Heinonen (2G, 1A on Friday). Heinonen scored the game tying goal Friday and had a solid weekend at a level Heinonen has been expected to be at. Heinonen lead all Huskies with 11 SOG. 
  2. Mitch Reinke (1G, 2A). Reinke has been solid in his freshman season with the Huskies. The d-man was on the score sheet both nights and was in on the plays Huskies needed to win. Reinke was one of three Huskies with a positive +/- Friday.
  3. Alex Gilles (2G on Saturday) Gilles scored the first and the final goal before the Mavericks pulled Aaron Nelson Saturday.

Honorable Mentions: Angus Redmond who earned his third shutout of the season and Jake Lucchini (So., F) who earned his 16th and 17th points of the year Friday. Lucchini leads the team in goals and points this season. 

Michigan Tech in the Rankings:

Michigan Tech is #24t in the Pairwise Rankings. The Huskies have 54 points in the USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll, 24 shy of the top 20. Tech sits solidly at 2nd in the WCHA Standings and in the THG WCHA Web Media Poll. Tyler Heinonen, Mitch Reinke (Fr., D), and Chris Gerrie (Fr., F) received offensive, defensive and rookie WCHA Player of the Week Honorable Mentions, respectively.