After a disappointing weekend in which the Huskies got swept by the Bemidji State Beavers (12-11-3), Tech finds itself in Anchorage, Alaska to face the Seawolves (2-21-1). The Seawolves have had a less than ideal season while transitioning to first-year head coach Matt Curley’s system.
The Seawolves find themselves at not only the bottom of the WCHA, but also the NCAA with few signs of success in what they had hoped to be a rebuilding year. Looking into their season so far things aren’t pretty, the Seawolves are averaging 1.21 goals per game with a 5.3 shooting percentage. On special teams things don’t get any better with an 11.1 PP% (59th) and 74.3 PK% (58th) while taking an average of 5 penalties per game. Coach Curley’s team has been backstopped by a rotation of goalies with sophomore goaltenders Brody Claeys (2-5-1, 2.33 GAA, .921SV%), Kris Carlson (0-11-0, 3.78, .889), and Kristian Stead (0-5-0, 6.32 GAA, .826 SV%). The play of Claeys has been one of the few bright spots for the Seawolves this season. He has been able to put up respectable numbers and recorded the only non-losses of the rotation. It should be noted that he hasn’t been playing much as of late (his last start was Jan. 5th), but be on the lookout this weekend for Claeys keeping the games close if he gets the nod.
The Huskies find themselves in an unfortunate state after being swept by the Beavers. Tech can’t seem to get their legs under them. This mixed with tensions within the team and coaching staff leaves the Huskies in an unknown state where anything can happen. This series will most likely be the final chance that Tech will get to see if they can turn the corner and end the season and go into the playoffs with home ice. Robbie Beydoun has been the one saving grace continuing his outstanding play even though he was pulled in game two after letting a goal trickly in. Hopefully, he’ll regain his composure and settle down for the rest of the season.
Keys to the Game
- 200’x100’. The Sullivan Arena is home to an Olympic size sheet. This has been a point of issue for the Huskies this season. They will need to make sure they are prepared for the extra space and not let the Seawolves do what Northern did on their ice.
- GMT-9. Anchorage Alaska is five time zones behind us here in the Eastern Time Zone. This is a grueling trip and really gives the Alaskan teams home-ice advantage. The Huskies will need to make sure they are well rested and prepared.
- Don’t fall for the trap. The Seawolves have had their fair share of problems this season. This doesn’t mean the Huskies should go any easier on them. They need to avoid what happened in their home series against the Chargers and decisively take the six available points this weekend.
The Huskies are the better team on all fronts this season. However, the Seawolves hold a massive home-ice advantage giving the travel distance and the size of the ice. This will, in turn, keep the games closer that fans will want but still result in a pair of victories for Tech. MTU wins 4-2, MTU wins 3-2.
How to Watch
Both games are available through Mix 93.5 for audio featuring Dirk Hembroff (free), and via flohockey.tv (paywall) for video.