Well, it is that time of year again ladies and gentlemen. The leaves are starting to change on the trees and a cool (cold) breeze is making its way into the Keweenaw Peninsula which can only mean one thing, Michigan Tech hockey is back! As the Huskies enter their 99th season we will tag along on this journey to see what it has to offer. Before diving into the first series of the year against Robert Morris University we need to recap and catch up on the events that have happened over the summer. In today’s piece, we will cover the changes with the forwards with pieces on defensemen and goalies coming later this week.
To begin discussing and analyzing the forwards we must first address the elephant in the room. The Huskies had three forwards transfer/leave the program with Gavin Gould (Bowling Green), Thomas Beretta (Vermont), and Andrew Bellant. With their departure and the graduation of last year’s seniors (Jake Jackson. Jake Lucchini, and Dylan Steman) Tech is left with 12 returning forwards. Due to these departures, the Huskies will look to their returning upperclassmen to fill the offensive void. Leading the way will be senior Alex Smith (56 pts) followed by juniors Justin Misiak (22 pts) and Greyson Reitmeier (20 pts).
As we continue our analysis you might observe a trend, this upcoming Huskies team is very young. With over half of the team being underclassmen. Out of this pool, sophomores Brian Halonen (21 pts), Trenton Bliss (15 pts), and Alec Broetzman (15 pts) will look to improve upon successful freshman campaigns.
The new incoming class of 2019 shows some very good potential. We’ll begin with David Raisanen (Minot Minotauros, NAHL), he comes in with limited eligibility after a very impressive second season with the Minotauros. Over the 60 games, he scored 24 goals and 26 assists for a total of 50 points. Raisanen earned his spot on the roster via tryout and if given the chance to play he could have an immediate impact for the Huskies offense. Up next we have Jake Crespi (Tri-City Storm, USHL), he enters as a freshman and had an injury-shortened 2nd season with the storm where he tallied 8 goals and 4 assists for 12 points in just 18 games.
Our next two incoming players both come from the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Logan Ganie (53 pts) and Parker Saretsky (56 pts) are both coming off of very impressive seasons playing 54 and 57 games respectively. It will be interesting to see how well they adjust to the NCAA and whether or not they are linemates to begin the season. Rounding out the incoming forwards is a name all Tech fans will be familiar with if they have followed Huskies hockey for the past decade plus. Coming from the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL is Logan Pietila (35 pts in 62 games). He has MTU hockey in his blood as four of his cousins have suited up for MTU since 2002 and he and his brother, incoming Huskies goalie Blake Pietila (yes you read that right), will be the fifth and sixth Pietilas to wear the black and gold.
The new forwards will have their work cut out for them as will the returning Husky forwards due to such a large change over of personnel. This is going to either make or break the Huskies this year due to the sheer fact that you can’t win a game if you aren’t able to produce. Tech managed to average 2.37 goals per game and I expect that this average will increase this season hovering around that magic number of 3. If the Huskies are able to manage a consist offense then expect this season to be a successful one.
Featured Image courtesy of Geoffrey M. Miller and Michigan Tech Athletics