Hockey Back to WCHA Play at Omaha This Weekend
Feb. 1/2, 2013 • 8:37/8:07 p.m. (ET) • Centerlink Center Omaha (17,000)
Michigan Tech (7-12-4, 4-10-4 WCHA) at Nebraska Omaha (13-9-2, 9-5-2 WCHA)
COMING OFF A BREAK
Michigan Tech plays at Nebraska-Omaha Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2). The Huskies are coming off their fifth idle weekend of the season. They are 4-3-1 in weekends after the bye (0-3-1 vs. Minnesota Duluth and 4-0-0 against everyone else).
THREE POINTS LAST TIME OUT
Michigan Tech's last series was a three-point weekend vs. Bemidji State with a 4-0 win and 2-2 tie (Jan. 18-19). The Huskies took 7-of-8 points from the Beavers on the season. Three of the four games went to overtime. Tech and BSU are tied in their all-time series at 5-5-2.
COPLEY FURTHER ESTABLISHES POSITION
Rookie Pheonix Copley stopped 56-of-58 shots in two games vs. Bemidji State to earn WCHA Rookie of the Week honors and improve his record to 3-2-1 in his last six games. The 6-3, 175-pound goaltender stopped all 25 shots in the Jan. 18 contest to record his third shutout of the season (all in a five-game stretch). He surrendered just two goals in 65:00 of work in a 2-2 overtime Jan. 19. Over the last six games, Copley owns a 1.32 goals against average and .961 save percentage.
PIETILA BACK IN THE SCORING COLUMN
Blake Pietila snapped a three-game scoring drought (his longest of the season) with four points in the Bemidji series. The sophomore left wing notched two goals and an assist on Jan. 18 followed by the game-tying goal in a 2-2 tie Jan. 19. Pietila owns a team-leading 13 goals this season to go with three assists for 16 total points in 21 games. The New Jersey Devils draft pick ranks eighth nationally in goals per game at .62.
ROOKIE PETAN CONTINUES TO PACE TEAM IN POINTS
Alex Petan extended his team point lead with an assist in each game vs. Bemidji. The freshman had a helper on Blake Pietila's second goal Jan. 18 and an assist on Pietila's game-tying goal Jan. 19. Petan has posted 7-13=20 in 23 games this season. His .87 points per game average is 10th best among the nation's freshmen.
Tech's trip to Omaha will be just the third for the hockey program. The Huskies are 2-2-0 in games vs. the Mavericks in Nebraska. Overall, UNO owns a 7-2-1 advantage in the all-time series between the teams. The Mavericks claimed wins by 2-1 and 5-3 scores in Houghton in the first meetings between the squads this year (Nov. 2-3).
KILL, KILL, KILL
Tech's penalty kill extinguished all 11 Bemidji State power plays to improve to 86-of-106 (81.1 percent) on the season. Dating back to the Dec. 14 contest vs. North Dakota, the Huskies have killed 34-of-36 opponent power plays (94.4 percent).
CAN FURNE KEEP IT ROLLING?
Ryan Furne scored his second goal in the last three games with a second-period tally vs. Bemidji State Jan. 19. The junior has 2-1=3 in the last three games after posting just 0-5=5 in his previous 15 games. Furne now has 3-7=10 on the season. He recorded 12 goals in each of his first two seasons at Tech.
JOHNSTONE ADDS TO SEASON TOTAL
David Johnstone scored his sixth goal of the season when he found the back of the net 42 seconds into the Jan. 18 game vs. Bemidji. The tally stood up as the game winner in a 4-0 shutout. Johnstone is tied for second on the team in points with 17 on six goals and 11 assists. The sophomore had 11-18=29 a year ago as a rookie.
GIVING UP FEWER
Michigan Tech has surrendered two or fewer goals in five of its last six games (a 5-4 loss at Minnesota Duluth being the exception). The Huskies are allowing just 2.18 goals per game over the last 11 contests after giving up 3.92 over the first 12.
GORDIC SNAPS DROUGHT
Junior Milos Gordic registered his first point since Dec. 7 with an assist on Blake Pietila's power-play goal Jan. 18. The 6-6 right wing, who has battled injuries, had only played in one of the team's previous five games. Gordic has 2-4=6 in 16 games this season.
OVERACHIEVING IN OVERTIME
Six of Michigan Tech's games this season have required overtime. The Huskies are 2-0-4 in those contests and 6-1-8 in overtimes in the last two seasons combined under coach Mel Pearson. Tech is 8-1-15 in its last 24 overtime games stretching back to 2009.
Michigan Tech is 4-2-1 so far this season against teams that will be in the WCHA next season … The first goal continues to be a big factor in Tech outcomes this season. The Huskies are 7-1-1 when they score it and 0-11-3 when their opponents strike first this season … Tech has played all but three of its games on the NHL-sized ice sheet this season … After a 2-6-0 start, the Huskies have played to a 5-6-4 record on the year … A total of 24 different Tech players saw at least one game of action in the month of January.
INTRASQUAD AT THE DEE
With a bye last weekend, the Michigan Tech hockey team played an intrasquad game at Dee Stadium (it's home rink before the MacInnes Student Ice Arena opened in 1972). The Gold defeated the Black 6-3 in front of 750 fans. Non-perishable food items were collected at the door for admission, and approximately 1,000 pounds of food were collected to donate to local food banks.