Hockey Continues WCHA Play at Minnesota State This Weekend
Feb. 15/16, 2012 • 8:37/8:07 p.m. (ET) • Verizon Wireless Center (4,832)
Michigan Tech (10-14-4, 6-12-4 WCHA) at No. 9 Minnesota State (18-9-3, 12-9-1 WCHA)
ON A ROLL
Michigan Tech has won three of its last four games and owns a 6-4-1 record since Christmas with all four losses coming by just one goal. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 41-21 over that 11-game span.
RECORD DAY VS. RIVAL WILDCATS
Tech matched its highest goal total in the series vs. Northern Michigan with an 8-2 victory last Tuesday (Feb. 12). The Huskies scored four goals in the first period and four more in the second. The eight goals matched Oct. 18, 1997 (8-2) and Jan. 19, 1985 (8-6) as the only other eight-goal games vs. the Wildcats.
HUSKIES WIN WINTER CARNIVAL TITLE
Michigan Tech claimed its 42nd Winter Carnival title in its 64th year of existence by beating Alaska Anchorage 10-6 in total goals last weekend. The Seawolves defeated the Huskies 5-4 on Friday (Feb. 8) before the hosts bounced back for a 6-1 victory—their largest of the season—Saturday (Feb. 9).
KERO AND BLAKE PIETILA BOTH PUT UP FOUR POINTS VS. NMU
Sophomores Tanner Kero and Blake Pietila both recorded four points in the 8-2 victory over Northern Michigan last Tuesday (Feb. 12). Kero scored just 46 seconds into the game, had a power-play goal in the second period and assisted on two other goals en route to 2-2=4 on the night. Pietila tallied his team-leading 14th goal of the season in the first period and had helpers on three other goals for 1-3=4. The four-point outputs were the highest of any Tech player since Jordan Baker had 3-1=4 vs. Alaska Anchorage last year (Jan. 14, 2012). Pietila (14-7=21) and Kero (7-12=19) rank third and fourth on the team in scoring, respectively.
PETAN WITH TEAM-LEADING 26 POINTS
Alex Petan had two goals in the 6-1 win over Alaska Anchorage last Saturday (Feb. 9) and another vs. Northern Michigan Tuesday (Feb. 12) to improve his team-leading point total to 11-15=26. The freshman right wing has 11 points in the last eight games. His 26 points are the fifth most among the nation's rookies.
SPECIAL TEAMS STORY
Tech's power play has scored on seven of its last 12 opportunities over the last three games including a 3-for-5 performance vs. Northern Michigan Tuesday (Feb. 12). The Huskies' success on the power play has improved to 21.7 percent (25-of-115) on the season. The Huskies' penalty kill went 2-for-2 in the game vs. NMU and stands at 80.7 percent.
Michigan Tech owns a 16-25-5 all-time record against Minnesota State since the series began in 1996. The teams split their four games a year ago with a win and loss at each home site. The Huskies won the most recent matchup, a 7-3 decision in Mankato Feb. 4, 2012.
COPLEY WITH 11 STRAIGHT STARTS, BUT PHILLIPS SEES ACTION
Pheonix Copley has surrendered just two goals in the last two games (90 minutes of work), giving up one goal in 50:44 vs. Alaska Anchorage Saturday (Feb. 9) and one goal in two periods vs. Northern Michigan. Copley made a combined 39 saves in the two games and continues to rank nationally in save percentage in games after Christmas (he's ninth with a .941). With the contest in hand in the third period each of the last two games, fellow freshman Jamie Phillips has replaced Copley in net and allowed one goal on 10 shots in 29:16 of work.
GORDIC NAMED CARNIVAL MVP
Junior Milos Gordic was named Winter Carnival MVP after a two-goal, two-assist weekend. The right wing had a goal and an assist in each game on the weekend to boost his season point total to 4-6=10. Gordic had 2-2=4 in the opening series of the year vs. Lake Superior State Oct. 11 & 13 and 2-2=4 this past weekend with just two points (both assists) in the 23 games in between.
JOHNSTONE ON A FOUR-GAME STREAK
Sophomore David Johnstone, who sat out vs. Northern Michigan Tuesday, enters the weekend on a four-game point streak after posting a combined three assists vs. Alaska Anchorage. The left wing is averaging a point per game since Christmas and is second on the team in total points with 8-15=23.
SUCCESS AGAINST FUTURE WCHA FOES
The Huskies are 6-3-1 against teams that will be in the WCHA next year with two such games to go in the regular season—both this weekend at Minnesota State … Tech has scored the first goal of the game in four straight contests and stands at 10-2-1 when that happens this season. The Huskies are 0-12-3 when their opponent scores first … 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 8-8-4 record on the year.