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PREVIEW: Hockey Travels to Duluth for Ice Breaker Tournament

PREVIEW: Hockey Travels to Duluth for Ice Breaker Tournament
Date Friday-Saturday, October 6-7, 2017
Time 5 / 5 or 8:30 p.m. (Eastern)
Location AMSOIL Arena | Duluth, Minnesota
Radio Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ
  Dirk Hembroff
Online Audio
Video Stream
Game Notes Michigan Tech | Union
  Minnesota Duluth | Minnesota
Live Stats Friday | Saturday
Live Tweeting
Tech's Record 0-1-0 | 0-0-0 WCHA 
Union's Record 0-1-0 | 0-0-0 ECAC
UMD's Record 0-0-0 | 0-0-0 NCHC
UM's Record 0-0-0 | 0-0-0 Big Ten



• Michigan Tech plays in the annual Ice Breaker Invitational Tournament this year hosted by Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena.
• Tech plays Union Friday at 5 p.m. (Eastern) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
• Host UMD and Minnesota play in the second semifinal on Friday. Game times for Saturday are 5:07 and 8:37 p.m. (Eastern).

• Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ broadcasts all Michigan Tech hockey games. You can also listen to the games online at or by using the TuneIn Radio App on a smart phone.
• Dirk Hembroff will call all the action in his 16th year behind the microphone.

This weekend's games will be streamed on You must purchase a subscription to view online.

Union – The Dutchmen fell 4-1 to No. 2 Boston University in its season opener last weekend in Boston. Union is ranked No. 16 in the preseason poll. The Dutchmen were 25-10-3 last season and fell to Penn State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota Duluth – The Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll and No. 12 in this week's USA Hockey/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. UMD was 28-7-7 last year and fell in the NCAA Championship Game to Denver. The Bulldogs fell 4-3 to the University of Alberta in their exhibition game last weekend at AMSOIL Arena.
Minnesota – The Gophers are ranked third in the preseason poll and also in this week's USA Hockey/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. They defeated Alberta 6-2 in their exhibition game at Mariucci Arena on Sunday. UM finished 23-12-3 last year, falling to Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament.

Union – First ever meeting
Minnesota Duluth – Tech leads the all-time series against UMD 120-88-20, dating back to 1952. The Huskies are 59-53-8 vs. the Bulldogs in games played in Duluth. Tech last won in Duluth on January 28, 2012.
Minnesota – The Huskies and Gophers have met 267 times in one of the nation's most frequent college hockey rivalries. Minnesota leads Tech 175-77-15, dating back to 1922. UM leads 6-1-1 in neutral site games.

Union – First ever meeting
Minnesota Duluth – Michigan Tech suffered a pair of losses at No. 6 UMD to begin the 2016-17 season. The Huskies were outscored 10-3. Joel L'Esperance had a goal in the second game and Devin Kero had 27 saves in his first career start.
Minnesota – Tech last played the Gophers in October 2012. The teams split at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena with the Huskies defeating the No. 1-ranked Gophers 5-3 on Friday and falling 3-2 the next night.

• Michigan Tech fell 3-2 in its season-opening game at No. 12 Wisconsin on October 1. Joel L'Esperance and Jake Lucchini scored the two goals—both on the power play in the second period.
Joel L'Esperance scored from Mark Auk and goaltender Patrick Munson for his 35th career goal. Jake Lucchini scored his 19th career goal from Gavin Gould and Mark Auk.
• Sophomore Patrick Munson finished with 24 saves in his first game in a Tech uniform.
• Sophomore Keegan Ford and freshmen Seamus DonohueMitch Meek, and Marcus Russell also made their debut for Tech. Ford played 12 games for Wisconsin in 2014 and started on the blue line for the Huskies Sunday.

Tech has new road uniforms. The jersey design was based off a jersey from the 1932-33 season.

Seniors Mark Auk (Coaches, Media Second Team) and Joel L'Esperance (Media Second Team) and sophomore Mitch Reinke (Media Second Team, Coaches received votes) were recognized on the Preseason All-WCHA Teams. Sophomore Gavin Gould received votes in the media's picks.

Tech was selected third in both WCHA preseason polls. The Huskies were third behind first place Minnesota State and Bemidji State in the Mankato Free Press Preseason Coaches' Poll and the Preseason Media Poll.

• Junior defenseman Dane Birks was drafted in the sixth round (164th overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013 NHL Draft.
• Junior Jake Jackson was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round (201st overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

• Senior forward Brent Baltus was named the captain of the 2017-18 Huskies.
• Seniors Joel L'Esperance and Dylan Steman, junior Jake Lucchini, and sophomore Mitch Reinke will serve as alternate captains.

• Defenseman Keegan Ford played 12 games for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2014-15, recording two assists.
• Goaltender Patrick Munson played 21 games for the Vermont Catamounts in 2015-16 and was Denver's roster last season. Munson had a 9-10-1 record for Vermont with a 2.37 goals against average, and a .920 save percentage.

Mark Auk – Edmonton (2017, 2016), Chicago (2016)
Dane Birks – Pittsburgh (2017, 2016, 2015)
Jake Jackson – San Jose (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014)
Joel L'Esperance – Anaheim (2016)
Jake Lucchini – Edmonton (2017, 2016)
Mitch Reinke – Calgary (2017), Nashville (2016)
Alex Smith – Calgary (2017)

There are eight freshmen on the roster. The class consists of forwards Justin Misiak, Greyson Reitmeier, and Marcus Russell, defensemen Seamus Donohue, Mitch Meek, Tyler Rockwell, and Cooper Watson, and goaltender Robbie Beydoun.

Nine former Huskies participated in NHL Preseason Training Camp. Pheonix Copley (Washington), Shane Hanna (Dallas), Tanner Kero (Chicago), Jujhar Khaira (Edmonton), Jamie Phillips (Winnipeg), Blake Pietila (New Jersey), Angus Redmond (Anaheim), Matt Roy (Los Angeles), Cliff Watson (Calgary) were all invited to camp.

• Tech plays nine nonconference games this season.
• The GLI dates haven't been announced yet but the field is Bowling Green, Michigan, and Michigan State. The Huskies open against MSU.
• Tech also plays in the Ice Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas. The Huskies open up against Boston College with Northern Michigan and Arizona State meeting in the second semifinal.
• The nonconference schedule wraps up versus ASU at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena in February.

• Tech received votes in both the and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason polls.
• Tech was in the top 20 in the final poll for the third year in a row last year. The Huskies finished ranked No. 19 in the nation. Tech was ranked No. 9 at the end of the 2014-15 season and No. 16 after the 2015-16 season.

The Joe Shawhan Hour can be heard every Monday morning at 9 a.m. on Mix 93.5 WKMJ. Host Dirk Hembroff and Coach Shawhan talk about the previous weekend and the upcoming matchup. You can also listen live online at or visit for the full audio recording.

2016-17 RECAP
• Tech finished with a 23-15-7 overall record in 2016-17. It was the third year in a row that the Huskies won 20 games—something that hasn't been done since 1983.
• Tech made its 12th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the second in the last three years at season's end. Top-seeded, and eventual national champion, Denver ended the Huskies' season in the Midwest Regional Semifinal. The Huskies won the National Championship three times (1962, 1965, and 1975) in their history.
• Tech finished second in the WCHA standings with a 15-7-6 league mark. The Huskies advanced in the WCHA Playoffs with a sweep of Lake Superior State and a three-game series win over Minnesota State. The Huskies then hosted the WCHA Championship Game and won 3-2 in double overtime over Bowling Green to take home the Broadmoor Trophy. The title was the third (1962, 1965, and 2017) outright WCHA Tournament Championship won by Tech. They also earned WCHA co-playoff titles in 1960, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1981.
• Tech's 45 games played in 2016-17 were tops in the nation … The Huskies led the nation in shots on goal against, allowing 23.6 shots per game … Tech finished seventh in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 2.22 goals per game … The penalty kill was also seventh at 86.1 percent … Tech was 12-4-4 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in 2016-17.

• With the new WCHA shootout format implemented in 2016-17, Tech went 2-for-4 in league shootouts. The Huskies won on January 14 against Alaska Anchorage and at Alabama Huntsville on January 28 in the ninth round. Jake LucchiniMark Auk, and Chris Gerrie scored in the shootout. Tech lost 2-1 in a shootout at Michigan and also fell 1-0 to UAA and Minnesota State.

• Head coach Joe Shawhan was hired on May 30, 2017 after serving as an assistant coach for the Huskies over the past three seasons and is one of nine new head coaches across Division I college hockey.
• Shawhan was brought on staff in July 2014 to work with the goaltenders and defensemen. Tech went 75-34-14 during his three seasons, going to the NCAA Tournament twice, winning the MacNaughton Cup in 2015-16, and the Broadmoor Trophy in 2016-17. The Huskies were ranked in the top two in the WCHA, and top 10 in the nation, in goals against average all three years. 
• Shawhan spent six seasons at Northern Michigan. He was a volunteer assistant in 2007-08, the director of hockey operations in 2009-10, and an assistant coach for four seasons.
• Shawhan was also an assistant coach at his alma mater Lake Superior State from 2005-08.
• As the head coach and general manager of the Soo Indians from 1995-2005, Shawhan compiled a 474-162-43 record to become the winningest coach in the history of the North American Hockey League. He had two 50-win seasons, six 40-win stints, and two seasons with over 30 victories. 

• Chris Brooks joined the Huskies from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point where he was the head coach of the Pointers for six seasons (2011-17), leading the team to three straight NCAA Division III Frozen Fours and winning the National Title in 2016. He was named the Division III Coach of the Year in 2016
• Brooks spent three seasons (2008-11) as the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley (Texas) Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League.
• Brooks coached for nine seasons (1999-2008) at Western Michigan University where he was an assistant for six seasons and the associate head coach for the final three campaigns.
• Brooks lettered four seasons at Western Michigan (1992-96) and finished as the eighth-leading scorer in school history, compiling 57 goals and 127 assists for 184 points.

• Dallas Steward was an Associate Head Coach with the Chicago Steel of the USHL for two seasons from 2015-17.
• Steward started his coaching career with the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) as an assistant coach and scouting director from 2011-15.
• Steward played 138 games over four years at the University of Alaska Anchorage from 2000-04. He scored 27 goals and added 32 assists as a forward, was an assistant captain as a senior, and a three-time WCHA All-Academic selection.
• Steward went on to play six years of professional hockey in both the CHL and ECHL from 2004-10.

Gavin Gould – Older brother Malcolm was AN All-WCHA forward for the Huskies, playing from 2012-16.
Devin Kero – Older brother, Tanner, was an All-American Michigan Tech hockey player  from 2011-15.
Joel L'Esperance – Older brother, Alan, lettered in hockey at Michigan Tech in 2010-11.
Tyler Rockwell – Father John played goaltender for the Huskies from 1975-79.
Cooper Watson – Older brother Cliff was a two-time team captain in his four-year career from 2013-17.