HOUGHTON, Mich. – Dylan Steman is the lone former Michigan Tech hockey player in the American Hockey League (AHL) 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. Steman and the Hershey Bears begin their series against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday at the same arena Tech played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
The AHL has 16 teams participating in the postseason. The top four teams in each of the AHL's four divisions qualified for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. Home-ice advantage in all series was granted to the team with the higher points percentage. The division semifinals will be best-of-five series. All other series are in a best-of-seven format.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the AHL has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Dylan Steman (Hanover, Minnesota) signed with the Hershey Bears on March 27 and appeared in four games at the end of the regular season. He recorded his first professional point with an assist in his first game with the Bears on April 9. Steman played 154 career games for the Huskies over five seasons. He tallied 70 points on 27 goals and 43 assists. He was a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete, four-time WCHA All-Academic team member, Tech co-captain in 2018-19, and alternate captain in 2017-18. Steman.
Other former Huskies in the AHL not in the playoffs
• Chris Conner (Westland, Michigan) was second on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms with 51 points on 16 goals and 35 assists. The 35-year old wrapped up his 13th season of pro hockey and has appeared in 678 AHL games with 529 points. Conner appeared in 151 games at Tech from 2002-06 with 129 career points (69 goals, 60 assists). He was an All-American in 2004 and holds the school record for most shorthanded goals in a season (8) and career (15).
• Shane Hanna (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) appeared in 58 games for the Texas Stars in his second full pro season. He scored a pair of goals and added eight assists. Hanna played 163 games in a Tech uniform from 2013-17. He never missed a game in his career, finishing two games short of a Tech record. Hanna was an All-WCHA selection all four years, a two-time alternate captain, and tallied 90 career points on 21 goals and 69 assists.
• Tanner Kero (Hancock, Michigan) was second on the Utica Comets with 57 points on 24 goals and 33 assists in his fourth season of pro hockey, skating in 67 games. He had a brief NHL call up to the Vancouver Canucks but didn't appear in any games. Kero has appeared in 197 career AHL games and has 141 points (64 goals, 77 assists). While at Tech, Kero was an All-American, the 2014-15 WCHA Player of the Year, the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, an All-WCHA First Team selection, and won the WCHA scoring title. In 153 career games in a Tech uniform, he racked up 111 points on 55 goals and 56 assists.
• Jake Lucchini (Trail, British Columbia) signed an NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 11 and played 15 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL at the end of their regular season. He scored six goals and added an assist with the WBS Penguins. Lucchini never missed a game in his Tech career, skating in 164 contests. He led all active college players in the category and finished one game short of tying a Tech record. Lucchini became the 66th player in Tech history to reach 100 career points, finishing with 104 points on 45 goals and 59 assists. As a senior in 2018-19, he co-captained the Huskies and led the team in points with 26 on 11 goals and 15 assists.
• Blake Pietila (Brighton, Michigan) led the Binghamton Devils with 46 points on 20 goals and 26 assists in 50 games. He also played 19 NHL games for the New Jersey Devils in two separate stints, recording one assist. Pietila has played in 217 AHL games and has 118 points (59 goals, 59 assists). He played 153 games for Tech from 2011-15 and was a two-time captain. He had 106 career points on 46 goals and 60 assists.
• Mitch Reinke (Stillwater, Minnesota) was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team after setting San Antonio franchise rookie records for goals (12), assists (33), points (45), and power play goals (9). He was also the first Rampage rookie to play in every game of the season, skating in 76 and led AHL rookie defensemen with 45 points. Reinke played two seasons for the Huskies, appearing in 76 games. He was named to the All-WCHA Third Team as a sophomore and to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman, tallying 44 points on nine goals and 35 assists for the Huskies. He was an alternate captain as a sophomore and was named to the GLI and Ice Vegas Invitational all-tournament teams.
• Matt Roy (Canton, Michigan) led Ontario Reign defensemen with 29 points on eight goals and 21 assists. He played 45 games before earning a call up to the LA Kings. He made his NHL debut on February 16 and played 25 games with two goals and four assists. Roy played in 115 games over three seasons (2014-17) with the Huskies, recording 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists. Roy was the team leader in assists with 21 as a junior and had the assist on the game-winning goal six times. He was a two-time All-WCHA selection.