HOUGHTON, Mich. – Two Top 10 teams are set to face–off this weekend in Houghton, when No. 9 Minnesota Duluth takes on No. 4 Michigan Tech.
The Huskies have played just two non conference games this season and both of those games went pretty well– two victories at home against Michigan. Minnesota Duluth is currently tied with Miami for first place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Huskies have just one win in their last seven games against UMD.
“We’ve got a long, storied past with them. We enjoy playing them and I enjoy the way they play the game,” said Huskies head coach Mel Pearson about Duluth. “They have a very skilled team that skates very well, a good, strong defense and really good goaltending. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but I really enjoy it.”
“We’ve got to be good in the (defensive) zone,” said MTU forward CJ Eick. “They have a lot of talented forwards. They’re a fast team– they play with good tempo. We have to play mistake free hockey, get pucks in deep, and play solid in our end.”
“They’re just as important as league games are,” said Huskies forward Alex Petan. “Winning non–conference games and having a good record in that goes towards the Pairwise (Rankings) and a bit into the (NCAA) Tournament.”
“To me, it all starts on defense,” said Pearson. “We’re going to have to get good goaltending, make sure that we’re limiting their opportunities on offense, and stay out of the box, stay smart, play disciplined, and play them 5–on–5.”
Puck drop both nights from MacInnes is set for 7:07 p.m. Huskies forward David Johnstone loves playing against the Bulldogs. He has four career goals against UMD. Michigan Tech leads the all–time series, with one hundred and nineteen wins against Duluth.