Courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics
*SETTING THE SCENE
*Michigan Tech travels to No. 2 Minnesota this weekend for two WCHA games. The Huskies are coming off a pair of 5-3 losses to No. 4 (and current No. 1) Minnesota Duluth at home, while the Gophers swept Minnesota State last weekend. Both teams have made big improvements from a year ago. Tech, which was 4-30-4 a year ago, is 8-7-1. Minnesota, which was 16-14-6 in 2010-11, is 13-4-1 this season.
*LONG SERIES HISTORY
*The Michigan Tech-Minnesota rivalry is one of the oldest and most-played in the country. The teams have met 263 times since the series began in 1922, with the Gophers owning a 173-75-15 advantage. Tech’s last win in the series was March 6, 2009, a 6-5 overtime triumph in Houghton. The Huskies last victory at Mariucci Arena came 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 30, 2007.
*OLSON CONTINUES CONSISTENCY
*Senior Brett Olson extended his point streak to five games with an assist in each game vs. UMD last weekend. The team captain leads the Huskies in scoring on the year with five goals and 12 assists in 16 games. He has tallied at least one point in 14-of-16 contests in 2011-12. Olson has played in 104 career games with 80 career points (37-43–80).
*ROBINSON CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE SENIOR YEAR
*Goaltender Josh Robinson stopped 30-of-34 shots he faced Friday and 37-of-42 on Saturday vs. Minnesota Duluth. The senior owns a .920 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average in his 13 starts this season. In 10 WCHA games, Robinson owns a .915 save percentage-third best in the league behind Minnesota’s Kent Patterson (.931) and Minnesota Duluth’s Kenny Reiter (.921).
*GORDIC NOTCHES SIXTH GOAL IN EIGHTH GAME
*Sophomore Milos Gordic fired home his team-leading seventh goal of the season last Friday vs. Minnesota Duluth. The right wing has seven points on the year-all goals and all in just 10 games played. Gordic missed the first six games of the year recovering from offseason surgery. His rate of 0.7 goals per game is good enough for 13th in the nation (although he’s not listed in the national stats because he hasn’t played in 75 percent of his team’s games).
*SOVA TALLIES FIRST CAREER GOAL
*Defenseman Daniel Sova scored his first career goal in Tech’s 5-3 loss to UMD last Saturday. The sophomore fired a shot from the blue line through traffic on the power play for his sixth point on the year (1-5–6). Three of those six points have come on the man advantage (1-2–3).
*SIX FOR FIVE
*Six different Tech players have scored five goals or more in just 14 games this season. A year ago, the Huskies had just four five-goal scorers all season. The team leaders in goals for 2011-12 are: Milos Gordic (seven) and Tanner Kero (six). Four others-Ryan Furne, Brett Olson, Blake Pietila and Jacob Johnstone-are tied with five apiece.
*BAKER CONTINUES SCORING STREAK
*Senior Jordan Baker extended his point streak to five games with an assist in each of Tech’s games last weekend. Baker has 3-10–13 on the season and 31-36–67 in 123 career games. The assistant captain has been the most successful Husky against Minnesota with 3-3–6 in eight career games vs. the Gophers.
*DAVID JOHNSTONE NOTCHES THREE-POINT WEEKEND
*Freshman David Johnstone may have found his offensive touch last weekend with two power play goals. Both were one-timer shots to give him three goals on the season and 11 total points-fourth most on the team. Johnstone has put up five of his 11 points in the last two weekends.
*THIS AND THAT
*The Huskies have already doubled their win total from 2010-11 (four) with eight wins in their first 14 games … Tech is 6-3-1 at home and 2-4-0 in road games so far in 2011-12 … The Huskies are 3-2-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. All six of those games have come at home, making this weekend’s series at No. 2 Minnesota their first road tilts vs. a ranked foe … Tech had allowed more than three goals just twice on the season prior to its series vs. Minnesota Duluth … Tech will be on the road for its next five games, not to return to home ice until Jan. 13-14 vs. Alaska Anchorage … The Huskies went 3-of-13 on the power play last weekend to raise their season percentage to 20.8. That ranks 20th nationally.
*Michigan Tech has a single game at Northern Michigan scheduled for Dec. 16. That will be the Huskies’ last action before the 47th annual Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit Dec. 29-30.