Courtesy of MTU Athletics
Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, 2012 . 7:37/7:07 p.m. (MST) . World Arena (7,343), Colorado Springs, Colo.
*Michigan Tech (14-16-4, 11-11-4 WCHA) at No. 19 Colorado College (16-14-2, 13-12-1 WCHA)*
Live Radio: WKMJ 93.5 FM (Dirk Hembroff, Wes Frahm)
Video Webcast: http://www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=14
Audio Webcast: Pasty.net
Live Stats: collegehockeynews.com
*SETTING THE SCENE*
Michigan Tech will face Colorado College for the first time this season in a critical two-game WCHA series at World Arena in Colorado Springs. The two teams are vying for a top-six finish in the WCHA standings and home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Tigers, with 27 points in the standings, are coming off a pair of losses at Minnesota Duluth last weekend. Tech, with 26 points in the standings, split with St. Cloud State last weekend. For Michigan Tech, it will be its fourth straight series against a team within one position above or below it in the league standings.
*BIG THINGS ON THE TABLE FOR TECH*
Michigan Tech split with St. Cloud State last weekend to remain just one point back of a tie for fifth place in the WCHA standings. The Huskies have not finished higher than sixth place in the WCHA since 1992-93, when they were fourth. That year was also the last that Tech hosted playoff games in Houghton. The 2006-07 squad finished sixth in the league standings, but played on the road at Colorado College in the first round of the playoffs. It defeated the Tigers two games to one in the best-of-three series, marking the Huskies’ last appearance in the WCHA Final Five.
*MacLEOD STEPS UP ON SENIOR WEEKEND*
Alex MacLeod tallied a goal in each game of Tech’s series with St. Cloud State during Senior Weekend in Houghton. The right wing has put up four points 2-2–4 in his last four games dating back to a two-assist night at North Dakota Feb. 17. MacLeod owns 6-10–16 in 34 games this season and is tied for seventh on the team in scoring.
*BIGGEST GOAL OF THE SEASON?*
Freshman Blake Pietila tallied the game-winning goal with just 1:38 remaining in last Saturday’s (Feb. 25) 3-2 victory over St. Cloud State. The New Jersey Devils draft pick sniped a shot from the left circle to break a personal seven-game goal-less streak. Pietila is now one of seven Huskies with at least nine goals this season. His game-winning goal kept Tech alive in its quest for home ice in the WCHA Playoffs.
*ROBINSON COLLECTS WIN 13*
Goaltender Josh Robinson shook off a tough outing last Friday (in which he was pulled at the 4:34 mark of the first period) to gain his 13th win of 2011-12 Saturday in 3-2 decision over St. Cloud State. The three-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week made 18 saves in the win. He ranks ninth among WCHA goaltenders in both save percentage (.908) and goals against average (2.85). He owns a league-leading 808 saves on the campaign.
*SEIGO MAKES HIS WAY TO 20 POINTS*
Junior defenseman Steven Seigo became the sixth Tech player to reach the 20-point plateau this season when he tallied an assist last Friday (Feb. 24). The assistant captain added a goal Saturday, and now has 4-17–21 on the year. He is the 10th-highest scoring defenseman in the WCHA.
*OLSON NEARING THE CENTURY MARK*
Brett Olson tallied his 92nd career point with the primary assist on the game-winning goal vs. St. Cloud State last Saturday. The team captain leads the squad in points this season with 9-20–29. Olson has appeared on the scoresheet 22 times in 34 outings this season.
*CORSON GETS A SHOT*
Senior goaltender Corson Cramer saw his first action of the season in Tech’s 5-2 loss to St. Cloud. Cramer stopped all four shots he faced in the final 9:50 of action. His last playing time came Mar. 5, 2011, in an 11-2 loss to North Dakota.
*FURNE ALL ALONE WITH TEAM GOAL LEAD*
Sophomore Ryan Furne registered his team-leading 11th goal of the season with a power-play tally last Friday vs. SCSU. The left winger has 11-12–23 on the season with five power play goals. He leads a group of eight players with eight goals or more this season.
*DAVID JOHNSTONE NOW TIED FOR SECOND IN TEAM SCORING RACE*
Freshman David Johnstone pulled into a tie for second on the team scoring chart with an assist on Saturday. The rookie owns nine goals and 17 assists for 26 total points, matching Jordan Baker’s 26 point total (10g, 16a).
Colorado College leads Michigan Tech in the all-time series between the teams by a 91-70-11 mark. The series began in 1947 and has seen 172 games played. The Tigers are 58-31-3 against Tech in Colorado Springs. The Huskies’ last win over CC came Mar. 11, 2007, a 1-0 victory at World Arena.
*THIS AND THAT*
Tech has played 14 games against nationally-ranked opponents in 2011-12. It is 5-6-3 in those contests … Tech’s Saturday win snapped a five game winless streak for the Huskies, who are 5-5-3 since Jan. 1 … Michigan Tech owns the fourth-best penalty kill in the WCHA at 82.4 percent … Michigan Tech home game attendance is up 25 percent from a year ago. The Huskies averaged 2,933 at its 17 home games this season. That’s roughly 15 percent of the local area population.
The first round of the WCHA Playoffs will be played Mar. 9-11 on campus sites. The top six teams in the standings will host the bottom six teams in three-game series. Michigan Tech could finish as high as fourth or as low as eighth in the WCHA standings following this weekend’s play.
Posted by Jerry Taylor