MTU hockey on road to open playoffs

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

Michigan Tech will travel to North Dakota for the first round of the playoffs for the fourth time in the last 10 years. The two teams have matched up in the first round of the WCHA playoffs eight times in league history, with the first of the playoff series taking place in 1978 in Houghton. Tech was at UND for playoffs just two years ago, and the hosts won the series with 8-0 and 3-1 wins.

Alex Petan finished as the WCHA’s top-scoring rookie with 29 points in 28 league games. The right wing posted 11 goals and 18 assists in conference action for a 1.04 points per game average. In 34 overall games this season, Petan owns 15 goals and 18 assists in all games for a 33 points (0.97 per game). He is looking to become the first Tech player to average a point per game since Colin Murphy (53 points in 37 games) in 2004-05.

Freshman Jamie Phillips started his second straight game in net for Michigan Tech and earned his first career shutout when the Huskies defeated Colorado College last Friday (Mar. 8). Phillips made 22 saves in helping Tech to its fourth shutout of 2012-13, with all four coming since Christmas. Pheonix Copley (North Pole, Alaska) shut out Michigan (4-0) on Dec. 29, Western Michigan (4-0) on Dec. 30 and Bemidji State (4-0) on Jan. 18. Phillips, who has appeared in eight games this season, owns a .931 save percentage and 1.80 goals against average.

*KERO NETS 10TH GOAL OF 2012-13*
Tanner Kero scored a goal in each game of the series with Colorado College. The sophomore center has posted three goals in the last three contests and 10 for the season. Kero has posted 23 total points—tied for fourth most on the team.

Defenseman Steven Seigo played in his 34th game of the season and 147th of his career last Saturday (Mar. 9). The senior defenseman has played in every possible game since beginning his collegiate career at Tech in 2009-10. Seigo has been a consistent point producer for the Huskies with 19 goals and 56 assists for 75 total points. This season, he owns 6-11=17, and will bring a four-game point streak into the playoffs after posting one assist in each of the last four games.

Michigan Tech’s power play ranks 12th in the nation at 21.6 percent. The Huskies have converted 28.6 percent since Jan. 1 and an incredible 35.5 percent since Feb. 8.

Milos Gordic posted a goal in each game of the series split with Colorado College last weekend. The junior forward has come on as of late with three goals in the last four games. Gordic owns seven goals and six assists on the season for 13 points in 27 games played. He has 5-2=7 since Feb. 8.

Michigan Tech has allowed just one power-play goal on its last 14 penalty kills over the last three games. The Huskies penalty kill has steadily improved this season. It is 80.6 effective on the season but since mid-December is 86.3—14th best in the country.

Tech put up a season-high 49 shots on goal in last Saturday’s (Mar. 9) 4-3 loss to Colorado College. The Black and Gold have tallied 40 or more shots in a game six times this season, but are only 3-3-0 in those contests.

Sophomore David Johnstone continued his point production with three combined assists in the two games vs. Colorado College. The left wing has put up 12 points in the last 10 games including 2-3=5 during a current four-game point streak. Johnstone ranks second on the team in scoring with 10-19=29 in 31 games.

Michigan Tech has a 8-8-1 record since Christmas with a 4-2-1 mark in home games in that time … Tech finished last year’s 36-game regular season with 14 wins. This year’s team has 12 wins in 34 games … Tech’s 4-3 loss to Colorado College last Saturday (Mar. 9) was its eighth one-goal loss of the season. The Huskies are 3-8-0 in one-goal games this season … The first goal of the game continues to be a big indicator in the outcome of Michigan Tech games. The Huskies are 12-3-1 when scoring first and 0-15-3 when their opponents get the game’s first goal.