MARQUETTE, Mich. – Rivalry games can do one of two things: they can make you or they can break you.
Rivals Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan will square off for the first time this season Friday in Marquette. Saturday’s game takes place in Houghton. The Wildcats have not won a game since Nov. 29 against Alaska.
At his weekly media session Wednesday, head coach Walt Kyle said that this is the best Huskies team he’s prepared his squad to face in 13 seasons at NMU.
“I think that every college program probably has teams that they are rivals with, teams they like to play. Our (rival) is right here and right in our face,” said Kyle. “That makes for a great environment to play in and players want to play against good teams, great rivals, and in great venues with a lot of people… that should all happen this weekend.”
“It should be a fun weekend… we look forward to this,” said NMU co–captain Ryan Kesti. “A key to this weekend will be playing with emotion, but keeping it in check. They’re a good offense team and we need to make sure we play defensively sound and then from there just control our chances.”
“We want to wins,” said NMU co–captain Jake Baker. “It’s going to come down to work and having everyone focused and on the same page. This week has been real intense. We’ve been working hard all week and we’re going to carry that into our games this weekend.”
“Every single time we meet it’s like a Game 7 atmosphere,” said NMU goaltender Michael Doan. “We don’t want to get too hyped up about it. Every game is important at this point of the season. You try and take it if it’s like any other game, but just know that in the back of your mind that you can’t get caught up in the emotions while you’re out there because it is going to be a lot louder and faster.”
Puck drop Friday is set for 7:07 p.m. Saturday’s game takes place 7:37 p.m.