Monday, October 30, 2006

More Polls Than a Polka Festival

Polls, polls, polls, and I'm not talking about a strip club on a Friday night. Chances are, a good number of Tech fans don't know about many of the Men's D1 hockey polls, and for good reason. I'm not one to putz with the history of Tech in such polls, but let's just say we haven't been in many in a LONG time. Because of this, it comes as quite a surprise that Michigan Tech, yes, THE Michigan Technological University Huskies, from Houghton Michigan, that crazy engineering school lost in the frozen north are indeed nationally ranked according to many reputable sources. Hockey season has been on for a few weeks now, and I must admit, I was pretty pissed off at all the early speculation about how Tech would be nationally ranked, especially after only beating NMU once and Vermont twice. Yes, Vermont was ranked #10, but that was in a poll conducted after the FIRST week of competition. Then came the sweep there, followed by the sweep of pretty boy Nathan Lawson and the Seawolves, and now come the newest polls. Tech was able to squeeze into the top 20 of the Inside College Hockey power rankings, but recieved only votes in the other polls.

This week, however, INCH ranked the Huskies 13th. Yes, for those of you who are triskaidekaphobic, this may not be a good sign, but to all the bakers out there, we're movin' on up. 13 is a mere 3 spots out of 10th. Unfortunately, though INCH is a slightly less reputable source than one would hope. Today was a good day nonetheless, as ranked MTU #18, displacing Northern Michigan by one spot. Even better, USA Today, which ranks only 15 teams weekly, placed the Huskies at #15.

Yes hockey fans, the Huskies are ranked. Even more beautiful is the fact that perrenial powerhouse Colorado College is not. Though we have proven that ranking is not a reputable mark of whether or not a team will perform well, it provides a little hope for a team that has had trouble convincing the country that we mean business. Unfortunately, for those of us willing to continue our college education, there is little time for celebration until the weekend, but throw yourself a little bash, because thousands of people are reading three little words they've never seen on those polls before, and it means so much. By the way, if you didn't get the joke in the title, you suck, and Go Huskies, Go Badgers.

What's Going on in the Other WCHA Blogs?

As I'm sitting here in one of the EE computer labs, I come across DG's blog over at Let'sGoDu, and I'm trying REALLY hard not to burst out into loud obnoxious laughter over his last blog entry... I'm not even going to talk about it. Just go see for yourself. Fantastic.

Representing UMD, Runninwiththedogs started up this sweet thing called The Gauntlet, where she interviews some of the craziest fans of the team that UMD is playing that weekend. Though it's awesome and she makes the other fans look bad, I hope she quits after next week or so... as the Tech series is coming up soon.....

Over at the UAA blog, Donald is questioning how well the Seawolves will be doing this year. Before coming to Houghton, they were undefeated. Now they're... well, not. UW is coming to Anchorage this weekend for a series, and I think I speak on behalf of all Tech fans (except those closet Badger fans), when I say KICK SOME BADGER BUTT this weekend.

And since I have class in a few minutes, that's all I'm doing for now. For more information, check out the links on the right.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Is it Dusty in Here?

Luckily enough for the Huskies, there were no witches in attendance at Saturday night’s pre-Halloween series ender. Only one errant pep-bander was spotted with a straw broom, who ironically brought it out seconds before Seawolf Chad Anderson lifted the score to 4-3. After starting the season 4-1-0, the Huskies hit the ice to better the record, looking for their first home sweep since Alaska Anchorage was swept January 24-25, 2003.

After a truly dominating performance, it seemed the Misfits were ready for another 9-0 win, but as many guessed, the Seawolves came out swinging. Slow play by the Huskies through nearly the end of the second period left the Seawolves to lead for a majority of the game, though. Junior Tyler Shelast was able to even things up with a goal that UAA coach Dave Shyiak and captain Charlie Kronschnabel insisted on contesting incessantly, causing a lengthy delay in play. The goal stood, and Shelast would come through again with the game winning goal in the third.

Though the play may not have been as efficient as the Huskies may have wanted, the parity shown between lines continued Saturday. Shelast had two goals and an assist, while juniors Jake Wilkens and Jimmy Kerr came home with two. Wilkens scored his first career goal, and Kerr finished off the game with a puck in an empty net. Junior Jordan Foote scored the initial goal, and Phil Axtell, Geoff Kinrade, Malcolm Gwilliam, Alex Gange, Tyler Skworchinski and Lars Helminen all tallied assists. Sophomore goaltender Rob Nolan made 23 saves against the Seawolves, earning him his second career win.

The relative laxness of play wasn’t helped by a smaller crowd than usual. Though Mitch’s Misfits and the Huskies Pep Band kept UAA goalie Nathan Lawson on his toes, it took winger Kevin Clark’s ejection, as well as incessant arguing with official’s calls to get the fans fired up. Hopefully upcoming home series will not be plagued by this laziness, though this was the first times I personally have witnessed a lack complaining at the referees, with a very “uncontroversial” first game.

Though this sweep betters Tech’s record to 5-1-0, the Huskies face the Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs this upcoming weekend, and despite a slow start for the Tigers, it seems as if predictions can’t accurately be made about which way WCHA games will be going this year. With the evenness of the lines and increased speed of the skaters, it looks as if the Huskies will be able to take to the ice with confidence and hopefully pull off another set of wins.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tech Squeaks by Anchorage, 9-0

Where does one even begin when writing about the UAA @ MTU game on Friday 27 October 2006? It's something that won't be forgotten by a lot of people...

I'm not sure that it has hit me yet... the score, Teslak's shut out, and Rouleau's hat trick. What an amazing night. What more could a Tech fan ask for?

Nine goals in one game. That is more goals than Michigan Tech got in any single weekend last year. Three Huskies got three points each on the night: Rouleau, Gagne, and Shelast, while Helminen and Axtell each picked up two points. Angelow, St. Louis, Kerr, Wilkens, Skworchinski, Gwilliam, and Kitti got one point apiece. The highlights of the night (besides scoring NINE freakin' goals) were of course Rouleau's HAT TRICK, with hats from the Misfits peppering the ice (just awesome I might add), and Teslak's first collegiate shut out. It's a great night to be a Michigan Tech Husky Hockey fan. However, the work this weekend is only half done. The guys are going to have QUITE the task ahead of them tomorrow as I'm SURE the Seawolves are going to come out with the vengeance like someone killed their puppy.

One thing this blog writer would like to say is that the UAA Seawolves are a classy bunch of guys. I was just waiting for Kronschnabel to break a Husky in half, but luckily he, and all of the Seawolves, kept their cool. There weren't really any scrums that occured... just some crazy hockey. Be prepared for the real Seawolves to come on to the ice tonight though folks. We're going to have some seriously good hockey on our hands. Hopefully the Huskies can stay focused and finish the job.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Victory is Spelled H-U-S-K-I-E-S

This past weekend, the Michigan Tech Hockey Huskies went to #10 Vermont to not only to play hockey, but win. So they did.

Friday night's score was 4-3 OT, while Saturday was another close one at 2-1. Goaltender Robby Nolan received his first collegiate win on Saturday night. It has definitely been an exciting weekend for Michigan Tech Hockey.

Not only has Coach Russell been talking about how this team is going to be more aggressive this year, but he has been talking a lot about how much more depth this year's team has than in the previous years. This past weekend is a great example of exactly what he was talking about. Each of the 6 MTU goals scored against the Catamounts were all scored by different Huskies. Tech racked up 16 points in Vermont, which were distributed among 12 different Huskies. Each line is making a contribution.

After this past weekend, the Huskies are now at 3-1-0, all of which have been against ranked opponents. Michigan Tech will open their WCHA schedule at home this weekend against the UAA Seawolves (2-0-2), who are coming to Houghton after a win and tie at rival UAF. This should be a great series, and not to mention Tech's third week in a row against opponents with the colors of green and gold.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pictures from Last Weekend

Just thought I would share a couple of pictures taken this past weekend at home versus Northern Michigan. In the pictures below, you can see Section L in all their gold glory. The next night, about 100 of the pictured below would make the journey to NMU.

And below is Mitch's Misfits (which is now part of Husky Hysteria ;)) during the NMU starting line-up introductions.

A very special thank you goes to Ben Hoover of the Misfits for taking these awesome pictures! I haven't asked his permission if I could share them with the world or not... So Ben, if there's any problem with this, let me know. I can take it down, no problem.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Husky Hysteria - Take Two

Alright, here's the update I promised a while ago. I dedicate this entry to Runninwiththedogs, who keeps getting on my case about this situation, even though she doesn't really care.

We're going to keep Mitch's Misfits. Due to the recent creation of a new group, the Painted Bandits-who support MTU Volleyball-it has been decided that Mitch's Misfits will remain Mitch's Misfits. However, Mitch's Misfits is a part of Husky Hysteria. Also a part of Husky Hysteria will be the Painted Bandits, who are working on becoming a student organization here at Tech.

Any promotions that the MTU Athletic Department does will be about "Husky Hysteria," not Mitch's Misfits and not Painted Bandits. From talking to people, this seems like an acceptable solution.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rivalry Weekend: Head to Head with NMU

This past weekend, the Michigan Tech Huskies played a home and home series with their favorite opponent: the Northern Michigan University Wildcats.

Before the season had started, Coach Russell often talked about the theme for this year being "more aggressive." He used the phrase "more aggressive" when describing pretty much everything. After Friday night's game at the MacInnes, it was evident that he really meant what he said.

The Huskies came out with the determination, heart, and energy that it took to get the job done. This team was PREPARED for the game. Though they didn't get the results they should've right away, they were still an amazing team to watch. It is the opinion of this writer that ALL of the lines were outstanding and everyone contributed in one way or another. "More aggressive" is probably the best phrase to describe the Huskies' play on Friday night.

NMU struck first at 7:09 in the second period. The Huskies dominated the puck for most of the game, and that NMU goal didn't change anything but the score.

Finally, in the third period, Tech senior Tyler Skworchinski tied things up at 4:35. The MacInnes was rocking all night long, but it got more intense during the third period. And just when you thought it was OT time, with *THREE SECONDS* remaining, Justin St. Louis knocked one right by NMU goaltender Bill Zaniboni. The MacInnes then got loud. REALLY loud. I cannot remember a time when it had been louder. The Huskies would get their deserved results, a beautiful "W."

Shots on goal Friday night strongly favored the Huskies... 41 to NM
U's 20.

Saturday night was a little different story, not much, but a little. Unfortunately, the Huskies took an early penalty, which the Wildcats were able to capitalize on 45 seconds into the game. The Huskies never fully recovered. There were over 100 Mitch's Misfits and Pep Banders that took over Section 7 and much of 6. Even Gong Wang was able to take time out of his empty schedule and join us at the game.

The score would remain 1-0 up until the end. For the second night in a row though, the Huskies had many more shots on goal. They had 22, while they held NMU to only 14.

The good news is, I think the skating treadmill is doing its job... and we have really good defense this year. From watching the two games, the offense is there, but it can be difficult when shooting at brick walls named Zaniboni.

Next weekend, the Huskies will be going to Vermont, to take on and beat the Catamounts, whatever those are.

And on one final unrelated note, the THB staff would just like to say hello to a loyal reader, Steve V. Steve, you're a great man with a HUGE heart who is funnier than hell. It was a very enjoyable experience meeting you this past weekend.