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View Full Version : '12-13 Michigan Tech Season Thread: Screw the Election, Let's Play Hockey!



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UpNorthHockey
12-15-2012, 03:24 PM
It is difficult to explain why this team is underperforming. We have some very talented players....on paper, probably one of the strongest squads in 20 years. I fully expected our Juniors to increase their output this season and Genoe to take a back seat to one or both of the big new goalies. Coupled with the strong Freshman and Sophomore classes, this team could have been in the top third, particularly with Mel at the helm. I think it's a combination of weaker than expected goaltending, weak defense and poor chemistry between the upper-classmen and under-classmen on the offense. That said, I think Sova's return will help and either of the Freshman goalies could heat up, but I'm looking for a 8th or 9th place finish this year. As far as prospects, I think Tyler Heinonen is going to be a blue chip scorer. Not sure about the defense recruits...it's hard to guage them without seeing them in action.

manurespreader
12-15-2012, 06:01 PM
I agree with the points on the goaltending, but I think you also have to consider the schedule is a lot tougher this year, and it's just my opinion of course, but I think they are better than last year's team. The results not being there is tough though, and yes looking forward to next year, though I don't doubt that mel will improve the team and that with Sova coming back we will continue to play better each game. Still it's a stretch to see us in the post season.

I think we do need some defensive help, Someone like that kid for UMD, and we also need a top scorer so teams can't key on one or two lines. I don't think we are that far away really from a top ten team.I think the coach is right, we just have to hang in there.

eye4talent
12-17-2012, 08:46 AM
He's on Tri City IR so that means he is out for at least 45 days. He is listed as playing last Friday night but not Saturday night against USA. Surgery usually means a bad break of some sort. Sounds like his play was on an upswing listening to some of the postgame stuff on the TC website. Nothing said about his injury though. Bummer for him. Probably guarantees another year of juniors? He scored his first regular season goal on 11/24 against DesMoines. Watching those video highlights he appeared to be getting a lot of ice time and quite involved. Hope this doesn't set him back too much.

He broke his wrist. clean break, all the way through. out a minimum 45 days.

what's up with the defense? by far the worst GA in the league. and the penalty kill is awful. no reason the PK should be that bad. that is all coaching. they need a couple of big, shut down defenseman. guys that can log a ton of minutes against the other teams top lines.

eye4talent
12-17-2012, 09:48 AM
I think their focus has been on improving the defensive corps and I think they've done that with guys like Mark Auk, Marcus Ericsson, Dane Birks, Travis Brown, Tristan Rostagno. There is certainly potential in the future forwards but I can't wrap my head around anyone that comes in with the potential of Blake Pietila or Jujhar Khaira. Lots of solid guys and hopefully some blossom into top flight players.

Auk is all offense. Leibinger is offensive minded as well. Ericcson more of a stay at home guy.

eye4talent
12-17-2012, 11:56 AM
Looks like Auk is moving up to the USHL for the 2nd half of the season.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20121211/SPORTS/312110038/Falcons-defenseman-Auk-moving-USHL

Shirtless Guy
12-17-2012, 12:06 PM
Looks like Auk is moving up to the USHL for the 2nd half of the season.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20121211/SPORTS/312110038/Falcons-defenseman-Auk-moving-USHLAuk might be all offense but I think that comes from his style in high school where he was basically told to play that way because he is so skilled. His defensive game will come, I think the biggest thing is our incoming defenseman are more skilled than many of those here so hopefully we'll see that side of the game improve. Although I do think alot of our defensive woes can be put on the goalies letting in too many easy goals.

herbst20
12-17-2012, 01:17 PM
Looks like Auk is moving up to the USHL for the 2nd half of the season.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20121211/SPORTS/312110038/Falcons-defenseman-Auk-moving-USHL

Yep see reply #500. Mark is here and has played in two games. CR went with an extended bench on Saturday night vs NTDP U18. Mark only saw a couple shifts the whole game. I think he is still getting used to Mark Carlson's system.

mtu_huskies
12-17-2012, 02:48 PM
Although I do think alot of our defensive woes can be put on the goalies letting in too many easy goals.

Yeah they can be just back breakers when the easy goals go in for the other team.




Mel Pearson show summary for 12-17:
Not the weekend we wanted
Did some good things at time, but results weren't there, a lot of credit to UND, they're a good team
Our problems are a lot of little things, if it's one major thing you can work on it, but every night it's something different, bad goal, blown coverage, not in a passing lane etc
These are all very correctable, just need to quit doing them, we'll continue to get better and see progress
4-10-3, brighter things coming in 2nd half
Break is at a good time, need to get away, especially younger guys, it's been a grind
Like our 2nd half schedule, Juniors and Seniors had a tough 1st half, they will get better
Our goalies have a feel for what it's like to play in this league, can only get better


On Friday game:
UND PP goal, 1-0, Kristo/Knight/Gleason, put them on our team we win the series, their best players came through, all very good
Saunders played extremely well, 9-8 in favor of UND for grade A soring chances
Shots 35 Friday, 32 Sat, generating chances, not finishing, so every goal against is huge
NHL problems, maybe wouldn't see high end players back for Senior year, Kristo, Bjustad (UMN) happy they're in college hockey, better game/league, overall good for our youngs to see a guy like Kristo stay 4 years
End of 1st period, they score with 1 sec left, we had puck, 8 secs left, need to know situation, should've eaten the puck, threw it up boards, UND made play and a Knight goal, unforced turnover
Those are the mistakes we're making, not systems, coaches, need to teach players to not do it again
B. Pietila goal, good backcheck by D. Johnstone, down 2-1, from that point crowd is into it,
Petan with an opportunity right after that, shot a little high, shortly after that, nice rush, Stebner to Petan, tipped it off goalpost
Shortly after that we take a penalty (Hyland) bad penalty, don't need to take, Gleason scores, 8 secs left in penalty they score, blown coverage, UND all alone
Did a lot of good things on PK, it was 2-5 so doesn't look good, but did good things
Shots 38-35, MTU PP 0-5 9 shots, UND 2-5 8 shots, can't give up 6 goals and expect to win, need to take advantage of chances


On Saturday game:
Tough goal to give up 1:30 in, Kevin would likely have that back
PP goal to tie it, D. Johnstone, nice goal, most of the weekend we moved the puck well on the PP, David will have a good 2nd half
Friday D. Johnstone tried to do too much, looked really good Sat
UND makes it 2-1, faceoff goal, high slot shot, don't see many of those go in, most goalies stop that, Kevin may want it back
Their top line really took it to us, have to play UND 5x5 and test their depth, too much 4x4 or PP/PK time
Delayed penalty, then Eick gets hauled down on breakaway pass from Rix, so 2 penalties, one is a penalty shot, could take 5x3 or penalty shot and minor
Easy decision, someone from ice has to take penalty shot (not just guy that got hauled down, Eick), Mel knew that but tried to throw Blake P out there, UND got excited, and Rix got the shot, could've been 4-2 and going on PP
And then we get penalty while on PP, Kevin shouldn't have thrown the puck up there, he made some bad decisions with the puck, should've held it, let us regroup and attack with speed
Too many penalties in 3rd, didn't give ourselves a chance to fight back, 5 penalties


It seems like we were on the PK most of the 3rd period Sat, what improved so that we didn't get scored on?
Goalie needs to play well, Kevin wsa better. Also need better shot blocking and sticks in passing lanes etc.

Why isn't the guy who leads the team in goals not on the PK1 unit?
Blake is on one unit, we want two good units, Blake is in a spot where he can score, don't want all scorers on a single unit. Also, want to think post PP< don't want all top guys on same unit, could be tired.

What's Sova's status?
Might be ready for UMD series, but doubt it. Maybe the 1st part of Feb, after UMD is Bemidji then a bye. Needs to get into game conditioning and speed. He had surgery last Tuesday, that set him back. Sutures have to come out to get a playing cast. We miss him on PP and 5x5.

We missed Stebner Sat due to minor injury and had to sit out. Miss Justin Fillion too, you can tell by goals against. Thought our goaltending would be better, new there'd be ups/downs, and there's been progress, but need better consitency from all 3.

Thought Dmen would be a lot better. It's team defense, all groups need to do better. Looking at statistics, we have to do a better job.

How's recruiting going?
Good, really happy with recruiting, would like to FF and bring gus in, but have to be patient. Good guys in pipeline in future, doign well in their leagues. Don't know how many we'll bring in next year. Had a recruit this weekend and another one today, really excited about the future.

Another question about why wasn't B. Pietila on the ice Saturday on PP, down 4-1, maybe instead of Furne? Blake gets a lot of ice time, Furne had the most goals last year. Every player has a role, trying to keep Blake fresh with another group and be in a spot for him to have success.

Did anyone on ice or bench notice puck hitting net when it was 1-0 Friday?
Yeah, it hits netting, didn't notice it from bench, Shields and others upstairs noticed. UND comes down and scores with 1 second left. Watching it back, hard to distinguish if it hits net.

Why are there no sophmore/junior goalies, is that a concern?
We talked about that recruiting and taking both goalies, should we spread them out? Need two goalies, likely to have 2 freshment, need 2nd and 3rd, like to spread it out, want 2 years speration, it just worked out that way. We liked them both, they can push each other.

GLI:
Won the tourney every year Mel played in it. It's different than at MI, longer road trip. Should be a good crowd with no NHL.
Good field, UM, MSU, Western Michigan.
GLI prize pack winnter, $662 prize pack. Chase Sturos won

Mel will have practice for 2-3 days this week, a little recruiting, a couple days off for Christmas, and then teh GLI
Good luck to B. Pietila, at WJ Camp as we speak, pretty sure he'll make the team, he'll be in Russia during GLI, good representative of MTU
If doesn't make it, he'll be at GLI
Thanks for your support, means a lot to players/team, have faith/patience, good GLI will be a springboard to 2nd half

huskyfan
12-18-2012, 08:57 AM
tough sledding for Tech fans. it will get better. all the pieces are in place they just need to fit together. hopefully we can claw our way back up to home ice contention. hopefully. prayerfully. pleadingly.

Fighting Sioux 23
12-18-2012, 09:38 AM
tough sledding for Tech fans. it will get better. all the pieces are in place they just need to fit together. hopefully we can claw our way back up to home ice contention. hopefully. prayerfully. pleadingly.

As you mention, Tech has the pieces. If they can get things put together over Christmas Break, sweep their home slate in the 2nd half (Bemidji, Anchorage, and CC), they will have a shot at home ice. Since the WCHA went to 12 (and thus 6 squads getting home ice), teams that were .500 or better got home ice, worse than .500 and you didn't. If that continues again, Tech need only go 9-4-1 in their last 14 to get to .500. If they get the 6 home wins, they will have to go 3-4-1 (or better) on the road against Duluth, Omaha, Mankato, and SCSU. It will be difficult, but certainly doable. FWIW, you'll have a lot of fans from around the conference cheering the Huskies on in the second half...this one included.

geezer
12-18-2012, 11:23 AM
Our goalies have a feel for what it's like to play in this league, can only get better
Is that verbatim? That's some tough love.

Had a recruit this weekend and another one today, really excited about the future.
Does he mean had visits, or had commitments?

As you mention, Tech has the pieces. If they can get things put together over Christmas Break, sweep their home slate in the 2nd half (Bemidji, Anchorage, and CC), they will have a shot at home ice. Since the WCHA went to 12 (and thus 6 squads getting home ice), teams that were .500 or better got home ice, worse than .500 and you didn't. If that continues again, Tech need only go 9-4-1 in their last 14 to get to .500. If they get the 6 home wins, they will have to go 3-4-1 (or better) on the road against Duluth, Omaha, Mankato, and SCSU. It will be difficult, but certainly doable. FWIW, you'll have a lot of fans from around the conference cheering the Huskies on in the second half...this one included. I like the way you think.

manurespreader
12-18-2012, 12:35 PM
I don't think it's a matter of whether a guy is offensive or defensive. lord knows I'm no expert, I'll defer to HF for that but...

As one of the coaches said the other day, the guys coming out of their own end have to make a critical read and a correct first pass. This is not always being done. I think what happens is other teams know we have trouble and make it that much more difficult. UND had 3 guys below the faceoff dots and at times past our end line on a number of occasions this last week. So it seems to me that what happens is we turn it over too much and can't find ways to make them pay a big enough penalty for running so many guys up there. The penalty shot was one of the few times. So we end up in our own end too much of the time and force the goalie to make too many big saves.

If we can get out of the zone better and do a better job of getting behind teams that push it, I think we will see a big change in results.
I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts on this too.

FadeToBlack&Gold
12-18-2012, 06:53 PM
The home schedule going forward is very winnable, but they haven't played well at home since the MN series. The road schedule is a lot harder, but we've played better on the road thus far. We're usually pretty decent at escaping Duluth with points, but with Brett Olson no longer around to step it up for his Superior family and friends, who knows what happens there. We've never won in Omaha. In recent years at Midwest Wireless Alltel Verizon InsertWirelessCarrierHere Arena we seem to have a good night and a bad night. At the Concrete Center we always suck a fat one.

Priority #1 after the GLI should be to start winning at home. The schedule should help out a bit, but they have to play a lot better.

Shirtless Guy
12-20-2012, 04:02 PM
Blake Pietila played for Team USA vs Sweden today in a warmup game priory to the start of World Juniors.

He was on the ice for 18 shifts totaling 11:10 with 3 shots, the 2nd least of anyone that dressed today, but he was on the ice for the OT game winner. In other news he was the worst on the team in faceoffs going 2-5 on his 7 chances.

manurespreader
12-20-2012, 05:55 PM
If you missed the game it will be rebroadcast tonight on the NHL network at 8 pm.

JohnsonsJerseys
12-20-2012, 07:41 PM
Hard to cheer against Blake getting a shot at the Junior roster, but I sure would like to see him in a Huskies uniform next week - we need him.
Ryan J

manurespreader
12-20-2012, 09:02 PM
I thought he played great. He did a wonderful job of winning battles along the boards, got the puck deep, and he screened the goalie on the winning goal. He was physical and did exactly what they were looking for. I liked Lucia and Vesey too.

eye4talent
12-21-2012, 09:05 AM
I thought he played great. He did a wonderful job of winning battles along the boards, got the puck deep, and he screened the goalie on the winning goal. He was physical and did exactly what they were looking for. I liked Lucia and Vesey too.

i agree. good on the PK as well. he's a lock to make it. He'll play with Hartman and Bardreau to form the grind line for the Americans.

mtu_huskies
12-21-2012, 02:53 PM
Is that verbatim? That's some tough love.

Does he mean had visits, or had commitments?

Nothing from my Mel P show summary is verbatim, but he basically said he expected up/downs from the freshmen goalies, but all the goalie can be more consistent was the main point.

Mel was saying recruiting visits, nothing about commitments.



Here's just a general story about Tech last year and this year I saw, had never been to the site before this.

https://thehockeywriters.com/despite-growing-pains-michigan-techs-future-is-bright/

stuckinwi
12-22-2012, 12:51 PM
Looks like Blake had the lone goal in the 5-1 loss to Finland this morning.