View From Michigan Tech

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Michigan Tech is coming to town this weekend, so we talked to radio voice of the Huskies Dirk Hembroff to get his take on Minnesota's opponent this weekend. Hembroff is the sports director and host of the "DirkSide" Morning Show at WKMJ.
 
GopherSports.com: Dirk, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Can you give us a scouting report on the Huskies this year?  

Dirk Hembroff: The Huskies are off to their best start in five years. Now  8-7-1, Tech jumped out of the gates with a 6-2-1 record in their first nine games, which included two overtime wins against Wisconsin and a three point weekend against Denver.

Milos Gordic, who missed the first six games recovering from off season upper body surgery, is leading the team with 7 goals, followed closely by freshman Tanner Kero with 6 tallies. Michigan Tech's captain, Brett Olson (5-12=17), leads the team in scoring. In contrast to recent seasons, Tech has spread their goals around with 14 different players having scored, nine of them have a least 3 goals. Another big reason for the early success of the Huskies has been senior netminder, Josh Robinson, who has compiled a .920 save percentage and two shutouts.

Defensively, the Huskies are led by junior Steven Seigo, who helps quarterback the power play. Freshman Riley Sweeny has fit in quickly as an important piece of the puzzle.

The Huskies' hot start has cooled a bit after a couple of tough losses last weekend to the now No. 1 ranked Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Both games against Duluth saw the teams tied going into the third period, with the Bulldogs capitalizing on a couple of Tech mistakes to get the wins.

GS: Who is one player Gopher fans should pay extra attention to this weekend?

DH: Blake Pietila is Tech's lone draft pick and has been hot and cold this season. He's big, strong and has the ability to be a game changer, but he's still only 18 years old and is still learning how to be good every night. Blake will likely be playing with different linemates this weekend, so we'll see if that jumps starts his game again.

GS: What does Michigan Tech have to do to win?

DH: Like new head coach, Mel Pearson, has said many times already this season, the Huskies need 60 minutes of hockey each night this weekend to beat the Gophers. There can be no let downs. Michigan Tech has proven they can beat anyone, but they have not proven that they can beat good teams while making key mistakes. The more 5-on-5 hockey there is, the better for the Huskies' chances.

Maybe the most important element to Tech's opportunity to win against Minnesota would be Josh Robinson. He just needs to find a way to beat his counterpart in net, Kent Patterson.

Tech has a habit of playing well at Mariucci. It should be a good weekend of hockey.

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